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Marcello Mastroianni (1924 - 1996)
La Grande Bouffe/Blow Out (1973) - Marco Ferreri [Amazon.com]
Marcello Vincenzo Domenico Mastroianni (September 28, 1924 – December 19, 1996) was an Italian film actor.
Born in Fontana Liri, a small village in the Apennines, Mastroianni grew up in Turin and Rome. During World War II he was interned in a Nazi prison, but he escaped and hid in Venice.
In 1945 he started working for a film company, and began taking acting lessons. His film debut was in I Miserabili (from Victor Hugo's Les Misérables) in 1947.
He soon became a major international romantic star, starring in Big Deal on Madonna Street; and especially when Federico Fellini cast him in La Dolce Vita with Anita Ekberg in 1960.
He followed that with another signature role, that of a frustrated, womanizing film director in Fellini's 8½.
Mastroianni was married to the Italian actress Flora Carabella (1926-1999), who appeared in many films including "Lunatics and Lovers" and "A Night Full of Rain", from 1948 until his death; they had one child, Barbara. He also had a daughter, Chiara Mastroianni, with his longtime mistress, the actress Catherine Deneuve; both were at his bedside when he died of pancreatic cancer. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcello_Mastroianni [May 2005]
La Grande Bouffe/Blow Out (1973) - Marco Ferreri
La Grande Bouffe/Blow Out (1973) - Marco Ferreri[Amazon.com]
Marco Ferreri's greatest international success, La Grande Bouffe scandalized audiences when it was released in 1973. Audiences were shocked by its tale of four world-weary middle-aged men (superbly portrayed by Marcello Mastroianni, Ugo Tognazzi, Michel Piccoli and Philippe Noiret) who decide to gorge themselves to death in one final orgiastic weekend full of gourmet food, call girls and a hefty, lusty schoolteacher. This blackly humorous parable of modern society's collapse won the Cannes Film Festival's International Critics Award. The New York Times called it "vulgar vaudeville on an epic scale...a mordant, chilling, hilarious dirty movie." Nearly 30 years later, it continues to challenge audiences' sensibilities and test the limits of shockability.
Quatre amis sont réunis lors d'un week-end gastronomique pour se suicider.
Marcello demande qu'on fasse venir des prostituées, mais effrayées par la tournure que prennent les événements, elles s'enfuient au petit matin. Seule reste Andréa, une institutrice du voisinage, substitut de la mère.
L'ambiance scatologique du film fit un énorme scandale à sa sortie, il est même classé X alors que le film ne comporte aucune scène pornographique. Le caractère choquant du film est avant tout dû à sa force de suggestion d'une société qui serait gavée et qui en crèverait. --http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Grande_Bouffe [Dec 2004]
La Dolce Vita (1960) - Federico Fellini
Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekerg in the Trevi fountain, Rome, 1960
La Dolce Vita (1960) is a film directed by Federico Fellini. One of the works that defined the characteristic Fellini style, it is a vast panel of long, loosely connected scenes that paint a portrait of the high and low life of Rome in the late fifties and early sixties, as seen through the eyes of its main character, a jaded society reporter, Marcello (played by Marcello Mastroianni), in his dealings with his simple, jealous lover (Yvonne Furneaux), a sophisticated woman (Anouk Aimée) with whom he has an episodic relationship, a beautiful bombshell (Anita Ekberg) whom he follows in her wanderings through Rome (including the notable scene of her night bath in the Fontana di Trevi), and a multitude of other characters of all walks of life. Fellini observes all these people with evident affection, but passes no moral judgment on their actions. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_dolce_vita [Apr 2005]
8½ (1963) - Federico Fellini
8½ (1963) - Federico Fellini
8½ is a 1963 film by Italian director Federico Fellini. It is critically accepted as one of the finest films ever made.
The plot revolves around a director, Guido Anselmi - played by Marcello Mastroianni, who amidst marital difficulties attempts to find inspiration for a new science fiction film. The film often delves into Guido's memories and fantasies. It displays several elements of autobiography. La Bella Confusione (The Beautiful Confusion) was the working title of 8½.
8½ is much admired for its sensitivity to the problems of the creative process, both technical and personal, and problems artists face when expected to deliver something personal and profound, with a large public watching, on a very set schedule - while all the while having to live their own lives, and deal with their own personal relationships. It is in a larger sense about finding true personal happiness in a difficult, fragmented life.
The film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and Fellini was nominated for Best Director. 8½ is a fixture on the prestigious Sight & Sound critics and directors poll of the top ten films ever made.
The film is 138 minutes in length and filmed in stark black and white.
The musical Nine is based on 8½. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8%BD [Apr 2005]
possible influence on Mulholland Drive (2001)
There are also some slight similarities with two other films about filmmaking: Federico Fellini's 8½ and Jean-Luc Godard's Le Mepris. With the former, it shares a dream-like structure to show the processes of filmmaking and particularly commercial filmmaking. With the latter, it also has an unusual structure but also looking at sexuality in film, the power of producers or the similarities between Hollywood producers and mobsters and the parallels between a contempt with the industry and a contempt within a couple. Adam Kesher also shares some resemblance with Jean-Luc Godard. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mulholland_Drive_%28movie%29 [Apr 2005]
La Decima vittima / 10th Victim (1965) - Elio Petri
La Decima vittima / 10th Victim (1965) - Elio Petri [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Long before reality shows took over the TV airwaves and violent parodies like Series 7 and Battle Royale hit international screens, Elio Petri made this campy social satire of a future in which the bored, the ambitious, and the just plain violent can sign up for a deadly game of cat and mouse. "The Big Hunt is necessary as a social safety valve," explains one TV personality. "Why control births when we can control deaths?" Marcello Mastroianni, who plays the womanizing Italian media darling with a gift for ingenious assassinations, becomes the target of sexy champion Ursula Andress, a New York Amazon with a wardrobe as deadly as it is chic. She'll pocket $1 million if she can successfully kill Mastroianni, her 10th and last victim, but on the side she concocts a deal to do the deed in concert with a live song-and-dance extravaganza mounted by a tea company.
Directed with tongue firmly in cheek, Petri lampoons the whole media obsession with high-risk contests and games of chance with cool style, absurdly chic fashions, a bouncy score of organ riffs and funky lounge sounds, and a comically blasé performance by Mastroianni. It's like Fellini gone ballistic with a hint of Divorce, Italian Style: a battle of the sexes in a world where spontaneous shootouts are forever erupting in the fringes of the frame. --Sean Axmaker, Amazon.com
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