Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Italian Movie Clips

First two minutes are specially nice. The clips are from Rome Open City, Umberto D., Bicycle Thief, La Dolce Vita, Voyage to Italy and others which I haven't seen or probably don't remember. I don't know about the music though.


puccinio said...

That was a good(if cliche) arrangement of clips from those wonderful Italian films. It's amazing how in a short period Italian Cinema came of age and established it's own place and own national character in the world.

I love Italian movies(and Italy for that matter as my nom-de-plume attests) and to me their films are at once tender yet distant(Antonioni), objective and subjective(Rossellini), fantastic and realistic(Fellini), Naturalistic and Operatic(Visconti).

Sorry if I wax poetic but it's how I feel. These four directors(Rossellini-Antonioni-Fellini-Visconti in that order) are the best and most influential directors to come out of Europe after the war. Their only competition would be Jacques Tati, Sergei Paradjanov, Bergman and of the New Wave - Truffaut and Godard.

It's amazing how many great directors Italy collected in thirty years after NeoRealism there was Ermanno Olmi, Bernardo Bertolucci and definitely the best of the Next Generation - Pier Paolo Pasolini(whose murder kind of rung a death knell to the consciousness of a national Italian cinema, much like Fassbinder's would have a same effect on German Cinema).

After that it all became International or Pan-European co-productions which while having merits certainly hindered the personal Italian films made. Actually it hindered personal national films made across Europe.

I wouldn't say it's Hollywood's domination of the market which is the stock(and partially true) answer but more that film-makers have lost the kind of direct connection to the audience which Italian directors had in their peak years.

Today a film has to bleat out it's intentions at the top of it's voice to get the film exhibited rather than allowing people to see for themselves and think for themselves. Combating Hollywood imperialism is easier by comparison. Part of the reasons for that imperialism it is that the national cinemas of other countries readily collaborate with Hollywood by allowing trash like say some Vin Diesel movies or other films like ''Legally Blonde'' even screen there simply because they hope it'll do well for them. If they just limit the distribution down to a select few film stars and directors then it wouldn't be a problem.

The ironic thing is that the only national cinema completely unthreatened from Hollywood is from what I've heard the mainstream Hindi Cinema called ''Bollywood''. And from the films I've seen they survive by remaking Hollywood plots retaining the worst aspects of those films rather than it's most effective attributes. And of course this really creates a counter Gramscian hegemony in your mother country.

Well, there's good news, the dollar is falling and as such things often happen, a great deal of bad movies is inevitably though not immediately followed by good movies. So I'm sure Italy will be back.

KUBLA KHAN said...

The reading list is impressive but I expected that. I have been lazy, feeling like Oblomov. i will try to come up with something like your format.
i get irritated slightly at the fanfare at a year end...as if something is closing and opening, while actually it is nothing. at this time, i feel isolated within myself and start hating words.
but these words are really gifts.
how about writing about the best posts you have read from various blogs this year or pointing them out?.....i mean linking etc. just an idea.

Alok said...

puccinio: I specially loved the music used in the first part of the video. It is always great to see those clips.

I agree with your distinctions and that is one of the main reasons why I love these Italian films so much. They are very instinctive and spontaneous and yet they show a deep understanding of psychological, social, political problems that people face in the fast changing modern societies. They have much more to say than the more intellectual directors (like in France, though I like French movies too) and I am often moved by these films when other more overtly emotional films leave me a bit cold. Like the scene of Anna Magnani dying, there is no close-up of her face, no words of farewell (as was de-rigeur in Hollywood)... and yet everytime I see it I am filled with an overwhelming sorrow. I will try to write about it in more detail in a separate post.

kubla: ah, don't be so grumpy. I agree the end of the year is nothing special but it is nice to stop sometime and take stock of what happened, what it all meant and may be think a bit about future too.

You don't have to order the list. just one of two lines annotation should be enough. It would be handy for your blog readers.

Anonymous said...

I'd be grateful if anyone could tell me the name of the movies