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

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


28 November 2013

Felini's Il Bidone (1955) To Get Duel Format Masters Of Cinema Release

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Genre:
Comedy,Drama, World Cinema, Arthouse
Distributor:
Eureka! Entertainment
Release Date:
30th December 2013 (UK)
Format:
Dual (DVD&Blu-Ray)
Rating:
12
Director:
Federico Felini
Cast:
franco fabrizi, richard basehart, broderick crawford, Giulietta Masina,


Eureka Entertainment have announced that they will be releasing IL BIDONE, one of the most acclaimed films of the 1950s by legendary filmmaker Federico Fellini (8-1/2, Nights of Cabiria, La Dolce Vita). The first Blu-ray release anywhere in the world of this classic drama, will be released in the UK in a Dual Format (Blu-ray &DVD) edition as part of the Masters of Cinema Series on 30 December 2013.

Federico Fellini followed up his iconic breakthrough La strada with this brilliant drama - an unsparing look at the dog-eat-dog values of post war Italian society that nonetheless manages to navigate expertly between the lightly comic and the emotionally stark to become one of his richest, most moving works.

Il bidone [The Swindle] follows three small-time conmen - the ageing Augusto (Broderick Crawford), "Picasso" (Richard Basehart), and Roberto (Franco Fabrizi) - as they prey upon the poor and gullible for modest gains. However, once Augusto is unexpectedly reunited with his daughter, now struggling with her studies, the moral and emotional demands of his lifestyle begin to take their toll sooner than he had anticipated.

With its masterful set pieces and host of superb performances (including the director's wife and muse Giuletta Masina), this forms the centrepiece of what has been termed Fellini's "Trilogy of Loneliness" (with bookending films La strada and Le notti di Cabiria), and may be the darkest examination of human nature he ever attempted. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present this long-undervalued classic in a new high-definition restoration.



SPECIAL FEATURES

• Beautiful new high-definition master, with the film appearing in 1080p on the Blu-ray
• Optional English subtitles
• Original theatrical trailer
• 36-PAGE BOOKLET featuring the words of Federico Fellini, rare imagery, and more!
• More to be announced!

Pre-order or Buy - Il Bidone [Masters of Cinema] Dual Format [Blu-ray & DVD]

10 November 2013

Blu-Ray Review - Federico Fellini's 8½

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Genre:
Arthouse, World Cinema, Drama, Classic
Release Date:
11th November 2013 (UK)
Distributor:
Argent Films
Rating:
15
Director:
Federico Fellini
Cast:
Marcello Mastroianni, Anouk Aimee, Sandra Milo, Barbara Steele
Buy 8 ½: [DVD] or [Blu-ray]


8 ½ is one of those films like Citizen Kane or 2001: A Space Odyssey that every film critic pretty much agrees is one of the films that changed film forever. It’s a film that influenced a wide range of films from Brazil to All That Jazz and Woody Allen’s unfairly maligned Stardust Memories. The great Italian maestro film director Federico Fellini was at the helm and it’s quite possibly the greatest film ever made about making a film. 8 ½ was later adapted/remade at the musical Nine but the less said about that the better.

The plot concerns Guido Anselmi (Marcello Mastroianni) who is a director who is having “director’s block” while trying to finish a science fiction film. Guido is quite obviously based on Fellini and Mastroianni was always director’s alter ego on screen. Guido’s marriage is failing apart and has lost interest in finishing the film. The film is a classic mixture of fantasy, memories and reality and at times it’s never clear which is which.

8 ½ like many of the truly great films like Citizen Kane or Brazil it’s all really a great big magic trick. Fellini was first and foremost a dreamer like Orson Welles and Terry Gilliam, who cites Fellini as his biggest influence and 8 ½ as his favourite film. He tried to make cinematic dreams with his great films and he plays around with time and space but also the form of cinema itself. Its both a film that plays with avant-garde film techniques but simultaneously is also extremely watchable and relatively commercial and in turn it’s a pitch-perfect juggling act.

Fellini was also a cartoonist (like Gilliam) and his post-Neo-Realist films certainly have a cartoonish take on life. The characters at times especially the female characters have an also caricature quality to them in the best possible way. It’s all shot in truly beautiful black and white widescreen by Gianni Di Venanzo who was the Italian cinematographer of the early 60s but he died very young sadly.

8 ½ has rightfully earned its reputation at simply one of the greatest film ever made. It’s really THE Fellini film and you really must experience the film if you haven’t already. It’s film like Citizen Kane that was one of the building blocks of modern cinema.

★★★★★

Ian Schultz



23 September 2013

La Notte (The Night) Masters Of Cinema Blu-Ray Review (1961)

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Rating:
12
BD/DVD Release Date:
23rd September 2013 (UK)
Distributor:
Eureka Video
Director:
Michelangelo Antonioni
Cast:
Jeanne Moreau, Marcello Mastroianni, Monica Vitti
Buy La Notte:
(Blu-ray) / [DVD]

La Notte is a classic slice of Antonioni. It was made in his native Italy before he later came west and made films such as Blow-Up, Zabriskie Point and The Passenger. It was made at the height of the Italian art films of the early with other films such 8 ½, The Leopard and Accattone. These filmmakers were influenced by or either had their start in the Italian neo-realist movement of the 40s and early 50s. The films instead being about social issues become increasing more internalised and dealt with much more existential themes about alienation and men’s role in modern society.

The film is set during the course of one day not unlike Antonioni’s Blow-Up. La Notte is about a upper middle class married couple, the man Giovanni Pontano (Marcello Mastroianni) and his wife Lidia (Jeanne Moreau). Giovanni is a writer and his latest book La stagine (The Season) has been recently published. They film starts with them visiting a friend in hospital who is terminally ill. Lidia is so upset by the state of her friend she leaves early but Giovanni stays on. On his way out he is almost seduced by a crazy young woman but the nurses pull them apart.

During the course of the day the couple head off to the writer’s book launch party. His wife wonders off from the party but they meet up again in their old neighbourhood, they lived there when they were newly wed. They decide to go to a nightclub and later a party. Over the course of the day their marriage and communication is tested to its limits.

The film is noted for its use of landscape that is empty and barren much like the film’s main protagonists. The film’s credits are over an astonishing shot of city of the Milan from a skyscraper as the camera slowing descends. The film is deliberately made so it bores you at times just like how the married couple is bored of each other.

The film boosts 2 outstanding performances from Mastroianni and Moreau who were really at the top of their game. The character Giovanni is too involved in his narcissistic and needs to plan things. Lidia is the opposite she is too involved in the real word cause she just wonders and distracted by things in the sky and so on.

La Notte is well remembered for it’s stunning cinematography by Gianni Di Venanzo who also shoot 8 ½ starring Mastroianni. Gianni shot the majority of Antonioni’s Italian films. La Notte uses lots of high contrast black and white photography especially at the party segment of the film that is simply breaktaking as is the lighting.

The film was a favourite of Stanley Kubrick, Ingmar Bergman and Andrei Tarkovsky. All these filmmakers had a similar detached view or even cold aesthetic so it’s no surprise that they found a kindred spirit in Antonioni even though Bergman did have a real love/hate thing with his films. It’s a fascinating film with gorgeous cinematography, great performances and a perfect blend of a passion, emotion but also emotional coldness.


★★★★1/2

Ian Schultz

26 June 2013

EIFF 2013 - Il Futuro (The Future) Review

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Rating: 15
Release Date: 28th June 2013 (EIFF)
Stars: Manuela Martelli, Luigi Ciardo, Rutger Hauer
Director: Alicia Scherson


Alicia Scherson's third feature-length film, Il Futuro, is a staggeringly impressive watch. Adapted from Chilean novel Una Novelita Lumpen by Roberto Bolano, Il Futuro is a thrilling tale of suspense, eroticism, and intrigue set against a backdrop of vintage Hollywood Gothic noir.

Il Futuro follows two teenage orphans, Bianca and Tomas, who become intertwined with two untrustworthy opportunists from the local gym. These acquaintances persuade Bianca (the eldest of the orphans, played by Manuela Martelli) to infiltrate and rob the home of one of their ex-clients, Marciste (Rutger Hauer) - a blind, former Mister Universe and movie star who has become something of a recluse. However, Bianca's developing feelings for Marciste seem set to compromise her original intentions.
From the onset Scherson's distinct visual aesthetic is apparent - the titles appear in thick gold lettering giving viewers a sense of this tale of Hollywood noir that is about to unfold. The director builds up and impressive sense of intrigue and suspense in the film's slow-burning opening - one of scenes sees Bianca and her brother view the now-mangled car that killed their parents. Scherson films the scene whilst slowly zooming in on the macabre wreckage set against a soundtrack of rumbling unease. This immediately crafts a sense of dark alienation that initially haunts Il Futuro and showcases Scherson's powerful and refreshing directorial style.

The narrative unfolds like a Hitchcockian suspense story with no predictable trajectory and countless enigmas that hit the viewer, from the unease provided by Tomas's untrustworthy gym acquaintances to the truth behind the relationship between Bianca and Marciste. These answers are unravelled throughout Scherson's well-crafted screenplay - although they ensure the viewers brain is continually at work throughout this intriguing feature.

There is a marvellous sense of the Gothic in both the aesthetic of Il Futuro and throughout the film' narrative. Marciste's mansion has echoes of Blanche and Jane Hudson's decaying home from What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? where we see decaying architecture and covered furniture, with remnants of Marciste's film career scattered amongst. Marciste could initially attract comparisons with the Beast from Beauty and the Beast - he is a reclusive, impaired creature whose humanity, warmth and vulnerability begins to show through his time with Bianca. Rutger Hauer is utterly sublime - a true master of his craft, and Il Futuro provides us with his finest performance in recent years.

Il Futuro further shows echoes of Hollywood noir with Bianca and Marciste's romance gradually paralleling those from Marciste's old films - however, viewers will gain a further sense of unease through their knowledge of the darker motivations that have lead Bianca to seek the blind actor out. Martelli's performance is also exceptional - seeing Bianca begin to fall for Marciste makes for a heart-warming romance, however the actress ensures that we still question whether Bianca will steal from Marciste.

Scherson has crafted a fascinating slice of gothic noir that proves to be both sublimely acted and directed. Il Futuro is packed with suspense, heart and nostalgia - resulting in an outstandingly original combination.

★★★★★

Andrew McArthur



30 May 2013

Tinto Brass' All Ladies Do It / The Key Blu-Ray Review

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Watching the films of Tinto Brass is an ultimately disappointing experience. All Ladies Do It (1992) starring Claudia Koll and Paolo Lanza and The Key (1983) with Frank Finlay and Stefania Sandrelli, both recently released by Arrow Films on special dual format Blu-ray and dvd, showcase perfectly what was wrong with his work. Clearly a gifted filmmaker (his artistic inclinations come from the influence of his grandfather, renowned Gorizian painter Italico Brass), his talent was wasted on pornography - though he likes to class his films as erotic which he sees as different, but which really amount to one and the same.

In All Ladies Do It, loosely based on Mozart's opera Così fan tutti (of which the film's title is a direct translation), Diana (Koll) is happily married to Paolo (Lanza). Unfortunately Diana's sexual appetites are stronger than those of Paolo and unable to get satisfaction from him, she sets out on a voyage of self discovery and fulfilment much to her husband's anger and humiliation.

The Key, Brass's first film since his notorious masterpiece Caligula (1979), follows Nino (Finlay) as a man who fears loosing the love of his wife, the beautiful Teresa (Sandrelli), because of his inability to satisfy her sexually. To 'spice' things up he takes erotic photographs of Teresa then arranges for her to have an affair with the young man Laszlo (Franco Branciaroli) who develops the images. In the meantime Nino follows the progress of Teresa and Laszlo's blossoming relationship by reading her diary, fully aware that she in turn is reading his ......

Pornography is a strange subject. What turns on one person sexually may leave another positively frigid, and vice versa. There is a fine line between what can be seen as artistic (i.e. erotic) and simple, straightforward pornography, which is more or less sex for the sake of it. A naked woman in a top shelf 'lad's mag' is seen as degrading and pornographic. Take the same naked woman, a celebrity photographer and a decadent setting, publish the resulting photograph in a high-end fashion magazine and hey-presto you have art.

Which is in actual fact a good summation of Brass's work, where stunning Venetian locations, dreamy artisan interiors and melodic scores by composers like Ennio Morricone, strive to lend his films an air of bohemian acceptability. All Ladies Do It in particular has scenes which look like they were lifted straight from the pages of a late 1980's issue of British Vogue, with the character of Diana running through the rain lashed alleyways of Venice in sharply cut suits and jauntily angled, picture hats.

However any in-depth study of the deeper content and meaning of these films is, on the whole, unnecessary as, when stripped bare, their story-lines clearly exist purely to link various scenes centring around the often sordid sexual proclivities of the individuals involved. Instead, if you really feel the need to watch the films of Brass (purely as an academic exercise in order to broaden your experience of the overall, cinematic oeuvre), then they should be taken purely on their visual merits and quickly crossed off the your 'to experience' list. The interiors for the films evocatively capture the eras in which they are both set - a heavy 1940's wartime mustiness for The Key, highlighted by the complete opposite in the austere, almost clinical late 1980's / early 90's air of All Ladies Do It. These, along with the otherworldliness of the Venice exteriors, form a perfect backdrop against which to show the sexual shenanigans of a group of characters with whom the audience feel little connection, neither sympathetic or otherwise - one can't escape the sense that the cast are there simply to perform a sexual function with, despite their best efforts, little emotion involved.

Ultimately, if you feel the need to watch Brass's films, they should be approached in the same way as most pornographic material - briefly 'stimulating' when they last, but providing little in the way of a deep or meaningful experience.

★★☆☆☆

Cleaver Patterson

All Ladies Do it
Rating: 18
DVD/BD Release Date: 20th May 2013 (UK)
Director:Tinto Brass
Cast: Claudia Koll,Paolo Lanza, Franco Branciaroli, Ornella Marcucci

BuyAll Ladies Do It [Blu-ray]



The Key
Rating: 18
DVD/BD Release Date: 20th May 2013 (UK)
Director:Tinto Brass
Cast: Stefania Sandrelli, Frank Finlay,Franco Branciaroli, Barbara Cupisti
Buy:The Key [Blu-ray]


22 January 2013

Watch American Red Band Trailer For Neo-Giallo Tulpa

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He's seen as the new leaders of Italian Horror Federico Zampaglione and after his 2009 film Shadow, he returns with his Dario Argento inspired Giallo homage Tulpa.Jinga Films have today released a red band trailer which they have sent to us and you can check that trailer below.

After teasing at Film4 Frightfest Glasgow last year with his 7 minute preview the film premiered at the Film4 Fright Fest London later that summer and despite the best efforts the film came across rather comical.With its tacky sex scenes,with dubbing on par with a 1970's dubbed martial arts or even porn film it looks like Zampaglione has had a major wake up call. It seems a forced trip into the editing room  may have been a saving grace as the dubbing is better, some of the film about 20 minutes has been cut and the festival the film played at after Frightfest like Sitges the response have been alot more positive.

Starring Claudia Gerini (The Passion Of Christ), Michele Placido (Ages Of Love) Nuot Arquint (Shadow) and Michela Cescon, TULPA tells the story of a powerful stock broker who frequents a sex club owned by a mysterious Tibetan guru. Unshackled from the pressure of her job she will do anything to attain a higher consciousness, but when her lovers are murdered in shocking ways, she tries to unmask the anonymous assassin with nightmare consequences.




Thanks to our good friends at Blogomatic3000 we where able to review Tulpa at Frightfest London read our views here.

6 January 2013

Watch Terry Gilliam's Short The Wholly Family

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Missing something? A big gap in your cinematic life anything to do with a certain one Terry Gilliam? Probably. whilst we wait for The Zero Theorem to arrive later this year or early next year the ex-Monty Python member back in 2011 had been busy making a 20 minute short called The Wholly Family for Italian pasta company Garofalo. Set in the company's home town of Naples the short film is part of an annual series to promote the city starring Cristiana Capotondi, Douglas Dean, Nicolas Connolly and Sergio Solli. The film is full of Gilliam's trademark, visual, fantastical storytelling  but most of humor, the film has been playing at various European film festivals with best short film at European Film Awards and now the film is available online in its full glory.

BlizzardKid Shorts Award 2012 - The Wholly Family from BlizzardKid on Vimeo.


A crowded street in Naples city center, plenty of shops selling presepi. A wealthy American couple and Jake, their 10 years-old child, try to push their way through the crowd. While husband and wife argue which street to take, the boy is unwillingly separated from them.

source:ThePlaylist

13 October 2012

Uwe Boll's Zombie Massacre Trailer

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He's the filmmaker many love to hate and for numerous reasons you can see why they hate him but whatever you think he has a cult following and as long that fanbase is around Uwe Boll will keep making those films.  His latest film though this time only as producer Zombie Massacre a full trailer has landed online with Eaters duo Marco Ristori and Luca Boni directing. Based on a 1998 video game which has similarities to Doom but with the undead roaming the lands which look like the same location as Eaters but this Italian duo are experts at low budget flicks so absorb your resources!

It's bog standard stuff however with so many zombie films on the market now we can easily say Zombie Massacre looks like one of the better ones which has Uwe Boll even starring in it as the President of United States!!! No word on the UK&Irish release date just yet but expect it either before the end of this year early next year. Zombie Massacre also stars Tara Cardinal, Mike Mitchell, Jon Campling, Christian Boeving, Gerry Shanahan, Daniel Vivian and Carl Wharton.

A bacteriological weapon developed by the US Government to create a super soldier - spreads an epidemic in a quiet little town in the middle of Eastern Europe. All citizens have been turned into infected zombies. The plan is to bring an atomic bomb into the city's nuclear plant to pretend a terrible accident occurred. No one has to know the truth. A team of mercenaries is hired to complete the mission. The battle is on. Hordes of monsters against the team.

source: DreadCentral

29 August 2012

Frightfest 2012: Paura 3D

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The second film from the Manetti Brothers’ whose The Arrival of Wang played Frightfest Glasgow and is scheduled as part of the Re-Discovery Screen at London Frightfest 2012, Paura 3D (literally translated as Fear 3D) is billed as a 3D thrill ride into terror and whilst the film has its moments (no matter how minor), it cannot compare to the sheer brilliance of the Manetti’s sci-fi opus Wang.

Paura 3D tells the story of mechanic Ale, who after overhearing a conversation between a wealthy customer and the garage owner, takes his best friends, Simone and Marco on a trip to the wealthy owners Rome villa intent on having a wild weekend in his luxury mansion. Bored after raiding the fridge, swimming in the pool and playing video games one of the trio decides to explore the house, never expecting what he finds in the basement…

Lensed in 3D, but loosing nothing in 2D, Paura is a strange film. Filled with a sleazy atmosphere, the film embraces all that is exploitation – extreme examples of sex, violence and gore – only it does so in a way that doesn’t allow the audience to connect with the film. There’s no emotional investment in any of the characters, least of all the three leads who are an unlikeable bunch and the script is less than stellar. The films only saving grace IS the exploitation aspects, which are nothing we haven’t seen before a hundred times and after a while even those run out of steam, leaving a film that feels shallow and uninteresting. The complete antithesis of The Arrival of Wang.

Personally it was hard to watch Paura 3D and not be a little disappointed. After loving the Manetti Brothers’ sci-fi flick, seeing them produce something so generic and so dated (this is the type of film both Italy and the US were churning out during the slasher movie fad of the 80s), is heartbreaking. Here’s hoping the brothers Manetti find their mojo again for their next genre film…

This was a review by Phil from Blogomatic3000

Rating:18
UK Release Date: 25th August 2012 (Frightfest)
Directed by: Antonio Manetti, Marco Manetti
Cast: Francesca Cuttica, Peppe Servillo, Lorenzo Pedrotti, Domenico Diele, Claudio Di Biagio

28 August 2012

Frightfest 2012: Tulpa 3D Review

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Tul-pa (from the Tibetan): meaning a magically produced illusion or creation. The concept of a being or object which is created through sheer discipline alone. It is a materialized thought that has taken physical form.

Italian rock star turned director Federico Zampaglione made a splash in 2009 when his first film Shadow played to a packed audience at London’s Frightfest. Returning some three years later and after teasing the film at Frightfest Glasgow earlier this year, Zampaglione unleashed Tulpa on an eager and willing audience. Word of mouth had built the film up to be one of the must-see films of Saturday, and I for one wasn’t disappointed.

The film tells the story of businesswoman Lisa Boeri: she has a good job, she’s well respected and at the top of her career but she keeps a secret. By night she goes to a seedy club named Tulpa, owned by a guru who teaches her his bizarre esoteric philosophy on finding spiritual and psychological freedom by having anonymous sex with complete strangers.However Lisa finds out her sex club partners are all being murdered in horrible ways one-by-one by a black-gloved killer who seems out to destroy her life. But Lisa can’t talk to the police for fear of revealing her secret and ruining her career, so she has to unmask the anonymous assassin herself…

Taking the tropes of 70s giallo and updating them for a modern audience, Tulpa is an odd, yet fun, mix of the familiar and the new. Adding copious amounts of sex (much more than many of the giallo of the Italian cinema heyday) and not holding back on the violence, Zampaglione throws in a little supernatural edge in the form of Tibetan mysticism to create a neo-giallo that would make even Dario Argento jealous.

Packed with some of the countries biggest stars, including Claudia Gerini in the lead role, Tulpa marks the return of the giallo to the forefront of the Italy’s cinematic output. And from the gloved maniac’s first kill to the final reveal Tulpa is both a nostalgic look back at a now much-maligned genre and a bold statement on its future. All writ large on the screen by a director who has an obvious love for the genre and the talent to see it through.

This was a review by Phil at Blogomatic3000
Rating: 18
UK Release date: 26th August 2012 (Frightfest)
Directed by: Federico Zampaglione
Cast:: Nuot Arquint, Laurence Belgrave, Michela Cescon, Michele Placido

27 August 2012

Frightfest 2012-Eurocrime! Review

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Eurocrime! The Italian Cop and Gangster Films That Ruled the ’70s, to give the film it’s full title, is a welcome and affectionate look at the Italian poliziotteschi films of the 1970s, films such as High Crime, Milano Calibro 9, Street Law and Napoli Violenta which, whilst heavily influenced by 70s US cop and gangster films like Dirty Harry and The Godfather, also touched upon real Italian issues – the Sicilian Mafia and the Red Brigade – and amped up the sex and violence to often ridiculous levels.

Those film fans familiar with Italian genre cinema will know that Italian cinema has a reputation of hitching itself to the nearest bandwagon and bleeding it dry. If Italian filmmakers could find a fad that people liked they’d stick with it. From the Ben Hur inspired Peplum (sword and sandal) flicks of the late 50s/early 60s, to what many consider to be Italy’s greatest cinematic contribution – the Spaghetti Western. A genre that became synonymous with Italy, the spaghetti western ruled the Italian cinema from the 60s through to the early 70s, with many films often ripping-off plots and characters (and often featuring the same actors!) from both American and Italian-produced genre films. However by the 70s the western was dying a death – too many films with not enough good scripts to go around. A new cinematic fad was needed. The early 70s, and Hollywood began producing a wave of crime thrillers that included The French Connection (1971), Dirty Harry (1971) and The Godfather (1972), and that was all it took for poliziotteschi cinema to be born…
Featuring talking heads with some of the most iconic names in Italian cinema, such as Enzo G. Casterllari, Claudio Fragasso, Franco Nero and Antonio Sabato, along with many of the American actors who appeared in poliziotteschi films – Henry Silva, John Saxon and Fred Williamson included – Eurocrime! is a fascinating insight into the poliziotteschi genre and is obviously a labour of love for writer/director Mike Malloy.

Poliziotteschi cinema was, and still is, one of the more niche aspects of Italy’s cinematic output. Whereas spaghetti westerns were often exported around the world, only a small number of poliziotteschi films produced were ever “hits” overseas, so to create a documentary around such a niche subject was, for all intents and purposes, a gamble. Thankfully Eurocrime! is filled with fascinating stories and anecdotes fro those involved – from the involvement of the Italian mafia to the ridiculous shooting schedules and the guerilla nature of poliziotteschi filmmaking – which hold your attention and offer some of the greatest insights into behind the scenes of the Italian filmmaking process.

A welcome addition to the genre, Eurocrime! The Italian Cop and Gangster Films That Ruled the ’70s transcends the niche genre it represents and is an essential watch, offering something for film fans everywhere, no matter their knowledge of poliziotteschi films.

This was a Review by Phil at Blogomatic 3000

Rating: N/C
UK Release Date: 24th August 2012 (Frightfest)
Directed by: Mike Malloy
Cast: Salvatore Borghese, Mario Caiano , Enzo G. Castellari 


Frightfest 2012 - Tulpa 3D

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Tul-pa (from the Tibetan): meaning a magically produced illusion or creation. The concept of a being or object which is created through sheer discipline alone. It is a materialized thought that has taken physical form.
Italian rock star turned director Federico Zampaglione made a splash in 2009 when his first film Shadow played to a packed audience at London’s Frightfest. Returning some three years later and after teasing the film at Frightfest Glasgow earlier this year, Zampaglione unleashed Tulpa on an eager and willing audience. Word of mouth had built the film up to be one of the must-see films of Saturday, and I for one wasn’t disappointed.

The film tells the story of businesswoman Lisa Boeri: she has a good job, she’s well respected and at the top of her career but she keeps a secret. By night she goes to a seedy club named Tulpa, owned by a guru who teaches her his bizarre esoteric philosophy on finding spiritual and psychological freedom by having anonymous sex with complete strangers. However Lisa finds out her sex club partners are all being murdered in horrible ways one-by-one by a black-gloved killer who seems out to destroy her life. But Lisa can’t talk to the police for fear of revealing her secret and ruining her career, so she has to unmask the anonymous assassin herself…

Taking the tropes of 70s giallo and updating them for a modern audience, Tulpa is an odd, yet fun, mix of the familiar and the new. Adding copious amounts of sex (much more than many of the giallo of the Italian cinema heyday) and not holding back on the violence, Zampaglione throws in a little supernatural edge in the form of Tibetan mysticism to create a neo-giallo that would make even Dario Argento jealous.

Packed with some of the countries biggest stars, including Claudia Gerini in the lead role, Tulpa marks the return of the giallo to the forefront of the Italy’s cinematic output. And from the gloved maniac’s first kill to the final reveal Tulpa is both a nostalgic look back at a now much-maligned genre and a bold statement on its future. All writ large on the screen by a director who has an obvious love for the genre and the talent to see it through.

This was a review by Phil at Blogomatic3000

Rating: 18
UK Release date: 26th August 2012 (Frightfest)
Directed by: Federico Zampaglione
Cast:: Nuot Arquint, Laurence Belgrave, Michela Cescon, Michele Placido

31 July 2012

Hawks And Sparrows (Uccellacci e uccellini) - Masters Of Cinema Review

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★★★★


Hawks and Sparrows is another in Masters of Cinema’s continuing series of Pasolini re-issues with more to come later in the year. The film stars Toto who not know to most people outside of Italy know who he is but he was the huge star in Italy and was sort of the Italian Chaplin. The fim co-stars Pasolini’s collaborator and lover Ninetto Davoli.

The film’s story is a rather strange crossbred of a fairy tale and mid 60s leftist filmmaking. It’s about these 2 characters who meet a talking Marxist crow. The crow tells them the story of these 2 old Franciscan Monks (naturally played by Ninetto and Toto) and they preach to the Hawks and Sparrows and try to convert them to Christianity. They rest of the film consist of them wandering having episodic adventures includes meeting beautiful girls, they get chased away by angry farmers and dancing teenagers.

The film touches on Life, Religion, Birth, Sex, Aging and Death. It’s all done with humour and a touch of almost Monty Python silliness. The talking crow talks almost like thrift store Godard revolutionary speak but The Crow symbolize death eventually. The film features a wonderful Ennio Morricone score, which features Domenico Modugno singing the opening credits in an ironic fashion. The score itself is almost a Leone score which is unsurprising cause it was done around the same time as his scores for Leone.

The film is an extremely enjoyable if very strange piece of Bunuelian esq comedy even though the humour at time is very broad. The film seems to be considered a lesser work of Pasolini’s even though he considered it the only film of his that he wasn’t disappointed with. A knowledge of mid 60s Italian politics may help for some but for a person like me who has no knowledge it stills works as a very enjoyable film.

Ian Schultz

Rating: PG
UK Re-release Date: July 2012
Directed By: Pier Paolo Pasolini
Cast: Totò, Ninetto Davoli , Femi Benussi
Buy:Hawks and Sparrows [Masters of Cinema] On DVD [1966]

30 July 2012

Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Oedipus Rex To Get UK Masters Of Cinema September Release

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Pier Paolo Pasolini’s OEDIPUS REX [EDIPO RE] is to be released in the UK in a Dual Format (DVD & Blu-ray) edition as part of Eureka Entertainment’s MASTERS OF CINEMA Series on 24 September 2012. DVD edition also available! The release on Blu-Ray will mark the film's debut on the format anywhere is the world and the long successful relationship Eureka Entertainment has with the director's popular filmography with the Golden Lion nominated film (1967 Venice Film Festival) joining Accatone, Hawks And Sparrows, Pigsty, Gospel According To Matthew, RoGoPag.

Three years after The Gospel According to Matthew, Pier Paolo Pasolini resumed his series of classical adaptations with a savage, highly personal take on Sophocles' ancient Greek tragedy Oedipus Rex [Edipo Re]. As his first colour feature, Oedipus Rex makes brilliant use of wildly alternating Moroccan landscapes to transpose collective myth into a particular vision that is at once tender, sensual, and wholly unsparing.

The film is divided into three sections set in different eras. The opening takes place in 1920s Italy, and recounts a birth that echoes that of the director himself, the product of a beautiful bourgeoise's affair with a military officer. The mid section depicts a time "outside of history" – it is here that the myth of Oedipus (portrayed by Franco Citti of Accattone and Coppola's The Godfather), one of patricide and incest, plays out opposite the young man's mother/lover (Silvana Mangano). An epilogue shot on the streets of present-day Bologna finds Oedipus playing his flute for a bustling citizenry.

With its kinetic handheld camerawork and strikingly primeval costumes, Pasolini's film rattles its art-genre framework in the enduring quest to exorcise repressive emotional forces. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Pier Paolo Pasolini's Oedipus Rex for the very first time on Blu-ray, in a Dual Format (Blu-ray + DVD) edition, released on 24 September 2012. DVD edition also available!

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES:

• Gorgeous new HD restoration of the film in its original aspect ratio, in 1080p on the Blu-ray
• Newly translated optional English subtitles
• Original Italian theatrical trailer
• 28-page booklet featuring vintage writing by Pasolini, excerpts from an interview with the director by Oswald Stack about the film, and rare archival imagery

Available to pre-order from:

Amazon (Dual Format Edition) http://amzn.to/IOW9OL (DVD Edition) http://amzn.to/N6xZhA
HMV (Dual Format Edition) http://tidd.ly/488c9e4b
Play (Dual Format Edition) http://tidd.ly/ab22de13
The Hut (Dual Format Edition) http://tidd.ly/7975983a