I'll bet when Stanley Tucci has a party he invites all of his friends over. His movies reflect a personality that opens wide and embraces the crowd. He likes big casts and complicated plots that involve them in interlocking intrigues. When that works, as it did in "Big Night" (1996), his movie about a doomed Italian restaurant, the result is a comic masterpiece--and one with a real feeling for people. When it doesn't, as in "The Impostors," it's more like a traffic jam.
What compels directors to create a movie from a book? To bring to action a story, a character, an idea, or a specific context? This course will focus on Italian masterpiece literature from the twentieth century to the present, including writers such as Lampedusa, as well as contemporary writers, such as Baricco, Ammaniti, and Ferrante with emphasis on the theme of historical, individual, and familial identity within the context of socio-economic upheaval and transformative cultural events. Several films based on these works will be examined, with emphasis on an analysis of cinematic innovation.
In the post-war Rome, after more than two-year unemployment, the family man Antonio Ricci (Lamberto Maggiorani) finally finds a disputed job position putting up posters that requires having a bicycle. However, he needs to retrieve his bicycle in the pawn shop but he does not have money. His wife Maria (Lianella Carell) pawns their bed sheets and uses the money to recover the precious bicycle. Antonio envisions a better life for his family with his salary, overtime and benefits. Unfortunately, his bicycle is stolen on the first working day. Antonio and his son Bruno (Enzo Staiola) spend the Sunday chasing the bicycle and the thief on the streets of Rome."Ladri di Biciclette" is a heartbreaking masterpiece of the Italian Neo- Realism and one of the best movies of cinema history ever. This is the third time that I watch this unforgettable film that makes me sad with the desperation of Antonio and his lack of perspective in the end. There are memorable touching scenes, like Bruno eating pizza in the restaurant wearing a torn coat and contrasting with the wealthy family; or the happiness of the clumsy Antonio putting up the poster of Rita Hayworth in "Gilda"; or the indecision of Bruno between a dish of soup in the church or chasing the old man with his father; or the shame of Antonio in the end. The DVD released in Brazil by Spectra Nova has good quality of image, subtitles in yellow but no Extras. The DVD released by Versátil uses the same matrix of Spectra Nova but with subtitles in white, and it is difficult the reading by the viewer. However, there are many Extras. My vote is ten.Title (Brazil): "Ladrões de Bicicleta" ("Thieves of Bicycle")
Not only that, but a masterpiece of cinema. I do like foreign language movies, and for me Bicycle Thieves is one of those quintessential jewels of foreign language cinema. What makes me love Bicycle Thieves so much is the emotional impact. It is an incredibly touching movie, especially at the end which is so harsh and pessimistic yet very real that I can't help getting choked. It is not just the ending that is so achingly poignant, it is also the ironic humanism Bicycle Thieves has, and the film is also chilling in the scene when Bruno sees his father steal and redemptive in when Bruno slips his hand into his father's. Aside from the poignancy, the film is incredibly well made, with stunning photography, wondrous scenery and poetic symbolism. Alessandro Cicognini's score brings a dramatic intensity to the proceedings as well, and the Italian songs are wonderful. The script is both thought-provoking and philosophical(you live and you suffer), and the story follows or adopts a flow-of-life structure. The pace I have no problem with either, it is drawn-out but it is so deliberately to add to the neo-realism. Vittorio Di Sica directs impeccably and the acting is pretty much outstanding with Enzo Staiola delivering one of the most heart-breakingly believable child performances I have seen especially. All in all, a masterpiece. 10/10 Bethany Cox
This month, minus one Erik who's having to get a new laptop, Kyle and Sean are back to discuss one of the very pillars of the horror film: 1920's silent masterpiece of German Expressionism, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, directed by Robert Weine. Many point to this film as the very birth of horror in the movies, and nearly 100 years later, it's still incredibly effective. But is it scary?
This month, Erik, Kyle, and Sean discuss one of the most disturbing, influential, and most misunderstood horror films ever made, Tobe Hooper's 1974 masterpiece The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. In particular, they talk about the impact the movie had on the slasher genre, the methods Hooper employed to get the creepy and uneasy feeling throughout, and what the "family unit" truly means.
This month, we take a look at our first film in color, believe it or not. It's a movie that made a star out of its director, lead actor, and white-masked murderer and finally brought fear to the scariest day of the year. Of course, we're talking about John Carpenter's 1978 masterpiece Halloween. Is it as scary as people say? Does it scare Erik, Kyle, and Sean? Or is it, like Night of the Living Dead, more important than good. Listen to find out.
On this month's Classic Horror Cast, Sean, Erik, and Kyle discuss Alfred Hitchock's 1960 masterpiece of suspense, Psycho, which was one of the precursors to the modern slasher movie. It also happened to be one of several classic horror films to be at least partially based on the life of famous murderer/mother lover Ed Gein. Look him up; he's gross.
Journey to Italy (also known as Voyage to Italy) is an Italian drama film that is thought to be the masterpiece of writer, Roberto Rossellini. As a pioneering work of modernist cinema, it was named as one of the top 50 movies ever made.
On this week's episode, Mr. Chavez & I sit down to look at one of his masterpieces, 1970s El Topo. A beautifully poetic Eastern-Western, Jodorowsky's midnight movie masterpiece is justly regarded as a classic. This week, Ibrahim & I express our admiration, confusion, and love of his cinema. Take a listen . . . it's an interesting conversation that covers the poetics, the beauty, and the controversies surrounding this exceptional film and it's even more exceptional director.
On this week's episode of Watch This, Mr. Chavez & I are diving into the hazy dreams of David Lynch. A polarizing, controversial, and challenging director, David Lynch has overwhelmed audiences for over four decades. Mulholland Drive (2001) may be his masterpiece. An uneasy and brutally honest look at Los Angeles and Hollywood, Lynch's tale of a young actor (Naomi Watts) arriving in The City of Angels and finding herself lost in a world of mystery, treachery, and deceit. It's a wild ride that leaves its audience guessing and second-guessing what they believe they know. This is an overpowering film with excellent performances from Naomi Watts and Laura Elena Harring. Be sure to watch this film before listening to the podcast. We are talking every aspect of the movie. You owe it to yourself to watch it first.
This is the original 1977 masterpiece. Young American Susie Bannion arrives at a prestigious dance school in Freiberg, Germany. Every scene is saturated in the lurid glow of murder-y red. This film is set to a relentlessly disturbing cutting edge (to this very day) soundtrack performed by Italian progressive rock band, Goblin. The thing that strikes me most about this movie was how Mr. Argento indulged every last one of his directorial whims and still managed to produce an amazing film. It may not be entirely coherent or ponder anything deep, but it will stay with you for a very long time. English. 2b1af7f3a8