This was Roberto Rossellini’s revelation, a harrowing drama about the Nazi occupation of Rome and the brave few who struggled against it. Though told with more melodramatic flair than the other films that would form this trilogy and starring some well-known actors—Aldo Fabrizi as a priest helping the partisan cause and Anna Magnani in her breakthrough role as the fiancée of a resistance member—Rome Open City (Roma città aperta) is a shockingly authentic experience, conceived and directed amid the ruin of World War II, with immediacy in every frame. Marking a watershed moment in Italian cinema, this galvanic work garnered awards around the globe and left the beginnings of a new film movement in its wake.
Cabiria is an optimistic, romantic, poor young woman who lives off unscrupulous men. On one particularly despairing day, she goes to church to pray. She begs God for a miracle to change her life. Not long after this, she meets a seemingly earnest young man who is willing to marry her. She is at the height of happiness, and she believes she has been saved breaking from her lurid past. She takes all of her savings to follow him, but he vanishes with her money ...
With the release in 1955 of Satyajit Ray’s debut, Pather Panchali, an eloquent and important new cinematic voice made itself heard all over the world. A depiction of rural Bengali life in a style inspired by Italian neorealism, this naturalistic but poetic evocation of a number of years in the life of a family introduces us to both little Apu and, just as essentially, the women who will help shape him: his independent older sister, Durga; his harried mother, Sarbajaya, who, with her husband away, must hold the family together; and his kindly and mischievous elderly “auntie,” Indir—vivid, multifaceted characters all. With resplendent photography informed by its young protagonist’s perpetual sense of discovery, Pather Panchali, which won an award for Best Human Document at Cannes, is an immersive cinematic experience and a film of elemental power.
Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film and directed by legendary 4-time Oscar Winner Vittorio de Sica (Bicycle Thieves), the film is a beautiful and haunting story of unrequited love set in WWII in Ferrara, Italy. Giorgio is a middle-class Jewish man who is desperately trying to win over Micol, a beautiful and privileged Jewish woman who lives in the grand and secluded estate of Finzi-Contini.
During planting season in Northern Italy’s Po Valley, an earthy rice-field worker (Teorema’s seductive Silvana Mangano) falls in with a small-time criminal (Il sorpasso’s Vittorio Gassman) who is planning a daring heist of the crop, as well as his femme-fatale-ish girlfriend, played by the Hollywood star Doris Dowling (The Lost Weekend). Both a socially conscious look at the hardships endured by underpaid field workers and a melodrama tinged with sex and violence, this early smash for producer extraordinaire Dino De Laurentiis (Blue Velvet) and director Giuseppe De Santis (Days of Love) is neorealism with a heaping dose of pulp.
This major early achievement by Michelangelo Antonioni bears the first signs of the cinema-changing style for which he would soon be world-famous. Le amiche (The Girlfriends) is a brilliantly observed, fragmentary depiction of modern bourgeois life, conveyed from the perspective of five Turinese women. As four of the friends try to make sense of the suicide attempt of the fifth, they find themselves examining their own troubled romantic lives. With suggestions of the theme of modern alienation and the fastidious visual abstraction that would define his later masterpieces such as L’avventura, L’eclisse, and Red Desert, Antonioni’s film is a devastating take on doomed love and fraught friendship.
Luchino Visconti ("The Damned," "Death in Venice") directed this absorbing epic starring film legend Alain Delon ("Honor Among Thieves") as an idealistic and poor Italian farm boy who moves with his mother and three brothers to Milan in search of a better life - but the reality of that life that will drive the family apart with sweat, tears and blood. Famed director Visconti's powerful, emotional landscape is what makes this prime example of Italian neo-realism a modern classic, says Premiere Magazine. Winner of the Venice Film Festival and a staggering 26 other international film awards. (In Italian with English subtitles)
In Mussolini’s Italy, repressed Jean-Louis Trintignant, trying to purge memories of a youthful, homosexual episode – and murder – joins the Fascists in a desperate attempt to fit in. As the reluctant Judas motors to his personal Gethsemane (the assassination of his leftist mentor), he flashes back to a dance party for the blind; an insane asylum in a stadium’ and wife Stefania Sandrelli and lover Dominique Sanda dancing the tango in a working class hall. But those are only a few of this political thriller’s anthology pieces, others including Trintignant’s honeymoon coupling with Sandrelli in a train compartment as the sun sets outside their window; a bimbo lolling on the desk of a fascist functionary, glimpsed in the recesses of his cavernous office; a murder victim’s hands leaving bloody streaks on a limousine parked in a wintry forest. Bernardo Bertolucci’s masterpiece, adapted from the Alberto Moravia novel, boasts an authentic Art Deco look created by production designer Ferdinando Scarfiotti, a score by the great Georges Delerue (Contempt, Jules and Jim, and That Man From Rio) and breathtaking color cinematography by Vittoria Storaro, who supervised this director approved restoration.
A famous Italian filmmaker, haunted by the memories of his first love, returns to his hometown after an absence of 30 years. Upon his return, he reconnects with the community and remembers the highlights and tragedies that shaped his life and inspired him to follow his dream of becoming a filmmaker. For those who have never seen it -- and those who have never forgotten it -- director Giuseppe Tornatore's (MALENA, THE STAR MAKER) cherished Academy Award®-winning motion picture (1990, Best Foreign Language Film) is now fully restored, digitally remastered, and includes 51 minutes of never-before-seen footage!
Winner of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival's Grand Jury Prize and Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award, this tense, naturalistic thriller follows 17-year-old Ree Dolly as she confronts the local criminal underworld and the harsh Ozark wilderness in order to to track down her father, who has put up the family homestead for his bail. Featuring a star-making performance by Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone is sure to be one of the most-critically acclaimed films of the year.
When Cyril's father (Jérémie Renier) abandons him, he obsessively searches for his bicycle - placing his last bit of hope in this symbol of their relationship. Almost by accident, he becomes the ward of a kind hairdresser (Cécile de France - Clint Eastwood's HEREAFTER), who seems surprised to find herself so determined to help him. With his wild, unpredictable behavior and his disastrous search for father figures, Cyril risks losing her - though she refuses to give up without a fight.
"Frozen River" is a dramatic feature film which takes place in the days before Christmas near a little-known border crossing on the Mohawk reservation between New York State and Quebec. Here, the lure of fast money from smuggling presents a daily challenge to single moms who would otherwise be earning minimum wage. Two women -one white, one Mohawk, both single mothers faced with desperate circumstances- are drawn into the world of border smuggling across the frozen water of the St. Lawrence River. Melissa Leo (21 Grams, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, television's "Homicide: Life on the Street") plays Ray, Misty Upham (Edge of America, DreamKeeper, Skins) plays Lila, and Oscar nominee Michael O'Keefe (The Great Santini, Caddyshack, Ironweed) plays the New York State Trooper who ultimately brings the two to justice. 2008 Frozen River, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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.
Winner of the Golden Lion at the 1959 Venice Film Festival, directed by Roberto Rossellini and featuring world cinema icon Vittoria de Sica (The Bicycle Thief), IL GENERALE DELLA ROVERE is a film based on the true story of Emanuele Bardone, who, during the height of WWII, exploits his fellow Italians by telling them that he will find their missing loved ones in exchange for money. When he attempts to save a man who had already been executed, he is turned over by the man's wife and is forced to become a spy in the Nazi prison for one of the German commanders, Colonel Mueller (Hannes Messemer). Under the false identity of Generale della Rovere, he is ordered to bring the Italian resistance fighters among the prisoners out into the open. As the fake general slowly makes friends with these men, he becomes a leader of sorts, which causes him to realign his moral code and to come to terms with his past life.
Triumphant prize winner at many prestigious film festivals, this uplifting, crowd pleasing story of family and love was also nominated for an Academy Award as Best Foreign Language Film! When Ali loses his sister Zahra's school shoes, this young pair dream up a plan to stay out of trouble: they'll share his shoes and keep it a secret from their parents! But if they're going to successfully cover their tracks, Ali and Zahra must carefully watch their step on what rapidly turns into a funny and heartwarming adventure! A magical motion picture acclaimed by critics and audiences alike, Children of Heaven is a charming treat you'll love, too!
From Claire Denis, the incomparable director of BEAU TRAVAIL, L'INTRUS and 35 SHOTS OF RHUM, comes WHITE MATERIAL: a rich and thrilling account of a woman driven to the edge. An official selection of the Venice, Toronto and New York Film Festivals, the film is a riveting exploration of the complexities of racial conflict and the limits of human will. The legendary Isabelle Huppert (LA CEREMONIE, THE PIANO TEACHER, 8 WOMEN), is Maria Vial, a fearless French woman attempting to run her family's coffee plantation in an unnamed African country. Torn violently apart by hate-fueled civil conflict, this unforgiving setting soon turns against the foreign family, declaring them outlaws in their new home. In a brash effort to save her family and livelihood, Maria risks everything, fighting with every shred of her will to buck the rebel forces wrestling for control of local power.