Seminal Cinema Outfit

Classic, Foreign and Rare Film

Required Reading

“Pasolini had been a source of irritation to Italy’s elite for several decades, as a columnist, critic, poet and filmmaker. Driven by a deep-seated anger, he directed his criticism at the ruling class and the stranglehold of conformity. Pasolini’s life ended when he was at his most productive: he had just finished Salò, or 120 days of Sodom.” – Read more from Truls Lie’s review at POV

“Pasolini’s use of the found footage resulted in a 100 minute film in which newsreel images are resignified with the use of music and commentary. His textual accompaniment for the images is presented through the alternation of the voices of the painter Renato Guttuso and the novelist Giorgio Bassani. Guttuso’s fast and furious newsreel prose is contrasted with Bassani’s steady and melancholic poetry. The film opens with images of atomic explosions and the introductory statement by Bassani: “‘Why is our life dominated by discontent, by anguish, by the fear of war, by war?’ To answer this question I’ve written this film following no chronological, or perhaps even logical line, but only my political reasoning and my poetic feeling” – Read more of Marc James Légar’s review at Left Curve



(Instruction: Click the ‘videoweed’ link. X out of the many pop-ups. Press ‘Continue to Video’ followed by Click ‘Watch Video’. Click ‘Play’ button in the center of the screen or on the timeline. Enjoy)

Required Reading

“The convergence and divergence of Lampedusa and Visconti are par­ticularly interesting here. Lampedusa was a Sicilian aristocrat deeply skeptical about progress; Visconti was a northern aristocrat deeply dedicated to it. But Lampedusa was too thoughtful a conservative to believe he could simply cling to the past, and Visconti was too intelligent a radical to believe all changes were for the better.” – Read more of Michael Wood’s essay at The Criterion Collection.

“It was my best work,” Lancaster himself told me sadly, more than 20 years later. “I bought 11 copies of The Leopard because I thought it was a great novel. I gave it to everyone. But when I was asked to play in it, I said, no, that part’s for a real Italian. But, lo, the wheels of fortune turned. They wanted a Russian, but he was too old. They wanted Olivier, but he was too busy. When I was suggested, Visconti said, ‘Oh, no! A cowboy!’ But I had just finished ‘Judgment at Nuremberg,’ which he saw, and he needed $3 million, which 20th Century-Fox would give them if they used an American star, and so the inevitable occurred. And it turned out to be a wonderful marriage.” – Read more of Roger Ebert’s review

But the quality of the presentation is not in a running display of plotted, emotional crises. It is in a slow, rhythmic, tempered account of the yielding of the Prince to changes that he realizes are inevitable, but perhaps not as gracious as he would have them, and that is why he is sad. – Read more of Bosley Crowther’s review at The New York Times.


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