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Italian Language Feature Films in Leavey Library (DVDs): Titles A-C

Titles A-C

The Age of the Medici = L'età di Cosimo de' Medici
"Like several other TV series directed by Rossellini during the 1970's, The Age of the Medici is a form of docudrama, in which historical information is communicated via dramatized conversations between figures from history, and between ordinary people. They are unabashedly 'teaching films.' As Dave Kehr explains, 'The dialogue is bluntly didactic, with characters telling one another things they would already know entirely for the benefit of the audience.... Rossellini isn’t asking his viewers to identify with his characters or become caught up in their personal dramas ... Instead he creates a detached perspective.' Each scene plays out in a single longtake, with the camera slowly moving and zooming to create different framings of the action, or, as Kehr puts it, 'to close in on details or investigate relationships.'" 

"Memories of episodes about love, sex, politics, family life and growing up in a small Italian town in the 1930's."

"When the seductive Jeanne arrives at her boyfriend's childhood home, she is greeted by his brooding mother Anna. As the two women await him, a mysterious secret looms over the household, ready to boil over."

"Story about the search for a girl lost on an island; gradually the searchers become preoccupied with their own problems, and the girl is never found."

I bambini ci guardano = The Children Are Watching Us
"A four-year-old boy is trapped in a loveless family with his suicidal father and his adulteress mother."

Beyond Love
"Long-term couple Anna and Marina wants to have a baby and turn to their gay best friends Stefano and Tony for help. When financial obstacles make it impossible, a series of unfortunate events lead the couples to the hospital where they realize their mistakes and must face the consequences of their behavior."

Il bidone
"An aging swindler, ringleader of a trio of petty thieves who impersonates priests to cheat peasants, finally realizes the futility of his life."

Black Angel
"In 1945 Italy, Livia, the bored wife of an Italian official, recalls the taboo affair she has been having with a much younger Nazi lieutenant. The elation of her middle-aged sexual awakening is soon diminished when she discovers that her lover's intentions are far from honest. Ashamed and betrayed, she must make the difficult decision to resolve her devastating erotic entanglement."

Blue Movie
"A woman escapes from being raped only to find herself trapped by a sado-masochistic photographer who, among other nasty things, gets off on consuming fresh human excrement"  - IMDB

Boccaccio '70: scherzo in quattro atti
"Four satires on morality, prudery, and hypocrisy."

Bread and Chocolate
"A comic but poignant portrait of an Italian immigrant working odd jobs in prosperous Switzerland and trying desperately to fit in. Though his work becomes increasingly degrading, he tenaciously refuses to give up and go home. This hapless Everyman is eternally rejected yet ever-hopeful."

Brutti sporchi e cattivi
"Four generations of sprawling, crooked clan, live in a cramped home on the outskirts of Rome. A work accident leaves Giacinto blind in one eye. He suddenly finds himself rolling in insurance money. Giacinto refuses to share the wealth with his relatives, so they concoct several plots in hopes of wrenching the riches away."

I Cannibali = The Year of the Cannibals
"The story of Antigone in the world that has gone urban and mass murder. One woman only sees the dead people as her brothers, hundreds of them, no being buried since the bodies indicate a message of subversion: you are going to be dead yourself if you're not as imposed. A woman and her male friend however take the risk and collect the bodies in order to give them a proper burial."

Il capitale umano = Human Capital
"With a lavish home and beautiful wife, hedge-fund manager Giovanni Bernaschi seemingly has it all. Meanwhile, real-estate agent Dino Ossola struggles to maintain his family's middle-class existence and faces even worse financial straits when his wife announces that she is pregnant with twins. Leveraging his daughter's relationships with Giovanni's son, Dino deceives the bank and manipulates his way into the Bernaschi hedge fund. As the destinies of both families become further entwined, a fateful hit-and-run accident sets in motion a chain of events, triggering dangerous consequences that will change their lives forever."

Il Cappotto = The Overcoat
"A poor city-hall clerks' only desire is for a new overcoat. The town Mayor is planning a reception for some visiting VIP's in honor of a new, wasteful piece of construction. The clerk bungles his assignment and is fired, but he stumbles onto some bribery concerning the architects and, to keep him quiet, he is given his job back as a bonus, which allows him to buy his long-cherished overcoat and it makes him so presentable he wins a new-found respect."

As profoundly simple as its hero’s famous statement 'I think, therefore I am,' Roberto Rossellini’s Cartesius is an intimate, psychological study of obsession and existential crisis.

Il Cielo cade  = The Sky Falls
"In 1944, newly-orphaned sisters, Penny and Baby, come to live in the Tuscan villa of their aunt and uncle. Their uncle is a German-Jewish intellectual, and discourages the pro-Mussolini and fascist sympathies the girls inherited from their late father. Penny and Baby gradually make friends in their new surroundings and become somewhat smitten with their uncle; but as war rages around them, the family receives a warning from the local priest to flee to Switzerland as the Nazis make towards their town."

Cinema Paradiso
"A young boy in a small Italian village is befriended by the projectionist at the movie theater, the Cinema Paradiso. As the boy grows up, he learns to love films, and is encouraged by his good friend to pursue his dream of one day making movies."

La città delle donne = City of Women
"In a railway coach Snp̉oraz wakes from a nap and seduces a beautiful stranger. Then he follows her through a forest to a weird hotel where a feminist convention is being held. He is so unnerved by the vociferous hostility of the militants that he hides in the mansion of a female killer who has wooed and won a thousand hearts. Snp̉oraz will be forced to run the gauntlet before waking up and realizing that his adventure was only a crazy nightmare."

I, Clowns =The Clowns
"Fellini's fascination with the circus and the surreal come to a head in one of his final masterpieces, The Clowns. The film reflects Fellini's childhood obsession with clowns and begins with a young boy watching a circus set up from his bedroom window. Though comical and referred to as a 'docu-comedy', this film explores deeper human conditions such as authority, poverty, humility and arrogance."

La commare secca
"The brutalized corpse of a prostitute is found in a Roman park, along the banks of the Tiber River. The police round up and interrogate a handful of possible suspects. Each has to explain why he is there. One of them is the killer."

The Conformist
"A 30-year-old Italian man is targeted by a Fascist espionage organization to lead a deadly mission in France. He has to arrange an assassination attempt on his former teacher, who is now a political threat. On his journey, his wife will see his troubled past and current moral dilemma violently collide."

Corpo celeste
"Thirteen year-old Marta, who has recently moved back to southern Italy with her mother and older sister, struggles to find her place, restlessly testing the boundaries of an unfamiliar city and the catechism of the Catholic church.

Cristo si è fermato a Eboli = Christ Stopped at Eboli
"Levi, an intellectual exiled by the Fascist government during World War II to a mountain village in southern Italy, discovers the resilience and dignity of people who live close to the land."