Paolo Taviani

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Elective Affinities Review


Weak
If someone asked me to identify a prototypical "art film," I could do no better than to point them to Elective Affinities, a low-budget period piece from Italy, featuring circuitous dialogue, a story based on a Goethe novel, and an absolutely awful title.

Elective Affinities tracks a foursome in a Tuscan villa who couple in a variety of formations. There's bad feelings and a baby, but most of all there's a whole lotta talking about emotions -- with a pseudo-scientific explanation of love as a mathematical equation (which, sort of, explains the title).

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Night of the Shooting Stars Review


OK
As Germany falls to the Allies after WWII, a small Italian town is threatened with destruction, so its simple residents decide to pack up and leave. What follows is a hit-and-miss piece of nostalgia, with hapless villagers hopelessly out of their element and unsure of what to do and where to go. Post-war disillusionment has been done better in other films, but Night of the Shooting Stars' quaintness (alternately described as "operatic" by fans struggling to put a somewhat more elegant face on them) speaks to many looking for a simpler look at the effects of war on the world.

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