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From Albania to Zaire, there's a whole world out there.
183

Mastroianni
Topic by: Eoliano
Posted: December 7, 2002 - 5:13 AM PST
Last Reply: December 10, 2002 - 8:25 AM PST

author topic: Mastroianni
Eoliano
post #1  on December 7, 2002 - 5:13 AM PST  
>> i'm still kicking myself for having missed most of the huge mastroianni retrospective after he died. (what a movie god he was, my oh my.) anyway, some of those films, like dark eyes and leo the last, feel unlikely to be released again on DVD or whatever, until the last drops of american indie blood have been squeezed from the archives...

Where was this Mastroianni retro?

I compagni (The Organizer) was the last Mastroianni film I saw in a theater -- it was at the PSIFF and I was sitting next to Giuseppe Rotunno, who shot the film.

Have you looked at the Mastroianni documentary, Marcello Mastroianni: I Remember? I watch it from time to time, to stir up memories of films like I compagni, one of my favorites of his, which of course might be available on that vanishing medium, video, but are not available to me here, not even in the college library, and certainly not on DVD.

I thought Dark Eyes was on DVD  but then, it may have gone OOP.
dpowers
post #2  on December 7, 2002 - 9:55 AM PST  
[Eoliano]
> Where was this Mastroianni retro? <

it was so big, it ran at both the castro and the PFA. as i recall there was a little duplication, but much less than usual for a touring exhibit. i think there were more than two dozen films involved, including I compagni and wifemistress, the fellinis, big deal on madonna street, lots and lots.

when it was on i hadn't quite figured out what a fabulous treasure he was ... i only knew him from the big fellini movies, and those don't show off his softness as well as others do, i think.

> I compagni (The Organizer) was the last Mastroianni film I saw in a theater -- it was at the PSIFF and I was sitting next to Giuseppe Rotunno, who shot the film. <

wow, great! i saw it on VHS, a very old copy, but an american release. funny now that i think about it, it reminds me of the british new wave movies, particularly a taste of honey, but i realize it's much more like eisenstein's strike. anyway all of them use locations so well, moving us around smoothly, i love it.

mastroianni as the tempered outsider in i compagni, brilliant. i recognized in him a number of people i've met, in the labor movement, in other activism, a different view, maybe a more human view, than chris cooper's terrific joe kenehan in matewan.

> Have you looked at the Mastroianni documentary, Marcello Mastroianni: I Remember? <

no, not yet. (click, click - now it's in my queue.) a lot of his later work was about memory. actually you can blame that late perspective, apparent in voyage to the beginning of the world, for my first, non-committal response to 8 1/2. fellini-'cello's point of view on his experience was included in a breath in de oliveira-'cello's quiet ramble through his life - it's hard for middle-aged perspective to compete with a viewpoint from beyond the limits of reasonable mortality - talking with you about 8 1/2 brought me back from de oliveira's grave, so to speak.

...so to speak, he says...

> I thought Dark Eyes was on DVD but then, it may have gone OOP. <

i've never seen it. were you thinking of dark days? :-)

i have to see big deal on madonna street (i soliti ignoti) again, now that i've seen rififi. god even with years between them, i was laughing at rififi through the eyes of age-scarpelli as i was watching it.
Eoliano
post #3  on December 7, 2002 - 11:56 AM PST  

>> mastroianni as the tempered outsider in i compagni, brilliant. i recognized in him a number of people i've met, in the labor movement, in other activism, a different view, maybe a more human view, than chris cooper's terrific joe kenehan in matewan.

He gives an excellent performance in that film. It was really a treat to see it on the big screen again.

> Have you looked at the Mastroianni documentary, Marcello Mastroianni: I Remember? <

>> no, not yet. (click, click - now it's in my queue.) a lot of his later work was about memory. actually you can blame that late perspective, apparent in voyage to the beginning of the world, for my first, non-committal response to 8 1/2. fellini-'cello's point of view on his experience was included in a breath in de oliveira-'cello's quiet ramble through his life - it's hard for middle-aged perspective to compete with a viewpoint from beyond the limits of reasonable mortality - talking with you about 8 1/2 brought me back from de oliveira's grave, so to speak.

I hope you get to see it while this conversation is still fresh in you mind. Hes a marvelous raconteur, and to hear him talk about his life in theater and films is warms the soul.

> I thought Dark Eyes was on DVD but then, it may have gone OOP. <

>> i've never seen it. were you thinking of dark days? :-)

Not.

>> i have to see big deal on madonna street (i soliti ignoti) again, now that i've seen rififi. god even with years between them, i was laughing at rififi through the eyes of age-scarpelli as i was watching it.

Big Deal on Madonna Street is a hoot, and Im particularly fond of Tot˛, who only plays a minor role in the film, but Ive only seen his films on TV in Italy where they play all the time.

Speaking of Italian actors, one who has always struck a very personal note for me was Gian Maria VolontÚ. Especially his work with Francesco Rosi; Mattei Affair, Lucky Luciano, Christ Stopped at Eboli and Chronicle of a Death Foretold. Also, one of his most memorable and last performances was in Gianni Amelios Open Doors by my favorite Sicilian writer, Leonardo Sciascia. That VolontÚ was in my head when I last read the book is not surprising. And even though I know what Carlo Levi looks like, I can only picture VolontÚ when I read passages of Eboli. I was in Milan at the tiny hotel bar where I was staying when news came that he died during the shooting of Ulysses' Gaze, and I can remember the conversation between myself the barista and the front desk clerk, it was very moving. We were all a little teary-eyed.
dpowers
post #4  on December 9, 2002 - 7:39 PM PST  
[eoliano]
> I hope you get to see [Marcello Mastroianni: I Remember] while this conversation is still fresh in you mind. Hes a marvelous raconteur, and to hear him talk about his life in theater and films is warms the soul. <

okay i'll try to catch it in the next week.

oh and, actually, dark days is quite good, i've heard.

> Big Deal on Madonna Street is a hoot, and Im particularly fond of Tot˛, who only plays a minor role in the film, but Ive only seen his films on TV in Italy where they play all the time. <

i know a place that has a lot of tot˛ movies but not on DVD, and some without subtitles, which is not so good for me.

> Speaking of Italian actors, one who has always struck a very personal note for me was Gian Maria VolontÚ. <

of course i've seen him in a couple of movies, he had parts in fistful of dollars and for a few dollars more but i don't remember him in particular. of the other films i'm looking for nearly all of them, including lulu the tool (the working class goes to heaven), investigation of a citizen above suspicion, sacco and vanzetti, and the ones you mentioned.

> I was in Milan at the tiny hotel bar where I was staying when news came that he died ... I can remember the conversation between myself the barista and the front desk clerk, it was very moving. We were all a little teary-eyed. <

whatever it is in my character, movie stars don't get into my heart that way. maybe because i haven't gone far enough along the road with anyone yet.
Eoliano
post #5  on December 10, 2002 - 8:25 AM PST  
>> oh and, actually, dark days is quite good, i've heard.

Do you mean this one? Dark Days? It's often on the telly. I used to see those people regularly in New York.

>> i know a place that has a lot of tot˛ movies but not on DVD, and some without subtitles, which is not so good for me.

Yes, and unfortunately even less good for me since I'm not where you are! Where is it, in North Beach?

>> of course i've seen him (Gian Maria VolontÚ) in a couple of movies, he had parts in fistful of dollars and for a few dollars more but i don't remember him in particular. of the other films i'm looking for nearly all of them, including lulu the tool (the working class goes to heaven), investigation of a citizen above suspicion, sacco and vanzetti, and the ones you mentioned.

His career, the post spaghetti western period that is, is very much politically driven. Sacco, at least the version on DVD is very poor quality stuff, and Morricone must have hated the Joan Baez collaboration, I know that I did. However, Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, and all of his most important films are not available on DVD, and damned few are on VHS except for the westerns. There are several films I'd love to see and/or see again like A Simple Story, Open Doors, The Moro Affair, and Todo Modo, to name a few. I would love to own DVDs of some of these, especially the Carlo Levi adaptation and others. And I could go on about the films of Francesco Rosi
>> whatever it is in my character, movie stars don't get into my heart that way. maybe because i haven't gone far enough along the road with anyone yet.

It had a lot to do with VolontÚ's strong social/political views and how he applied them to his life and work. He was very outspoken.

Go here

Unfortunately, it's in Italian and the text is in images so I can't copy and paste any of it into a translation, but the presentation is excellent as is the content.

Below is a badly translated quote, but you can get his drift.

"To be an actor is a matter of choice that is placed, above all, on an existential level: or to express oneself to the conservative societal structures as a robot in the hands of power and be satisfied, or it turns us towards the progressive components of society in order to attempt to establish a revolutionary relationship between art and life."

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