Directed by Michael Antonioni, L’Avventura is a drama that tells the story of the disappearance of Anna during a boat trip and how her lover, Sandro, pursues her best friend Claudia. What I found interesting about L’Avventura is the peculiar narrative that it has. The movie slowly shifts the story from the disappearance of Annal, to a tragic love story. Just like the characters, the viewers also forget about the missing girl. One of the highlights of the film was the cinematography and how it was able to portray alienation and loneliness with their shots. Plus, great performance by the wonderful Monica Vitti!
Il Conformista tells the story of a man who goes abroad to arrange the assasination of his old teacher, now dissent. Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci, this film is a heavy case study of conformism, fascism in which it relies deeply on its subject matter. The movie had a complex narrative that was honestly a bit hard to follow. However, what really stands out was the cinematography. How it expresses the feeling of dread and isolation through the shots. My favorite scene was how the cinematography reflected and symbolized Plato’s allegory of the cave.
Directed by Michael Radford, Il Postino is a charming film full of innocent and heartwarming moments. We see a relationship slowly grow between a postman and the famous poet, Pablo Neruda. Both of them are bonding over their love for poetry. This movie is reminiscent of Cinema Paradiso in which you see the dynamic of student and mentor. However, it has moments where it sticks out and becomes an original story. The most touching moments were how the student actually becomes the mentor and shows Neruda how there’s beauty in simplicity. Definitely, this movie was my favorite of this course.
Il sorpasso tells the story of a shy law student that meets a capricious man who takes him for a drive through the Roman and Tuscany countries in the summer. Directed by Dino Risi, this dramedy focuses on the relationship of two characters who are completely different from each other. However, the chemistry between them really worked because they balanced each other out. Through the whole film you see the idea of summer being played out; road trips, great food and lots of adventures. But, life’s not all fun and games. Il Sorpasso ends with a cruel reality check that definitely is gonna shake the audience.
Directed by the Dario argento, Deep Red ( Profondo Rosso) tells the story of a musician who witness and investigates the murder of a famous psychic. For being my first giallo film, I’m very pleased with this watch. It’s a movie that has a good mix of mystery and slasher. When it comes to cinematography, Argento has a great eye for it. Using camera blocking and movements to hide the killer till the very end. Thus, somewhat incorporating the camera to the story. The visuals were stunning, especially the use of the color red. However, I think that the highlight of this film was the score by the band Goblin. It’s memorable, sticking and enhances the viewing experience.
Ana Sofía Cintrón Mediavilla
Here’s a video I found of Guillermo Del Toro talking about the movie Deep Red:
Directed by Brusati, Pane e cioccolata tells the story of Nino, an Italian immigrant who tries to make a life in Switzerland. Although this film tackles serious themes, it’s Surprisingly very humorous. We follow Nino as he jumps from job to job as he’s trying to make money, finding himself in quirky situations. However, this movie shifts to dark tones when it needs to. Highlighting how Nino struggles with his identity and experience has an italian immigrant. I don’t see another person other than Giovanni Garofoli playing as Nino. He was charismatic, charming and looked like he genuinely enjoyed his role. Pane e cioccolata is a film that achieved a great balance between tones and most of all, entertaining.
Directed by Vittorio De Sica, The Garden of the Finzi-Continis is a italian drama that tells the story about a noble family of Ferrara, during the Jewish persecution in Italy’s 1930s. The film starts in a dreamlike state where the Finzi Constinis family are stuck in their own bubble. But not even the wealthy and the privileged weren’t saved from the gradual sink of fascims. Subtly showing us how they descend and lose everything. It’s a story filled with melancholy and sadness. It has great cinematography and an almost downhearted score that enhances the emotion that the film conveys. The movie has one of those endings that is gonna be stuck in your mind for a long time.
Directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini, The Decameron is the first installment of The Trilogy of Life (The Canterbury Tales, Arabian Nights) and it’s an adaptation of Giovanni Boccaccio’s book. Throughout the film, they explore themes such as sexual liberation, adultery, and violence in a form of vulgar humor. Pushing the boundaries of how far a joke can go.
For instance, religion played a big part of the film, however it wasn’t portrayed as the great almighty, but rather it became the running joke of half of the stories. Who would have thought we would see nuns wanting to explore their sexuality? Seems like Pasolini had fun jabbing the Catholic church.
Now as for the stories itself, Pasolini adapted nine of Boccaccio’s stories. Being a film that was launched in 1971, I’m impressed by the technical achievements that were made; especially in the production design. My favorite part of the film was Giotto’s pupil recreating a Fresco painting on his dream. Ending the story with the phrase: “why produce a work of art, when it’s so nice to dream about it?“. Could it be that Pasolini was also talking about his works of art?
On the other hand, the audio of the film wasn’t that great. The voice of the actors didn’t match with the movement of the actors mouth. Plus, I wasn’t that of a fan of a few stories. Some were more engaging than others. Now, would I watch this movie again? Probably? Ask me again in a couple of years…
Le fate ignoranti is an italian drama that’s directed by Ferzan Özpetek. It follows the story of Antonia, after her husband died of a car incident, she finds out that he was having an affair with a man named Michele. The movie definitely made some choice that didn’t hit the spot for me, such as bad editing, score selection, and even character development. However, I can say that I was entertained by the story and there were a few things that piqued my interest. Particularly, the chemistry of the family unit that later on, Antonia joins. The use of the color red throughout the film; symbolizing rage and passion. Lastly, the use of foreshadowing that later on, determined the fate of the characters. Le fate ignoranti certainly has its flaws, but the drama that happens within the story is amusing.
Ana Sofía Cintrón Mediavilla
Writers Note: When I was surfing on the internet, I found out that Le Fate Ignoranti (2001) copied the car crash scene from the film Meet Joe Black (1998).
Directed by Roberto Rossellini, Roma Città Aperta, is a drama that tells the story of the Nazi occupation in Rome and the courageous civilians that went against them. It’s a film that marks the beginning of Italian Neorealism, a movement that focuses on the harsh reality and how society struggled after World War II. It’s incredible how Rossellini went through a lot of hardship for the movie to be made. From not enough financing to the city’s studio being destroyed. Also using different film stocks, giving the film a documentary style to it. You could even say that this was his own way of rebelling, much like the characters in his film. Roma Città Aperta is an emotional, devastating and impactful piece of media that has surely influenced cinema.