A documentary concerning the violent Italian 'poliziotteschi' cinematic movement of the 1970s which, at first glance, seem to be rip-offs of American crime films like DIRTY HARRY or THE ...
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A documentary concerning the violent Italian 'poliziotteschi' cinematic movement of the 1970s which, at first glance, seem to be rip-offs of American crime films like DIRTY HARRY or THE GODFATHER, but which really address Italian issues like the Sicilian Mafia and red terrorism. Perhaps even more interesting than the films themselves were the rushed methods of production (stars performing their own stunts, stealing shots, no live sound) and the bleed-over between real-life crime and movie crime.Written by
In 2012 when co-producer Michael A. Martinez met with Michael Forest in a Hollywood coffee shop to hand him an edit of the film, actress Barbara Bouchet (who is mentioned in much detail in the film) walked in and introduced herself, purely coincidentally. Bouchet and Forest casually knew each other as guest stars on episodes of "Star Trek" in addition to their work in Italian films. See more »
Excellent documentary on an excellent subject (and no QT in sight)
Any fan of the 1970's Eurocrime genre will obviously enjoy this documentary, which features plenty of clips from this wonderful genre of (mostly) Italian films as well as interview clips from a lot of the major players like Franco Nero, Luc Merenda, Antonio Sabato, and director Enzo Castellari. I liked this doc a little better than some of the more recent ones though because instead of mixing in "fan-boy" interviews to handle the more in-depth analysis of the genre, the filmmakers actually did the heavy lifting themselves while wisely keeping the fan-boy gushing behind the scenes. Nor were there the typical pandering interviews of more well-known modern-day celebrities who may have been "influenced by" but really had nothing to do with the genre. (To be specific, the filmmakers didn't seek out Quentin Tarantino, who would served as BOTH a gushing fan-boy and a bit of celebrity pandering).
There is no denying the knowledge of some fan-boys like Tarantino, but this documentary still manages to impart a book-like knowledge of the genre by editing the player interviews into a kind of "power point" presentation. The documentary does a good job of explaining, for instance, the period and conditions where these movies were made, in a country which was at the time ridden with crime, corruption, violent mafiosi, and left-wing revolutionaries, but also one where people literally went to the movies 4-5 weeks on average and had an endless appetite for this kind of fare. You wouldn't think most of these movies would be any good given the rushed and impoverished conditions under which they were made, but they're actually MORE interesting on average than most of the over-produced Hollywood crapola you see these days, and it was no mistake that these cheap films also made up a lot of the America grindhouse filler that Tarantino et. al. spend so much time worshiping today.
I appreciated especially the interviews with the English dubbers like Michael Forrest and. I have personally said many bad things about these kind of guys over the years (especially when they managed to turn a serious Italian film into half-ass comedy), but they clearly had a difficult job and they took it a lot more seriously than perhaps I've really ever appreciated.
The only downside of this documentary is they missed a few of the major players like Tomas Milan (who I guess IS on the DVD extras), Barbara Bouchet, who really shouldn't have been that hard to find, and Fabio Testi. But I suppose that can't be helped. And obviously a lot people like director Fernand Di Leo are no longer with us. They do pay homage to Maurizio Merli (who is also dead) and Umberto Lenzi (who just refuses to do interviews with anybody), but I would have like to see more with Sergio Martino, who--whether he was available for an interview or not--was a lot more essential to the genre than Antonio Sabato or Joe Dallesandro. Still, these are minor quibbles. I would definitely recommend this overall.
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