Il bidone- epic fail of a father…

23 Nov

When you think about horrible fathers in film – you have to consider Broderick Crawford’s portrayal of con man Augostino in IL BIDONE.

Greedy, selfish, preying on the desperately poor on the outskirts of Rome, we have to decide if he has a change of heart when he sees his daughter. Does he truly wish to help her get money to get ahead in post war Italy’s job market or is he merely ripping off the family of a young cripple girl and stealing the money from his con artist colleagues – keeping it for himself? Does he have a career changing epiphany like the young painter or does he remain without salvation, unchanged & non- repentant for his actions?

Is he worse than the completely self-centeredstronzo dad in Caterina nella Città ?

You certainly can’t compare him to the loving, distraught
father in Biutiful or the self-sacrificing, adoring dad in Life is Beautuful.

So where would you place him on the list of idiot fathers that cinema has created?

A break from the regularly scheduled film comment….

22 Nov

This exhibit has completely crushed me! I thought I was familiar with and not very interested in tapestries ( unicorn series at the Cloisters, etc.) and was ready for a quick walk through but before I even got to the fabrics I was stopped in my tracks by the incredible detail and depth of his oils in the first room.
By the time I got to the “Conversion of Saul” I was so emotional I needed to sit. The detail, the scope, the intensity, I’ve only felt this way when I stepped into the middle of The Vatican, and that was as much about my pilgrimage to a place where my grandfather had never been able to visit before he left Italy, as it was about the scope, grandeur and holiness of the place.
So, I need to come back. I need to spend another few hours comparing, examining & muttering ” holy cow” ( as well as some more descriptive expressions of amazement) while trying to keep myself from laughing, crying and collapsing.


Gena Rowlands – insight into indie film

13 Nov


Mediterraneo – Italians & Greeks – together again!

21 Oct


I only curate & teach films that I love, and along with Tornatore’s love letter to Sicily, L’uomo Della Stelle, I absolutely love Gabriele Salvatores’ Oscar winning Romantic comedy, Mediterraneo.

A sweet romantic comedy that nonetheless calls out the failures of the Italian government both during & after the war, this film, while extremely entertaining, is also tremendously thought-provoking.

Well written, well acted, shot as a publicity postcard for the Greek Islands, this filmquestions the idea of Italian identity & the very nature of italianità.

Italian unification & the subsequent Republic…

3 Oct

@ProfVFranco: Italy was actually a series of city-states until its unification as the Kingdom of Italy-1861. By June 2, 1946- the monarchy was out & a republic was formed.


Italian heritage month- brava!

2 Oct

@ProfVFranco: October- beer fest, Halloween & …Italian American heritage month ! Gotta love Cimabue & his gorgeous tho fading frescoes In Assisi #italy # italianheritage


Labor & management: somethings never change…

25 Sep

Labor vs management; safety vs profit; job security vs employee expendability… If you want a reminder as to how certain issues remain hot topics no matter the time or place you need to watch Ken Loach’s powerful 2001 comedy/drama about the privatization of the UK rail system, THE NAVIGATORS.

Shot in Loach’s signature realistic style, it is easy to forget that you are watching a scripted film. The deceptively fluid dialogue & acting feel like you are watching a documentary, eavesdropping on all the personal & public moments that shape the futures of 5 railway workers in Yorkshire. It’s no wonder that the script garnered Rob Dawber a BAFTA for best new writer.

Safety concerns, union busting, coitus interruptus, divorce, single parenthood, coerced early retirement, blackmail- it’s all here and you will never step onto a train again without thinking of the system that oversees the individuals responsible for your safety.


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