Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Down and Dirty / Brutti, sporchi e cattivi
Ettore Scola | 1976 | Italy | 35mm | 115m
Scola won Best Director at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival for this outrageous “satirical tragedy” about a sprawling extended family living in extremely close quarters in a one-room shack alongside a busy highway. In an extraordinary comic performance, the great Nino Manfredi stars as Giacinto, the grizzled old patriarch who has received a one-million-lire insurance payout for the loss of his left eye–money he refuses to share with any of the two-dozen children, grandchildren and assorted other relatives who share his cramped abode. However, he doesn’t mind lavishing it on the obese prostitute whom he takes as a lover and brings home to live with him. Soon, the family members are plotting their revenge, only to discover that Giacinto has no plans of going gently into that good night. NOT ON DVD.
The Family / La famiglia
Ettore Scola | 1987 | Italy/France | 35mm | 122m
A decade after investigating the cramped lower depths of Italian society in Down and Dirty, Scola turned his attention to the more spacious environs of the haute bourgeoisie for this deft family saga set entirely within the confines of a single Roman apartment. In the sixth of his seven collaborations with Scola, Vittorio Gassman stars as both the family’s patrician patriarch and, 80 years later, his own grandson, Carlo. In between, Italy and the world go through the seismic historical events of the 20th century–two World Wars, the rise and fall of Mussolini–while loved ones are born, grow old and life marches on. Featuring strong supporting performances by Stefania Sandrelli (as Carlo’s wife), Fanny Ardant (as Carlo’s sister-in-law, with whom he has an affair) and Philippe Noiret, The Family earned a 1988 Oscar nomination as Best Foreign Language Film, and received six David di Donatello awards (Italian Oscars) including Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Actor (Gassman). NOT ON DVD.