If the decades following World War II were the Italian cinema’s golden age, Italian actresses were the ones who made it sparkle and gleam. The earthy, mercurial Anna Magnani embodied the unvarnished emotional and moral force of neo-realism. Giulietta Masina’s wide-eyed waifs animated Federico Fellini’s “fabulism.” With lusty physicality or smoldering splendor, stars like Gina Lollobrigida, Sophia Loren, and Claudia Cardinale seduced audiences worldwide.
Showcasing these celebrated performers in iconic roles, this series also presents stellar performances by less widely known actresses, such as the indomitable Tina Pica, as well as familiar faces in unfamiliar places: how about Antonioni icon Monica Vitti in a madcap farce?
Of course, any tribute to great Italian performers is also a tribute to great Italian directors, and the series features works by Fellini, Roberto Rossellini, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Luchino Visconti, Alberto Sordi, and others, many in imported 35mm prints. It amounts to a summer tour through postwar Italian film, taking in both major cinematic landmarks and less traveled byways, towering monuments of neorealism and obscure gems of commedia all’italiana. Each stop along the route brings an encounter with another unforgettable actress. To each of them, we say: bravissima!
Friday, August 17, 2012
Mario Soldati (Italy, 1941). Imported Print! In Austrian-occupied Lombardy in 1850, a young aristocrat (Massimo Serato) marries the humble Luisa (Alida Valli), incurring the wrath of his grandmother, a marchioness. This was the role that established Valli as a serious actress. (106 minutes)
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Dino Risi (Italy/France, 1957). Imported Print! Veteran character actress Tina Pica dominates Dino Risi’s boisterous provincial comedy as Sabella, a grandmother as gravelly, ancient, and immovable as the hills around the little village whose populace she terrorizes. (95 minutes)
Friday, August 24, 2012
Dino Risi (Italy, 1959) Imported Print! In Risi’s rarely screened comedy of commerce, marriage, and murder, Alberto Sordi exercises his talent for emphatic incompetence as Alberto Nardi, a cash-strapped Italian industrialist whose elegant wife, Elvira (Franca Valeri), holds him in well-justified contempt. (100 minutes)
Friday, August 31, 2012
Drama of Jealousy
Ettore Scola (Italy/Spain, 1970) Imported Print! Monica Vitti turns her Antonioni-honed angst to parodic purposes in this antic avant-farce.
Vitti plays one point of an irregular triangle with feckless
leftist bricklayer Marcello Mastroianni and sullen pizza maker Giancarlo Giannini in this satire and celebration of narrative excess. (107 minutes)
For more information call 510-642-1124; to purchase tickets 510-642-5249 or visit the official website bampfa.berkeley.edu
Organized by the Pacific Film Archive in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute and Cinecittà Luce S.p.A.