Marco Bellocchio

Marco Bellocchio

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Marco Bellocchio and Mann Sunday 20th February 2011 6th Annual Los Angeles Italia - Film, Fashion and Art Fest - Opening Night held at Mann Chinese 6 Theatre Hollywood, California

Marco Bellocchio and Mann
Marco Bellocchio and Mann
Marco Bellocchio and Mann
Marco Bellocchio and Mann
Marco Bellocchio and Mann
Marco Bellocchio and Mann

Vincere Review


Very Good
This skilfully made film tells a terrific story but is rather too densely packed to appeal to audiences unfamiliar with (or uninterested in) Italian history. Although it gives the wonderful Mezzogiorno yet another vivid role.

In 1914 Milan, fiery socialist journalist Benito Mussolini (Timi) meets and marries Ida Dalser (Mezzogiorno), who gives up her life to support her husband, and soon gives birth to a son (Costella and later Timi). But during the Great War, Benito disappears and then resurfaces with a new wife Rachele (Cescon) and a team of goons who forcibly keep Ida away, eventually locking her away in a mental institution and sidelining her son. But as Benito shifts into fascism and rises to enormous power, she refuses to give up without a fight.

Continue reading: Vincere Review

Fists In The Pocket Review


Excellent
Little over halfway into Marco Bellocchio's acid-dipped 1965 debut Fists in the Pocket, the criminally malcontent Alessandro (Lou Castel) and his happy-go-lucky sister Giulia (Paola Pitagora) chuck their deceased mother's furniture into the backyard of their villa, build a bonfire, and celebrate the burning of all things past. Afterwards, they drift off-screen, but Bellocchio stays on the scene. We watch as Leone -- Alessandro's younger brother, an epileptic halfwit -- picks through the bonfire's smoking remains for items of their mother's still intact, then chides the others for wasting a perfectly good pot. The scene illustrates Fists' mordant and bizarre sense of humor, and also functions as a metaphor for the movie's theme of how, in order to find your footing in modern bourgeois society, you've got to cast off any and all undesirable parts of yourself. Blind and needy, the mother was better dead than alive. Not much later, Leone's value too is weighed on the same scale.

Teenager Alessandro doesn't know what he wants, but life in his dead-end Italian town has got him angry, fidgety, and restless -- not a safe state of affairs for somebody who's already mentally on edge. Like Leone, Alessandro is prone to epileptic fits. What's more, with his cool, pragmatic attitude to murder and suicide, he's also a budding serial killer. In his older brother, Augusto (Marion Masé), Alessandro sees a suave (not to mention, sane) go-getter with a girlfriend, and who might have a shot at happiness if he weren't indentured to a clan of cripples and lunatics. Dangerously self-loathing, rattling the bars of his existential cage, Alessandro pledges to make life easier for Augusto by killing off his familial "liabilities." And so it goes, with Alessandro expressing not a shred of regret until his own infirmities begin to threaten the consummation of his scheme.

Continue reading: Fists In The Pocket Review

Good Morning, Night Review


Weak
Italian political history gets revisited in Good Morning, Night (aka Buongiorno, notte), the latest work from pedantic ideologue Marco Bellocchio. If you're already moving on to the next review at filmcritic.com ("God, not another history lesson! Let's see what they wrote about Mystic River or Kill Bill instead..."), I can't blame you. Bellocchio doesn't really make movies so much as build tracts, and his philosophy student background at the Catholic University of Milan is the driving force behind his films. They're philosophic inasmuch as they have characters sitting around discussing big ideas, which is the kiss of death for many films.

Inherently dramatic, Good Morning, Night has a strong premise addressing issues of responsibility and the dynamics of power. The Red Brigade terrorist group kidnaps Italian President Aldo Moro (Roberto Herlitzka) and holds him in their cell -- a small house in a suburban neighborhood. The youngest member of the group, and the only female, is Anna (Maya Sansa), who takes on the role of housewife for her three revolutionary companions and has a soul-stifling job at the local library. As days pass and the terrorists negotiate with the authorities, Anna questions her role in the political machinations. Though she never really grows more self-aware, she feels a sense of guilt over the possibility of killing Moro.

Continue reading: Good Morning, Night Review

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Vincere Movie Review

Vincere Movie Review

This skilfully made film tells a terrific story but is rather too densely packed to...

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