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Entries in Italy (18)

Thursday
Apr172014

100th Anniversary: Cabiria

Tim here, asking the most burning question of them all: who’s ready to talk about Italian silent film?!?!

(Blogging pro-tip: italics and interrobangs make people excited to discuss things that they are not, in fact, excited to talk about).

But actually, we do need to talk about Italian silent film a little bit. Because this weekend marks the centennial anniversary of one of the greatest milestones in film history: Cabiria, a massive historical epic produced and directed by Giovanni Pastrone, and written by literary celebrity Gabriele D’Annunzio. It’s a film in which the title character, played by Lidia Quaranta as a young woman and Carolina Catena as a child, escapes the eruption of Mt. Etna, is captured by Carthaginian pirates, is rescued by a great Roman warrior Fulvio Axilla (Umberto Mozzato) and his muscular slave Maciste (Bartolomeo Pagano), who are themselves then caught up in the Second Punic War as Hannibal (Emilio Vardannes) attempts to conquer Rome. And this involves naval and land battles, and of course the elephants for which Hannibal is famous.

After the jump: Cabiria's unique and hugely influential place in fim history

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Feb092014

I'm Mad As Hell And I'm Not Going to Link It Anymore

CHUD James Franco to direct a film based on the making of bad movie everyone obsesses over which I haven't seen The Room. You guys, I can't even with Franco's lack of focus. I mean I don't dislike him. I think he's interesting but he is way too scattered. 
In Contention on Santa Barbara's Robert Redford tribute
Guardian Valentino makes a gauche error, pimping the fact that Amy Adams carried a Valentino bag to PSH's funeral stating they didn't know it was a funeral photo. Um, everyone is in black and they look abso-depressed
MNPP who knew that Fran Kranz from Dollhouse had that chest under his clothes and why on earth didn't Joss Whedon exploit it on that oft-horny show?

NY Times Maureen O'Dowd wonders what Network's Paddy Chayefsky would think of today's click-driven world with its total monetization of every editorial decision
Awards Daily a BAFTA members favorites
Coming Soon Gravity becomes only the third film (after Avatar and The Dark Knight Rises) to earn over $100 million from IMAX screenings alone
Variety the ongoing saga of "Alone Yet Not Alone" continues. It's now selling briskly and nominated for the faithbased MovieGuide Awards 
i09 will The Runaways -- if Marvel ever makes it -- be their Godfather?
Salon talks to the director of The Great Beauty on Italy's Oscar dreams. (For those who are not aware Italy has the most Oscars in the Foreign Film category though France has the most nominations.)
Slate "You Still Have Control" Samantha Geimer ("The Girl in the Shadow of Roman Polanski") once again proves herself the smartest most well adjusted and least hysteric person in the room when it comes to the topic of sexual abuse cases - and she lived it! This is a must read for anyone who has struggled to move on from past traumas. 

And the Most Terrifying News of the Week
We're hearing from Coming Soon that John Travolta will be playing Gummy Bear, or Gummibear if you prefer or are European, in an upcoming animated film version of the yummy treat. The character designs look hateful, really and not much like the actual food stuff.

Frankly, I don't see the point in a Gummy Bear movie when the deliciousness was already twice immortalized via Robot Chicken and Hedwig and the Angry Inch...


Luther: You must like candy.
Hansel: I like Gummi Baerchen 

Monday
Dec232013

Two Movie Advertisements of (Dubious) Note

Cheers to  Carefee Black Girl who is Italy and had the smarts to snap this incredibly unfortunate 12 Years a Slave poster. Yes, Brad sells tickets but at what price to a film's soul? 

Fox Searchlight isn't in charge of Italian distribution (IMDb doesn't say who is exactly though distributors are listed for France and Spain and a few other countries) but this just puts an unfortunate visual to the snarksters who originally attacked the movie with the "Brad Pitt solves slavery" tag when the movie first became our frontrunner.

This second advertisement, a TV spot dubbed "Outrageous" though not, unfortunately "Outrageous!!!" for August: Osage County speaks for itself. 

In a language we are not familiar with. Give us subtitles to understand the huhwazzit and the why of what we are seeing here? Why this ad now? Especially when the jingly music suggests a Christmas day opening that is no more. It's now opening on the 27th.

Wednesday
Nov202013

Bellissimo, Piero

Tim here. All of the online chatter around the honorary Oscars handed out over the weekend has focused, not unreasonably, on the actors who received awards: Angela Lansbury, Steve Martin, and Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award recipient Angelina Jolie. After all, they're famous, and in at least one case wildly iconic and beloved. But going unnoticed in the widespread Lansbury love-in (which, to be entirely clear, I support enthusiastically) is the fourth award recipient on Sunday, Italian costume designer Piero Tosi.

Making this lapse even worse than simple snobbery against below-the-line talent, Tosi has as many Oscar nominations as the other three individuals put together: five total, to Lansbury's three, Jolie's two, and Martin's zero (not even a writing nod!). Since that would apparently make him the most conspicuously overlooked among the honorees, I think it's only respectful and right to give the man his due: and what better way than a short gallery showcasing the five films that brought him Oscar attention in the past.

 

The Leopard (1963)

Death in Venice (1971)

Ludwig (1973)

La Cage aux Folles (1979)

La traviata (1982)

Tuesday
Nov192013

Hello Linky

In Contention talks to Saoirse Ronan about Grand Budapest Hotel, How I Live Now and acting for Ryan Gosling
DP/30 Chiwetel Ejiofor from 12 Years a Slave
Instagram James Franco's 'all the kids are doing it' selfie. (I love seeing celebrity mirror shots because that's how they see themselves. Ever notice how different you look in photos -how other people see you- versus how you look to yourself in the mirror?)
The Hollywood Reporter TIR wins the top prize and Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club) and Scarlett Johansson (Her) the acting awards at the Rome Film Festival

In Contention doublestuffed Oscar season coming at'cha
Pajiba on the highest grossing black directors. I expect Lee Daniels will keep moving up this list since he's prolific.
Coming Soon the German trailer to a new animated Tarzan

Off-Cinema
Playbill Carol Channing and Justin Bond for a little Hello Dolly 50th anniversary special? YES PLEASE
Salon are confused earnest celebrities the best at Twitter?
Variety Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark will (finally) close on Broadway in early 2014
Television Blend Arrow could lead to The Flash getting his own tv series. (I wish I liked this show but I've given it more than a fair try and it's dull/lame.)
Towleroad Warren & The Bening's son Stephen is so adorable (and totally looks like a blend of them if you ask me). Good for him becoming a reliable trans activist these past couple of years.

Today's Watch
The artist Anders Ramsell has "paraphrased" Blade Runner (his words) with 12,597 paintings. 

I've done nothing with my life!