Roberto Rossellini is one of the most influential filmmakers of all time. And it was with his trilogy of films made during and after World War II ROME OPEN CITY, PAISAN, and GERMANY GROUND ZERO that he left his first transformative mark on cinema. With their stripped-down aesthetic, largely nonprofessional casts, and unorthodox approaches to storytelling, these intensely emotional works were international sensations and effectively launched the neorealist movement. Shot in battle-ravaged Italy and Germany, these three films are some of our most lasting, humane documents of devastated postwar Europe, containing universal images that encompass both tragedy and hope. The Allies had barely driven the Nazis out of Rome when Roberto Rosselini went to work on Open City, considered by most to be his greatest work. Shot on bits and short ends of scavenged film, this film helped define Italian neorealism. Audiences were convinced that the actors were all amateurs (they weren't) and the whole film was improvised (it wasn't; the three screenwriters included Federico Fellini). With its semi documentary camera style and use of actual locations, the film does feel very real. Of course, so does the opening half-hour of Saving Private Ryan, and like that film Open City is at its heart a classic war yarn any Hollywood studio would feel at home with. The story involves members of the Italian underground trying to smuggle badly needed cash out of Nazi-occupied Rome to partisan fighters in the mountains, while the Nazis are hunting down one of the underground, a notorious freedom fighter and seditionist. Anna Magnani (an actor well established in her own country who became an international star with this film) is often singled out for her portrayal as the pregnant, unwed woman who gets caught up in the action on her wedding day, but the entire cast is topnotch. The sparse subtitles are both a blessing and a curse--there is less to read, which allows the viewer to concentrate on the visuals, but there are times when non-Italian-speakers will feel like they're missing out on some juicy dialogue. --Geof Miller
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Product Information Specifications for Roberto Rossellini's War Trilogy (Rome Open City / Paisan / Germany Year Zero) (The Criterion Collection) Below:
Day Of Anger (3-Disc Special Edition) [Blu-ray + DVD]
Manufacturer: Arrow Video
Brand: Music Video Dist
When Sergio Leone turned Lee Van Cleef into a major star with For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, the actor sensibly stayed in Italy to make several more spaghetti westerns, including this one from Leone's former assistant Tonino Valerii that genre aficionados rank amongst the best ever made. Giuliano Gemma plays street cleaner Scott Mary, relentlessly bullied by the people of the small town of Clifton. When legendarily ruthless master gunfighter Frank Talby (Van Cleef) rides into town, Scott seizes the opportunity to lift himself out of the gutter, and possibly even surpass Talby's own skills. But what is Talby doing in Clifton in the first place? This lively, intelligent western, notable for the chemistry between its charismatic leads, some memorable action set-pieces (including a rifle duel on horseback that has to be seen to be believed), and a jazzy Riz Ortolani score, is presented here in an exclusive high-definition restoration from the original Techniscope negative.
A chronicle of a French city under the occupation. Director Marcel Ophuls combined interviews and archival film footage to explore the reality of the French occupation in one small industrial city, Clermont-Ferrand. He spoke with resistance fighters, collaborators, spies, farmers, government officials, writers, artists and veterans. The result is a shattering portrait of how ordinary people actually conducted themselves under extraordinary circumstances. By turns gripping, horrifying, and inspiring, Academy Award nominee The Sorrow and the Pity is a triumph of humanist filmmaking and a testament to the power of cinema. Before Shoah, Schindler's List, The Long Way Home, and The Last Days, there was The Sorrow and the Pity.
RELEASED ON BLU RAY FOR THE FIRST TIME IN NORTH AMERICA! Swedish master Ingmar Bergman penned this loving tribute to his parent's epic romance. In 1909, poor, idealistic theology student Henrik Bergman falls in love with Anna Ã…kerbloom, the intelligent, educated daughter of a rich family in Uppsala. After their wedding Henrik becomes a priest in the north of Sweden. Urbane Anna can't stand living in the rural county and grows increasingly restless. She returns to Uppsala and the couple's love and commitment are put to the test. Blu Ray bonus feature includes: Ingmar Bergman's rare and evocative short film, KARIN'S FACE, now available for the first time ever to American audiences. Package includes: Collector's Booklet with film essay by cinema expert, Peter Cowie; cast and crew credits; chapter breaks; stills.
What Have You Done to Solange? (2-Disc Special Edition) [Blu-ray + DVD]
Manufacturer: Arrow Video
From director Massimo Dallamano, cinematographer on both A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More, comes giallo classic What Have You Done to Solange?, the debut feature of actress Camille Keaton (I Spit on Your Grave). A sexually sadistic killer is preying on the girls of St. Mary's school. Student Elizabeth witnessed one of the murders, but her hazy recollections of a knife-wielding figure in black do nothing to further the police's investigations. Why is the killer choosing these young women? And what does it have to do with a girl named Solange? Also starring Cristina Galbo (Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue) and Fabio Testi (I Spit On Your Grave), What Have You Done with Solange? features all the hallmarks of classic gialli the amateur detective, the black-gloved killer as well as a lush score from Ennio Morricone. SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS Brand new 2K restoration of the film from the original camera negative High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations Original Italian and English soundtracks in mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray) Newly translated subtitles for the Italian soundtrack Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack Brand new audio commentary with critics Alan Jones and Kim Newman Newly filmed cast interviews Original Theatrical Trailer Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by MALLEUS Booklet featuring brand new writing on the film, illust...