Tag Archives: Italian cinema

RIP Gianfranco D’Angelo (1936 – 2021)

Gianfranco D’Angelo was an Italian actor and comedian. In Italy known for television variety and comedy shows; outside of Italy for commedia sexy all’italiana such as Biancaneve & Co. (1982) and B-movies such as Mondo candido (1975) in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Mondo candido (1975)

Mondo candido (1975) is an interesting product.

It is an Italian film in the acclaimed mondo genre directed by Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi. The film is a liberal adaptation of Voltaire’s 1759 novel Candide.

It was partly shot on location at Château de Pierrefonds.

Researching Mondo candido, I find out that there is actually a book on shockumentaries: Sweet & Savage (2006) by Mark Goodall.

From that book on Mondo candido:

“He skips off back to the castle and we are back where we started on his metaphysical journey, older if not wiser. Although considered a failure, artistically and conceptually, Mondo Candido still enjoys a strange allure. There are still glimpses of the Jacopetti and Prosperi spirit in this unforgettable overblown, Technicolor indulgence.”

Check out the bibliography of Sweet & Savage. I’ve taken the liberty to put on my pages.

RIP Antonio Salines (1936 – 2021)

Antonio Salines was an Italian actor known for his parts in MonellaThe Gamecock, and Senso ’45.

He is also the devil in Liebeskonzil (1982) which is available now in a German-only bad quality YouTube version.

Liebeskonzil (1982)

Liebeskonzil (1982) is a film by Werner Schroeter, based on the scandal play The Love Council (1894) by Oskar Panizza.

The play [and the film] are set in 1495, during the first historically documented outbreak of syphilis.

It portrays the dreaded venereal disease as God’s vengeance on his sexually hyperactive human creatures, especially those surrounding Pope Alexander VI.

Panizza was charged with 93 counts of blasphemy and served his full 12-month sentence in prison.

RIP Giuseppe Rotunno (1923 – 2021)

The Stendhal Syndrome 

Giuseppe Rotunno was an Italian cinematographer with a long career, working with many great directors, check your regular sources.

One of these films is The Stendhal Syndrome , the last feature film he worked on.

There is a full version of The Stendhal Syndrome on YouTube, a film I had not seen before which turned out to be very enjoyable.

I especially liked the opening scene at the Uffizi in Florence with The Birth of Venus by Botticelli, Caravaggio’s MedusaLandscape with the Fall of Icarus by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Paolo Uccello’s The Battle of San Romano and The Duke and Duchess of Urbino by Piero della Francesca.

When Asia is walking towards the Uffizi, you can already see the distinctive style of Rotunno’s cinematography, already invoking the fainting of Asia once she stands before the Bruegel painting.

After that, when she falls into the Icarus painting, she kisses a grouper fish. Beautiful!

The film is full of these little details, in her hotel room hangs a copy of The Night Watch by Rembrandt. She walks into this and finds herself on the streets, blurring the lines between fact and fiction.

RIP Alberto Grimaldi (1925 – 2021)

Alberto Grimaldi was an Italian film producer known for producing The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Last Tango in Paris, but more importantly for us, Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom by Pasolini.

That Sodom film you don’t need to see to form an opinion about. It’s better just to read about it and let it lead you to the manuscript by Sade on which it was based.

That book has the lines:

“How many times, damn it, have I not desired that one could attack the sun, deprive the universe of it, or use it to set fire to the world”.

But I digress.

RIP Lucia Bosè (1931 – 2020)

Toute la mémoire du monde (1956)

Lucia Bosè was an Italian actress with a long and fruitful career.

I choose to remember her by a documentary film she did not act in.

In Toute la mémoire du monde (1956), an identified photo of her is on the cover of a fictional book with the title Mars.

The cover of that book is unveiled at 9:42. The audience follows the book around the library as it makes its way to the shelves.

RIP Flavio Bucci (1947 – 2020)

Flavio Bucci was an Italian actor known in my canon for his tiny part in the metafilm Closed Circuit (1978).

I wrote about that film here.

In that film Flavio Bucci sports thick glasses and plays the part of a nerdy sociologist who takes notes of the audience’s reactions during the screening of the film.

Afterwards he is interrogated by the police. Has he seen anything which can solve the murder of a man in the audience by a gun man IN the film?

You can see Mr. Bucci from 27:20 onwards.

Mr. Bucci also played in the sex comedy Gegè Bellavita (1978) which can be found in full on YouTube.

RIP Giulio Questi

RIP Giulio Questi, 90, Italian director and screenwriter, known for Django Kill and La morte ha fatto l’uovo (Death Laid an Egg).

The enigmatic clip above is from La morte ha fatto l’uovo (1968) starring Jean-Louis Trintignant and Ewa Aulin. It appears to be a piece of YouTube bricolage. Perhaps the music in the clip is from the film, music by Bruno Maderna?

I’ve previously mentioned Death Laid an Egg.

Update: the full movie in English:

Update:

The full soundtrack is online:

The soundtrack is indeed composed, arranged and conducted Bruno Maderna and it appears to be the best thing of the film. However, the high modernism of Maderna in combination with this piece of genre cinema makes the film a perfect example of nobrow artsploitation and had I not been three years old when this film came out, I would have surely wanted to see it.

Thematically, the film reminds me of Pasolini’s Pigsty. That’s probably because in both films a victim is fed as animal food, in Pigsty (“eaten by pigs in the sty”) as pig food, in Death Laid an Egg (“the farm chickens feed on Marco’s ground corpse”) as chicken food. Which reminds me of Soylent Green, the film in which, after euthanasia, dead humans are made into crackers  and fed to living humans.