A background of rising fascism in Venice in 1930s. A music-student, Matthias, mixes with the town’s bourgeoisie and falls in love with a mature teacher, Carla, the mother of his friend Renato, and then with his young colleague, Elena. The themes include blackmail, betrayal, seduction, and eventually murder.
The workforce of a factory owned by the patriarchal boss Doberdo are on strike. During a police raid to break the strike, one of the workers is killed. The dead man’s wife, La Califfa, confronts Doberdo several times. On each occasion, the factory owner and the widow feel strangely drawn to one another…
Italy’s response to the Disney classical music/animation hybrid “Fantasia,” this film features a series of cartoon shorts set to the likes of Claude Debussy, Joseph-Maurice Ravel and Antonio Vivaldi. The animated segments feature both the humorous and fantastical: an aged satyr attempts to regain its lost youth, a bee is interrupted mid-meal by two lovers, the myth of Adam and Eve is retold and more. In between cartoons, a filmmaker struggles to complete the film.
The Countess, a wealthy American with an addiction to card games and a large real estate portfolio, has become an expert on the card games of all the countries where she owns houses. The regional favorite in Rome is a card game called “scopone” and the Countess summons a married couple to be her adversaries. The couple are the poorest of the poor, but the Countess supplies them with one million lire to play with, promising them that they can keep the money should they beat her.
Prostitutes from Athens are transported by truck for the pleasure of the occupying Italian Army in this World War II drama. The 15 women are driven by a young lieutenant who gives a ride to a fascist major. Tension mounts between the two soldiers as the truck is attacked, and some of the women are killed. Love blossoms between one of the prostitutes and the lieutenant, and he encourages her to return home knowing he will never see her again.
Naples, 1959. Renato Caccioppoli, university professor in pure mathematics, is a disillusioned and tormented man who lives the last days of his life. Grandson of Bakunin on his mother’s side, interned in a psychiatric hospital for his anti-fascist acts, abandoned by his wife, and now become estranged from his own Communist Party comrades and his University collaborators, he lives his life with disenchanted detachment until his last act, suicide.
This suspenseful Italian crime drama is set in a Colombian river town and chronicles the series of events that led up to murder. Based on a novel by distinguished author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the tale begins in the present as a middle-aged doctor returns to the village after a twenty-year absence to investigate the murder that occurred just before he left.
Parigi e Sempre Parigi (Paris is Always Paris) was the second feature-length effort from famed Italian documentary director Luciano Emmer. Parigi concentrates on a gentle cultural clash between a band of Italian sports fans and the citizenry of Paris. The hero, DeAngelis has heard so much about “naughty Paree” that he’s determined to experience that naughtiness first hand. This plot device, of course, obliges the director to introduce several delectable French mademoiselles in the proceedings. Ultimately, DeAngelis realizes that reports of French libertinism have been grossly exaggerated, but he has a high old time finding this out.