Showing posts with label italy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label italy. Show all posts

8 January 2015

Vittorio Di Sica's Sunflower Starring Sophia Loren Re-Mastered To Be Re-released On DVD

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Oscar-winning screen siren Sophia Loren's classic Sunflower finally gets the release it deserves as it arrives on DVD and VOD in a stunningly re-mastered version, presented in its original widescreen format courtesy of Argent Films.

Loren (Two Women, A Special Day) and award-winning leading man Marcello Mastroianni (Dolce Vita, 8 1/2) are newlywed lovers torn apart by war, despite almost impossible odds they never give up on one another. Originally released in 1970, the film comes to DVD in a newly restored version, taken from HD elements, befitting its sumptuous photography (by Giuseppe Rotunno, who lit most Italian headliners including The Leopard, he was Fellini's cinematographer and received an Oscar nomination for All That Jazz), and production values. Sunflower is presented for the first time in its entirety featuring eight minutes of previously unseen scenes and comes complete with an exclusive documentary Sophia, Yesterday Today Tomorrow, woven around an intimate interview with Loren. The DVD comes with alternative language options: the English language version and optional Italian audio with new improved, switchable, English subtitles.


Twelve days before WW II breaks out, Giovanna (Loren) marries Antonio (Mastroianni), with no desire to fight in the conflict he fakes insanity in an attempt to avoid the draft. Officials see through
the charade and Antonio is sent to the Russian front, where soldiers must endure unbearable freezing temperatures and a short supply of rations.

As the war ends, Antonio is left to die in the snow on the Russian front, but is found by a beautiful Russian girl who hides him and helps him recover. Giovanna refuses to believe that her missing in action husband is dead and travels to the sunflower plains of Ukraine - seemingly to the end of the earth, in by-then post-war Russia - to search for the man she vowed she would never abandon.

Produced by Loren's husband, Carlo Ponti of Doctor Zhivago fame, Sunflower recalls Zhivago with its rich, wide-vista production of this heartfelt drama of war-torn lovers. Underpinned by Henry Mancini's Oscar-nominated rousing score and magnificently directed by one of Italy's greatest filmmakers, Vittorio De Sica (Bicycle Thieves, Two Women), who taps into his Neo-realist roots to depict the human tragedy of war-displaced persons as seen through the heroic determination of Loren's character.

SUNFLOWER will also launch on iTunes on 26 January followed by other selected VOD platforms exclusively for rental & download to own

22 August 2014

Send In The Clowns As Fellini's I Clowns The Masters of Cinema Series Release

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Eureka! Entertainment have announced the release of I CLOWNS [The Clowns], the first ever UK Blu-ray release of Fellini's masterpiece which has been out of circulation for years. The film has long been regarded by Fellini enthusiasts and cinephiles as one of the director's greatest films. The release includes a lengthy essay-film by the greatest Italian critic, Adriano Aprà, and will be released in a Dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD) edition as part of Eureka’s award-winning The Masters of Cinema Series on 20 October 2014.

One of the Fellini films which has been out of circulation for many years, I clowns [The Clowns] has long been revered by Fellini enthusiasts for the several decades since its release as among the Maestro's finest works — a thrilling spectacle, once seen for the first time, — and a picture which after multiple viewings easily takes its place alongside such classics as La strada, Le notti di Cabiria, La dolce vita, Satyricon, Amarcord... but in a register all its own.

I clowns plays out in dazzling colour and in episodic cascade, just as in all of Fellini's late-60s-and-beyond films. As the circus rolls into town, and the big-tent gets erected, the clowns execute their acts with feverish can-you-believe-it bravado. It's all true — and yet not a "documentary" per se; rather, something in-between a dramatic-comedic portrayal of gags-at-play and the memoria of all that makes the spark for childhood inspiration to ignite into creative virtuosity... and/or into something like Federico Fellini.

A great and under acknowledged treasure of the cinema, I clowns takes its place alongside such films as Bergman's Carnies' Twilight, Ophuls's Lola Montès, Étaix's Yoyo, Jerry Lewis's The Day the Clown Cried, and Tati's Parade as one of the grand portraits of the clowning circus, of a bygone era of the wandering entertainer. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Federico Fellini's I clowns in a special Dual Format (Blu-ray + DVD) edition for the first time in the UK.

Watch this rare clip of I Clowns


SPECIAL FEATURES including:

• New high-definition 1080p presentation of feature on the Blu-ray, and in a progressive encode on the DVD
• New and improved English subtitles
• Fellini's Circus — an essay-film about the picture by the great Italian critic and scholar Adriano Aprà
• A 36-PAGE BOOKLET featuring new writing about the film, rare archival imagery, and more!

Hopefully nearer the release we will hope to review I Clowns and the date of Fellini's masterpiece will be 20th October 2014 released on Dual format. You can pre-order/Order your copy of I Clowns (The Clowns) [Masters of Cinema] Dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD) (1970)

23 February 2014

Masters Of Cinema Blu-ray Review - Roma (1972)

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Genre:
Comedy, Drama, World Cinema
Distributor:
Eureka! Entertainment
BD Release Date:
24th February 2014 (UK)
Rating:15
Director:
Federico Fellini
Cast:
Britta Barnes, Peter Gonzales Falcon, Fiona Florence
buy: ROMA (Masters of Cinema) (Blu-ray)

Roma is one of Fellini’s most ambitious films but also one of his most narratively lacking, which at times can be extremely frustrating. It was released the year before the similar but more narrative led Amarcord, which is considered among his finest and rightfully so. Both films however deal with the rise of fascism in Italy during the 30s and both present a snapshot of the place it’s set.

Roma is a fragmented and at times surrealistic look at the city of Rome. Half of the narrative deals with young Fellini arriving in Rome during the Mussolini years. The other half is set during present day, which concerns Fellini (played by himself) making a film about the city of Rome. This is not untypical of Fellini’s films especially 8 ½, which is one of the great examples of film being an imitation of the director’s life.

The film’s lack of narrative can be confusing at times which can become irritating, but Fellini is one of those director’s whose images are so hypnotic that it somehow works. Fellini is also one of the most compassionate directors and he loves every character in his films greatly, no matter the social circumstances of them. Fellini’s films are often called grotesque but I’ve always found they just reflected his reality. It’s always worth noting Fellini was a cartoonist and that shaped how he saw the world, not unlike his obvious successor Terry Gilliam.

It’s Fellini in his most indulgent but even that is much better than most other people’s films, and it’s a fun satirical romp though Rome. The comparison between the Catholic fashion show and the brothel is one of Fellini’s finest moments in a career of many. The disc boosts a great transfer and an interview with Chris Wagstaff (lecturer in Italian cinema) along with roughly 20 minutes of deleted scenes and Italian and international trailers.

★★★★

Ian Schultz


30 January 2014

Francesco Rosi’s LE MANI SULLA CITTÀ Joining Masters Of Cinema Family This March

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Eureka! Entertainment have announced the release of LE MANI SULLA CITTÀ [Hands Over The City] starring Rod Steiger (In The Heat Of The Night, The Pawnbroker, On The Waterfront) who is ferocious as a scheming land developer in Francesco Rosi’s blistering work of social realism and the winner of the 1963 Venice Film Festival Golden Lion. LE MANI SULLA CITTÀ [Hands Over The City] will be released in a Dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD) edition as part of Eureka! Entertainment's award-winning The Masters of Cinema Series on 17 March 2014.

“one of the very few left wing movies that one can imagine actually reaching the mass audience it's aimed at” – Time Out

Winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, Francesco Rosi's Le mani sulla città [Hands Over the City] is one of the finest political dramas ever made – a ferocious, invigorating exploration of civic corruption in post-war Naples with the intensity of the best Hollywood thrillers.

Beginning with the collapse of an apartment building in a working-class district, the film zeroes in on the subsequent investigation of responsibility surrounding the disaster. At the centre is Edoardo Nottola (Rod Steiger), a wealthy land developer and council member of the government's ruling party, who is determined to keep his personal and professional interests in the building of new government housing as intertwined as possible.

With sterling performances and visual prowess, Rosi meticulously unpicks the tangled threads of interconnected favours and unscrupulous culture of self-reward within the halls of governmental power. This brilliant exposé (a major influence on countless filmmakers, including Coppola's Godfather films) remains as blazingly topical as the day of its premiere. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present this film for the first time on home viewing in the UK in a new Dual-Format (Blu-ray & DVD) edition.



SPECIAL FEATURES:

- New high-definition 1080p presentation
- Optional English subtitles
- Additional extras to be announced
- PLUS: A booklet containing the words of Francesco Rosi, rare imagery, and more!

Pre-order / buy Le Mani Sulla Citta - (Dual Format Blu-ray &DVD)

As usual we will review this one so stay tuned when Le Man Sulla Citta arrives on 17th March 2014.

15 January 2014

Arrow Video Get 'Naughty' With Tinto Brass Double Bill Home Release of Cheeky And Frivolous Lola

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Arrow Video is excited to announce the UK release of Tinto Brass’ Cheeky and Frivolous Lola. Both titles will be available to own in the UK on 10th February on Dual Format Blu-ray and DVD and feature packaging that will showcase the original poster artwork as well as a reversible sleeve with newly commissioned artwork by The Red Dress. These editions will also include collectors’ booklets featuring new writing on the film by critics Maitland McDonagh and David Flint respectively, both of which will be illustrated with original archive stills.

When free-spirited beauty Carla (Yuliya Mayarchuk) moves to London, her search for a flat leads to a lesbian seduction by estate agent Moira (Francesca Nunzi), much to the horror of Carla’s boyfriend Matteo (Jarno Berardi) still stuck in their native Venice. And then he discovers a cache of letters from an ex-boyfriend, accompanied by a highly revealing and very public photograph of her…

Ravishingly shot in two of the world’s great cities, bouncily scored by Pino Donaggio, and crammed with wall-to-wall nudity and casual sexual flings, Cheeky is as lighthearted as its title suggests, but it’s subtler and more philosophical than the average sex romp.

In particular, it’s a genuinely moving look at problems arising when a desire to remain scrupulously faithful collides with the lure of baser instincts. Carla genuinely loves Matteo, but how can she reassure him when he spots temptation around every corner?



Frivolous LolaSynopsis
One of the sunniest of Tinto Brass’s erotic comedies, this sets its breezy tone from the opening scene in which Lola (Anna Ammirati) cycles around a small Po Valley town in a flapping skirt that leaves nothing to the imagination.
But it’s the 1950s, and her baker fiancée Masetto (Max Parodi) is determined that Lola remains a virgin until their wedding night. However, she is equally set on establishing whether or not he’s a good lover before they tie the knot. His dough-kneading technique seems promising, but how can she be sure without an expert to compare him with? In short, can Masetto live up to the erotic ideals professed by Lola’s mother’s lover (Patrick Mower)?

Fortunately, the outwardly innocent town turns out to be a hotbed of licentiousness, with opportunities for voyeurism and maybe more around every corner – all in the interests of self-improving research, of course.



Cheeky - Special Features
· High Definition Blu-ray and Standard Definition DVD presentation of the film uncut and in widescreen for the first time!

· Optional English and Italian audio

· Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian audio

· Featurette on the film with director Tinto Brass

· Original Trailer

· Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly designed artwork by The Red Dress

· Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic and author Maitland McDonagh, illustrated with original archive stills.

Frivolous Lola - Special Features
· High Definition Blu-ray and Standard Definition DVD presentation of the film uncut and in widescreen for the first time

· Optional English and Italian audio

· Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian audio

· Original Trailer

· Alternate Italian language opening and closing credits

· Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly designed artwork by The Red Dress

· Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic David Flint, illustrated with original archive stills

31 December 2013

Blu-Ray Review - Il Bidone (1955)

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Genre:
Comedy, World Cinema, Drama
Distributor:
Eureka! Entertainment
Rating:
12
BD Release Date:
30th December 2013(UK)
Director:
Federico Fellini
Cast:
Broderick Crawford, Richard Basehart, Giulietta Masina
Buy: Il Bidone [Masters of Cinema] Dual Format [Blu-ray & DVD]


Il Bidone is one of Fellini’s early films and came out after the worldwide success of La Strada. It was a big flop in the film’s native Italy and abroad. It was made when Fellini for all purposes was still working in the school of Italian neo-realism. Fellini from the 60s onwards would be known for surrealist satires, which I prefer.

Il Bidone is about a group of small time swindlers (the title translated is The Swindlers) called Augusto (Broderick Crawford), Picasso (Richard Basehart), and Roberto (Franco Fabrizi) who prey on poor farmers and slum dwellers. The role of Augusto was originally intended for Humphey Bogart, which would have been interesting. Fellini always a mischievous director in the opening scene dresses up his swindlers as Catholic priest. They trick some poor farmers out of their money by in exchange for some bogus buried treasure.

The film has a great set piece in which the conmen pretend to be city officials. They go to a slum and pretend to be city officials and scam everyone by saying they will give them a council house if they put down a deposit. It’s perfect shows the lengths that the 3 conmen will go to get a quick buck.

The film isn’t Fellini at his finest see his masterful 8 ½ but it’s a interesting slice of neo-realism which a slight film noir edge. It was criticised by some for just being a crime film but it’s a scathing attack on the greed. It’s worth checking out and as usual Masters of Cinema has done a very nice package.

★★★★

Ian Schultz