Italy Cinema Part II

By | February 19, 2022

Less convincing is the following film, Tea in the Desert (1990), from the novel by P. Bowles, also however, albeit with literary insistence and somewhat gratuitous implications, capable of involving with a spectacular vitality never an end in itself and charge every page with an intense emotional force. G. Bertolucci, his brother, perhaps flies less high, but his filmography also includes works of firm commitment (Dirty Panni, 1983; Segreti vacanze, 1985; Tuttobenigni, 1986; Strange life, 1987; The camels, 1988; Amori in corso, 1989), supported by mature reflections on sentiments and social themes, in careful and meditated stylistic figures.

Strong personalities also in two women directors who have been proposing themselves for some time in Italian cinema with commitments and impetus: L. Cavani (see this Appendix), often guided by precise linguistic attentions (La pelle, 1981; Interno berlinese, 1985; Francesco, 1989) that lead it to landings of solid quality; L. Wertmüller who, after having established himself for years above all with the ” grotesque ”, obtaining films of vivid suggestions, let him invade, in the Eighties, by a polemically ” popular ” vein addressed, but not always with luck, to the more colorful effects of the showy spectacle (A complicated intrigue of women, alleys and crimes, 1985; Summer night with Greek profile, almond eyes and the smell of basil, 1986; On a moonlit night, 1989; Let’s hope I get along, 1992).

Among the comedians above all C. Verdone, who soon moved from the television caricatures of his debut to a cinema of ironic and tasty observations, with some sentimental complacency (A lot beautiful, 1980; Bianco, rosso e verdone, 1981; Water and soap, 1983; I due carabinieri, 1984; Me and my sister, 1987; Schoolmates, 1988; Cursed the day I met you, 1991; Al lupo, al lupo, 1992); M. Troisi, especially at the beginning, with Ricomincio da tre (1981), considered a real revelation, later, perhaps, a bit disappointing (Sorry for the delay, 1982; We just have to cry, 1984; I thought it was love instead it was a gig, 1991); M. Nichetti, with a taste for acrobatic and lunar comedy, in the wake of the silent years (Ho fa splash, 1980; Domani si balla, 1982; Ladri di saponette, 1989; Volere volo, 1991; Stefano Quantestorie, 1993). Light comedies have given C. and E. Vanzina and E. Oldoini, while D. Argento has confirmed himself as a master of the horror genre (Inferno, 1979; Tenebre, 1981; Opera, 1987). In experimental cinema F. Piavoli has elegantly tried his hand at The Blue Planet (1982) and Nostos, the return (1990).

Among the dramatic authors, the first place goes to G. Amelio who, after very rigorous films (Colpire al cuore, 1982; The boys of via Panisperna, 1988; Open doors, 1989), has also imposed himself on the international level with the film The child thief (special jury prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1992) in which emotion prevails, the subtraction of effects, in figures not very dissimilar to the more intimate and at the same time more lyrical cinema by V. De Sica. Well supported, however, albeit with ironic scratches, by N. Moretti, one of the most aggressive voices in young Italian cinema in the Eighties (Sogni d’oro, 1981; Bianca, 1983; La Messa è finita, 1985; Palombella rossa, 1989; The Thing, 1991). The merits of G. Tornatore (Oscar winner for Nuovo Cinema Paradiso, 1988) are widely recognized, even abroad, as he reveals stylistic and psychological skills partly reconfirmed the following year with Stanno tutti bene ; by G. Salvatores (Oscar winner for the Mediterranean, 1990) devoted in most of his films (Kamikazen, 1987; Marrakech Express, 1989; Turné, 1989) to an analysis of choral relationships in which he always manages to make the more subtle psychological investigation; by M. Risi, intent on very harsh chronicles (Soldati 365 all’ba, 1987; Mery forever, 1989; Boys out, 1990; The rubber wall, 1991) or to love metaphors (Nel continente nero, 1992); by R. Tognazzi (Small misunderstandings, 1989; Ultrà, 1990; The escort, 1993); by D. Luchetti (Domani accadrà, 1988; The week of the sphinx, 1990; Il portaborse, 1991). For some of these directors, such as Risi and Tognazzi, there has even begun to speak of a new neorealism, less objective than the first but with an equally direct approach to reality. There have also been some happy beginnings: S. Rubini (La stazione, 1990; The blonde, 1993); S. Soldini (The serene air of the West, 1990); P. Pozzessere (Towards the South, 1992); M. Martone (Death of a Neapolitan mathematician, 1992); A. Capuano (Vito and the others, 1991); F. Archibugi (Mignon has left, 1987; Towards evening, 1990; The big watermelon, 1993); A. Alatri (American red, 1991); M. Zaccaro (Where the night begins, 1991); L. Faccini (Shadow woman, 1988; Night of the stars, 1991). They could also become the Italian cinema of tomorrow, mainly directed towards an observation of the everyday, with all its hardships and troubles, objectively expressed according to the Rossellinian principle of ” showing without demonstrating ”.

According to Timedictionary, a significant contribution is conferred by a new generation of actors, including, alongside the comedians R. Benigni, P. Villaggio and F. Nuti, the intelligent M. Buy, ES Ricci, L. Sastri, N. Brilli, A. Sandrelli and the already mature S. Castellitto, D. Abatantuono, M. Placido, E. Lo Verso, C. Amendola, largely indebted to a tradition that reached the highest peaks with A. Sordi, GM Volonté, V. Gassman, M. Mastroianni. Finally, do not forget the contribution that musicians such as E. Morricone, R. Ortolani and A. Trovajoli have continued to give to Italian cinema.

Italy Cinema 2