Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Italians: Bolognini

So, Bolognini or Bertolucci? No, its not an Italian sauce. We have been liking quite a few Mauro Bolognini Italian flicks of late here at The Projector, as per Bolognini label.

The Italian greats of course are Rossellini and De Sica, followed by the Big Three of the late 50s and early '60s: Antonioni, Fellini and Visconti, followed by Pasolini and Bertolucci. But there were several others prolific in those years, that great LA DOLCE VITA era, such as Bolognini, Monicelli, Germi, Risi, Rosi, Lattuada, while now the new guys like Paolo Sorrentino (THE GREAT BEAUTY, THE YOUNG POPE) and Luca Guadagnino (I AM LOVE, A BIGGER SPLASH) grow in stature. 

Today, lets focus on Mauro Bolognini (1928-2001), rumoured to be gay - he certainly filled his films with attractive people, his best output coming from scripts by Pasolini (as in LA NOTTE BRAVA) or adaptions of novels by Alberto Moravia or Italo Svevo. His 46 credits include these I like:

GIOVANI MARITI (YOUNG HUSBANDS) in 1957, with Gerard Blain, Raf Mattioli, Isabelle Corey, Sylvia Koscina, and Franco Interlenghi. Its as the title implies a drama about young husbands and their marriage problems.

LA NOTTE BRAVA (THE BIG NIGHT, see below) in 1959, glamorises Pasolini's tale of Roman layabouts and petty hoodlums and prostitutes, including the wildly attractive Laurent Terzieff, Jean-Claude Brialy, Tomas Milian, Mylene Demongeot, Antonella Lualdi, Elsa Martinelli etc. It also has a rather gay scene - right. Pasolini took to directing his own scripts after that, such as ACCATONE.

LA GIORNATA BALORDA (FROM A ROMAN BALCONY), a delicious 1960 drama with Jean Sorel and Lea Massari. We reviewed these in full at Bolognini/Italian labels.

SENILITA in 1962, from the Svevo novel, set in 1920s Trieste, with a great performance by Claudia Cardinale as the heartless vamp, and Bestsy Blair as a frustated spinster in love with the wrong man.

LA CURRIZONE (CORRUPTION) in 1963, one of Jacques Perrin's great performances as the son of wealthy industrialist Alain Cuny to uses his mistress Rossano Schiaffino to lure the son into his business plans.

METELLO in 1970 is a great costume period drama with Massimo Ranieri and it looks ravishing in colour,

GRAN BOLLITO is a chiller from 1977, with Shelley Winters as that very over-protective mother who will do anything for her son, including turning the neighbours into bars of soap, as Rita Tushingham finds out. It also has Max Von Sydow in drag as one of the victims. Bizarre is the word.

I haven't seen the acclaimed IL BELL ANTONIO, one of Mastroianni's great performances from 1960. He later did several costume dramas for Italian television: Isabelle Huppert as the LADY OF THE CAMELIAS, and and THE CHARTERHOUSE OF PARMA.
He also did several segments in those Italian '60s episodic films, usually made up of 4 short films by different diretors. He directed the deliciously funny episode in LE BAMBOLE (THE DOLLS) in 1965 where Gina Lollobrigida (above) tries in vain to seduce Jean Sorel (as one would,,,,,), and the Claudia Cardinale segment of THE QUEENS in 1966, the Silvana Mangano episode in THE WITCHES, also '66. Belmondo and Cardinale are both marvellous in LA VIACCIA in '61. A lot of these, like his I TRE VOLTI with Princess Soraya,  did not get wide distribution outside of Italy, so he may be rather unknown to many.
Movie reviews coming up: THE NEON DEMON, NOCTURNAL ANIMALS, PLAN B, some French double bills and features on Catherine Deneuve and Anouk Aimee ...

3 comments:

  1. There is hardly a title here I recognize!

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  2. Of course with you dahling, if its not in "Sight & Sound" it doesn't exist for you, and you are supposed to be a movie buff - but you don't seek out the rare stuff. Just sayin' .....

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  3. "...and the Claudia Cardinale segment of THE QUEENS in 1966..."

    Actually, Mario Monicelli directed the Claudia Cardinale segment. Bolognini directed the Jean Sorel/Raquel Welch one - probably the best of the four episodes. It's available on DVD here in the U.S., as are "The Witches" and "Le bambole." Thanks for writing about Bolognini again - always an interesting read!

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