• The White Sheik

    The White Sheik

    Pretty fun! I dug the dual narrative. Overall, a conventional movie but there were a few really standout scenes like the Sheik’s introduction and Wanda jumping in the river. Giulietta Masina is so effortlessly charming, really excited to see the rest of her performances in Fellini’s films.

    Week #15 in my 52 weeks of Italian cinema

  • Variety Lights

    Variety Lights

    Finally got to crack open my Essential Fellini box set! It’s been an absolutely exhausting blur of a month and this instantly made me better. Really confident for Fellini’s directorial debut (co-dir. with Alberto Lattuada). Loved all the performances and there’s some great cinematography. I adored the scene of Checco hanging out in the streets with the other homeless performers. I love show business stories and there are enough character nuances and little details to make the standard narrative sing. Fellini is one of my biggest film blind spots and I’m so, so excited to dive in.

    Week #14 in my 52 weeks of Italian cinema

  • Streetwise

    Streetwise

    ★★★★★

    “You shoulda figured it out by now.”

    Holy shit, an absolute wrecking ball. Honestly one of the greatest films I’ve seen.

  • The Fifth Cord

    The Fifth Cord

    The plot was a little too convoluted for me and it wasn't particularly satisfying as a whodunit, BUT the craft displayed in this movie is absolutely incredible. The cinematography is gorgeous, such inventive camera moves and some really interesting framing. Even if I wasn't completely sucked into the story, I was still floored beginning to end from how well executed all of the elements are. Production design, music, the editing of the kill sequences. All of it top notch. Highly recommend!

    Week #13 in my 52 weeks of Italian cinema

  • The Italian Connection

    The Italian Connection

    My first dive into the world of poliziotteschi films. Love how lean the movie is, it just drops you right in the middle of everything and lets it run. The big chase sequence lived up to the hype. Some really dark, nasty moments in here, they really don't hold back at all. I thought the two Americans were going to be the main characters we follow, so I was really surprised when they vanished for almost the entire back half…

  • Slap the Monster on Page One

    Slap the Monster on Page One

    Wanted to check out some more of Bellocchio's work after how impressed I was with Fists in the Pocket. What a filmography! So many titles to chose from. I picked this one purely based off the title and poster art (and figured the 70's would be a good place to continue). A super relevant movie for today's times. Bellocchio is great at building tension. The arrest/printing press sequence is chilling. Loved seeing all of the old fashioned news printing machinery. Gian Maria Volonte is fantastic. This movie is about as cynical as they come.

    Week #11 in my 52 weeks of Italian cinema

  • Fists in the Pocket

    Fists in the Pocket

    Wow. This would be a bold movie for today but the fact that it came out in '65 is pretty astounding. Such a lean, mean movie. The entire cast is great, all 4 siblings have all of these layers to unpack. The scene early on where Ale is swatting at his blind mom's face was genuinely startling and Lou Castel's performance feels dangerous beginning to end. Gorgeous black and white cinematography. Morricone's score is outstanding. It has such an eerie vibe. Really, really impressed.

    Week #10 in my 52 weeks of Italian cinema

  • Senso

    Senso

    First Visconti I've seen. Gorgeous Technicolor and some serious melodrama. Alida Valli is great. Really impressive costuming and set decoration, it all feels authentic. I didn't really know anything about this era of Italian history, this was a good overview. Really impressive war sequences.

    Week #9 in my 52 weeks of Italian cinema

  • The Conformist

    The Conformist

    First Bertolucci I've seen. A brilliant edit structure, I'm in awe at how well this is put together. It has a beautiful flow. Gorgeous cinematography, too. I believe this is the first Italian film I've seen that deals directly with the Fascist movement and the fallout of Mussolini so there are a lot of interesting themes and ideas to unpack. Fascinating character piece and political thriller that slowly unfolds into a dark psycho-sexual drama. Brutal final act.

    The film is…

  • Dillinger Is Dead

    Dillinger Is Dead

    A fitting watch for the Covid era. Wild set design. The photographic effects on the final shot were a really interesting choice. This one didn’t totally click for me but glad I checked it out and I might revisit this one someday.

    Week #7 in my 52 weeks of Italian cinema

  • Il Sorpasso

    Il Sorpasso

    A broad comedy with an emotional vulnerability and surprisingly heavy ending. This is probably one of the earliest examples of the odd couple road movie I've seen and Vittorio Gassman's character really is helping me get a grasp on Italian comedy. Beautiful location photography. The film is a nice balance of big jokes and really quiet moments. The reference to Antonioni was a funny little bit. I have never seen a car stereo that takes 45s before and I love it. Also any movie that has an emotionally revealing ping pong match is good in my books.

    Week #6 in my 52 weeks of Italian cinema

  • The Shining

    The Shining

    ★★★★★

    With Gourley & Rust commentary track. Happy to learn I'm not the only one that wants to watch this movie purely for the job interview scene. This is a weirdly comforting movie for me, I've lost track of how many times I've seen it. New details to find every time.