With this stunningly visceral portrait of self-destructive machismo, Martin Scorsese created one of the truly great and visionary works of modern cinema. Robert De Niro pours his blood, sweat, and brute physicality into the Oscar-winning role of Jake La Motta, the rising middleweight boxer from the Bronx whose furious ambition propels him to success within the ring but whose unbridled paranoia and jealousy tatter his relationships with everyone in his orbit, including his brother and manager (Joe Pesci) and gorgeous, streetwise wife (Cathy Moriarty). Thelma Schoonmaker’s Oscar-winning editing, Michael Chapman’s extraordinarily tactile black-and-white cinematography, and Frank Warner’s ingenious sound design combine to make RAGING BULL a uniquely powerful exploration of violence on multiple levels—physical, emotional, psychic, and spiritual. … Read full post…Raging Bull
For decades, journalist Jep Gambardella has charmed and seduced his way through the glittering nightlife of Rome. Since the legendary success of his only novel, he has been a permanent fixture in the city’s literary and elite social circles. But on his sixty-fifth birthday, Jep unexpectedly finds himself taking stock of his life, turning his cutting wit on himself and his contemporaries, and looking past the lavish nightclubs, parties, and cafés to find Rome itself, in all its monumental glory: a timeless landscape of absurd, exquisite beauty. Featuring sensuous cinematography, a lush score, and an award-winning central performance by the great Toni Servillo, this transporting experience by the brilliant Italian director Paolo Sorrentino is a breathtaking Felliniesque tale of decadence and lost love. … Read full post…The Great Beauty
This masterwork by Krzysztof Kieślowski is one of the twentieth century’s greatest achievements in visual storytelling. Originally made for Polish television, Dekalog focuses on the residents of a housing complex in late-Communist Poland, whose lives become subtly intertwined as they face emotional dilemmas that are at once deeply personal and universally human. Its ten hour-long films, drawing from the Ten Commandments for thematic inspiration and an overarching structure, grapple deftly with complex moral and existential questions concerning life, death, love, hate, truth, and the passage of time. … Read full post…Dekalog
Krzysztof Kieślowski’s “Three colours trilogy” is a set of three films loosely dealing with the three colours of the french flag, representing the three ideals of the French Republic: liberty, equality, fraternity, in a typically Kieślowski way. All films are filmed in French, or French and Polish, and like his earlier works, are set to the haunting scores by Kieślowski’s traditional collaborating composer, Zbigniew Preisner. … Read full post…Three Colours trilogy
Director: Aki KaurismäkiCountry: Finland, FranceYear: 2011Runtime: 1hr 33minLanguage: FrenchSubtitles: English The Film Le Havre (‘The Haven’) is a 2011 comedy-drama film produced, written, and directed by Aki Kaurismäki and starring André Wilms, Kati Outinen, Jean-Pierre Darroussin and Blondin Miguel. It tells the story of a shoeshiner who tries to save an immigrant child in the French port city Le Havre. The film was produced by Kaurismäki’s Finnish company Sputnik with international co-producers in France and Germany. It is Kaurismäki’s second French-language film, after La Vie de Bohème from 1992. The film premiered in competition at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival,
Luchino Visconti’s award-winning classic examines the solitary life of a retired American professor (Burt Lancaster) who lives alone in a luxurious palazzo in Rome. When he is confronted by a vulgar Italian marchesa and her companions – her lover, her daughter and the daugther’s boyfriend – he is forced to rent them an apartment on the upper floor of his palazzo. Before long his quiet routine is turned upside down and the introverted professor becomes entangled in his tenants’ machinations. In the midst of this chaos each of the new neighbors’ lives – including that of the professor himself – takes an unexpected but inevitable turn.
Visconti’s penultimate film, Conversation Piece marks the culmination of his career as a master of Italian cinema. … Read full post…Conversation Piece