Ennio De Concini

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Divorce - Italian Style Review


Excellent
What do Freud, Last Year at Marienbad, Through a Glass Darkly, and That Touch of Mink have in common? No, they're not all films you've never seen, they all lost the Best Original Screenplay Oscar to Divorce - Italian Style in 1963.

The story is classic black comedy, as Marcello Mastroianni's Ferninando shuffles through his marriage to the loving -- but smothering (not to mention homely) -- Rosalia (Daniela Rocca). Ferdinando's wandering eye catches sight of Angela, his teenage cousin, whom he desperately desires... but as divorce is forbidden in 1960s Italy, what's he to do? Murder is the obvious answer.

Continue reading: Divorce - Italian Style Review

Il Grido Review


Good
One of many duds from Michelangelo Antonioni, this time a two hour affair with a laborer who gets dumped by his married girlfriend after her husband dies, then takes off on an inexplicable road trip to find himself. Which he never does. In typical Neorealist fashion, Steve Cochran's Aldo bumbles from bad to worse, eventually croaking after two full hours of misery. Not much artistry is exhibited along the way; other Italian films from the 1950s have told this story ("Life sucks.") with more aplomb.

Divorce - Italian Style Review


Excellent
What do Freud, Last Year at Marienbad, Through a Glass Darkly, and That Touch of Mink have in common? No, they're not all films you've never seen, they all lost the Best Original Screenplay Oscar to Divorce - Italian Style in 1963.

The story is classic black comedy, as Marcello Mastroianni's Ferninando shuffles through his marriage to the loving -- but smothering (not to mention homely) -- Rosalia (Daniela Rocca). Ferdinando's wandering eye catches sight of Angela, his teenage cousin, whom he desperately desires... but as divorce is forbidden in 1960s Italy, what's he to do? Murder is the obvious answer.

Continue reading: Divorce - Italian Style Review

The Red Tent Review


Very Good
Since they realized they were there, explorers everywhere have had a fascination with visiting the poles of the earth. By 1928, the North Pole had been well visited and documented by the likes of Peary and Amundsen, but Italian Umberto Nobile decided he wanted to head up there anyway. Only Nobile's crackpot idea was to go there in a blimp.

Strangely, because of Nobile's renown in working with Amundsen on his 1926 flight to the Pole, no one said this was a bad idea. One day after daparting, heavy wind ripped the blimp apart, stranding the crew on the Arctic ice, where they holed up in a makeshift red tent, waiting for aid to arrive. For a month they were presumed dead, until an amateur radio operator picked up a transmission. A massive rescue operation commenced, with Amundsen himself even getting in on the deal.

Continue reading: The Red Tent Review

The Mask Of Satan (Black Sunday) (1960) Review


Good
Mario Bava's first film is gorgiously photographed and often eerie, but it fails to scare much by today's standards. Barbara Steele plays two roles -- one a long-dead witch and the other her princess descendent, for whom the witch is reborn after 200 years in the grave to, for no other reason than to kill her for eternal life, etc. Bava proved a real ability with the camera here, but the predictable and derivative story (with more than a few shades of Nosferatu) makes it decidedly dull.

Continue reading: The Mask Of Satan (Black Sunday) (1960) Review

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