Italian Movies to Watch Absolutely

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Since its inception, the Italian movies have influenced cinematographic activities all over the world and the Italian movie production has made some of the most important movies to watch and great timeless masterpieces. Italy is one of the birthplaces of the trial cinema and the stylistic element of cinema has been one of the most essential factors of Italian cinema. Italian movies have won 14 Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language movie, more than any other nation, as well as 12 Palme d’Or, the nation’s second-largest, an Academy Award for Best movie, and several Golden Lions and Bears as well golden.

The italian films history began a couple of months after the Lumière brothers started the cinematic events. It is believed that the first Italian director was Vittorio Calcina, a partner of the Lumière Brothers, who in 1896 made a movie about Pope Leo XIII. The very first movies date back to 1896 and were made in various cities on the Italian peninsula. These experiments satisfied the interest of the public of the time, fascinated by the novelty of cinematographic entertainment, prompting directors to create ever new Italian movies, to the point of laying the foundations for the birth of a real Italian films industry.

In the early years of the 20th century, many silent Italian movies were created, which brought various Italian actors into the limelight until the completion of the First World War. movies such as Othello (1906), The Last Days of Pompeii (1908), Inferno (1911), Quo Vadis (1913), and Cabiria (1914), were made as adaptations of novels or plays. The Italian moviemakers used spectacular sets and very well-finished costumes.

The first avant-garde film movement European, Italian futurism, took place in the late 10s. After a period of contraction in the 1920s, Italian movies regained strength in the 1930s with the arrival of sound cinema. A prominent Italian movie genre during this period, the Telefoni Bianchi, included the genre of gods comedy movie. While the Italian fascist government provided financial support for the production of new Italian movies, and also built the Cinecittà studios, the largest in Europe, it also participated in censorship, and many Italian movies made in the late 1930s were propaganda movies

italian-movies

A completely new period occurred at the end of the Second World War with the birth of the Italian neorealist movies, which found wide acclaim throughout the world throughout the post-war period, and which made known the Italian movies of great directors come Luchino Visconti, Roberto Rossellini and Vittorio De Sica. Neorealism declined in the late 1950s for lighter movies, such as those of theItalian comedy and for important Italian directors such as Federico Fellini and Michelangelo Antonioni. Actresses such as Sophia Loren, Giulietta Masina and Gina Lollobrigida achieved worldwide fame during this period.

In the mid-1960s, the Italian movies of the Dollar Trilogy by Sergio Leone, with outstanding soundtracks by Ennio Morricone, have become symbols of pop culture of the western genre. Genre movies, such as i Italian thrillers, or mysteries, which influenced the horror and thriller category worldwide in the 1970s.

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Obsession (1943)

It is a 1943 Italian movie based on the 1934 novel The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain. The first feature movie by Luchino Visconti, is considered by many to be the first Italian neorealist movie, although whether that classification is accurate is debated. It has some commonalities with the calligraphy style.

Gino Costa, a drifter, stops at a small roadside gas station run by Giovanna Bragana and her older husband, Giuseppe. Giovanna is disgusted by her husband, having married him only for his money, and is immediately attracted to the younger and more attractive Gino. Giovanna serves Gino food, but they are interrupted by Giuseppe, who throws Gino out. Giovanna declares that Gino has not paid, stealing his money, as the reason for his return. Giuseppe goes after Gino, only to find that Gino is out of money, so Gino arranges to fix Giuseppe’s car in payment for the meal.

Rome, Open City (1945)

German SS soldiers attempt to imprison Giorgio Manfredi, Communist engineer and leader of the Resistance against Italian Nazis and Fascists. They think Giorgio is a policeman, however when he hints that he is a Confederate Giorgio asks him to send money to a group of Resistance fighters outside the city, as he is now recognized by the Gestapo and cannot do solo.

Few movie movements can boast the success of Italian neorealism, a post-World War II wave that participated in the battle of the working class that produced many art movies. Roberto Rossellini he was among the leading directors of neorealism. This drama of repression and resistance boasts some of the most incredible scenes in all of cinema.

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Paisà (1946)

It’s a drama movie of Italian neorealist war of 1946 directed byRoberto Rossellini. In 6 independent episodes, it tells of Italy’s freedom from Allied pressure during the last phase of the Second World War. The movie premiered at the Venice International movie Festival and won numerous national and global awards.

All over the world the movie has acquired important recognitions. The French critic André Bazin chose it as the essential movie to reveal the value of Italian neorealism, highlighting its grasp of truth with an amalgam of documentary and fiction. He has achieved recognition in the United States, Belgium, Japan and Switzerland.

Germany, Year Zero (1948)

It is a 1948 italian movie directed by Roberto Rossellini, and is also the last movie in the trilogy of war movie by Rossellini, which follows Rome, Open City and Paisà. Germany Year Zero is set in Allied-occupied Germany, unlike the others which take place in German-occupied Rome and during the Allied invasion of Italy.

As in many neorealist movies, Rossellini mainly used non-professional actors. Shot in Berlin the year after its near-total destruction in World War II, it includes meaningful images of ruined Berlin and the human struggle for survival amid the destruction of Nazi Germany. Many movie critics who had previously applauded Rossellini condemned the movie as theatrical and unwise. An innovative movie, defined by Charlie Chaplin as the most beautiful Italian movie he had ever seen, it is a movie production very far from the visual canons of Hollywood.

La terra trema (1948)

It is a 1948 Italian neorealist movie directed, co-written and produced by Luchino Visconti. A loose adaptation of the 1881 novel I Malavoglia by Giovanni Verga, the movie chronicles the individual sufferings of Sicilian fishermen. The movie is documentary-style, includes a cast of non-professional actors, and a mix of scripted and unscripted series. It is considered one of the important movies of the neorealist movement and is among the best movies ever.

The Valastros are a working-class fishing family in Aci Trezza, a small fishing town on the east coast of Sicily. The first part tells the fishermen’s effort to improve their lives. The fishermen ask for a higher cost for their fish, pushed by the eldest son ‘Ntoni, to rebel against the wholesalers. The fishermen end up in prison. The wholesalers realize that it is more rewarding to have ‘Ntoni and his friends fishing, so they release the fishermen. ‘Ntoni, who has lived outside Sicily for a while, had brought back some new concepts to his country, and tries to form a cooperative, but no one joins him. Choosing to go it alone, he convinces his family to mortgage the house to buy a boat and starts his new life.

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Bicycle Thieves (1948)

In the Roman district of Val Melaina after the Second World War, Antonio Ricci (Lamberto Maggiorani) has no hope of work to support his wife Maria (Lianella Carell) and their child Bruno (Enzo Staiola). Since the activity requires a bicycle, he advises Maria that she cannot purchase one. Maria takes the sheets of her dowry off the bed and takes them to the pawnshop, where they are paid in suitable cash for the purchase of Antonio’s bicycle.

The neorealist artwork of Vittorio de Sica is rooted in a world where owning a bicycle is essential to work, yet it could also be set in a world where lack of a car, or affordable daycare, or a home, or social security are overwhelming barriers to putting food on the table. This is what makes it a movie both for post-war Italy and for any era.

I vitelloni (1953)

It is a 1953 comedy-drama movie directed by Federico Fellini from a script written by himself, Ennio Flaiano and Tullio Pinelli. The cast includes Franco Interlenghi, Alberto Sordi, Franco Fabrizi, Leopoldo Trieste and Riccardo Fellini (director’s brother) as 5 young Italian men at turning points in their lives. The movie has unique autobiographical aspects that mirror crucial social changes in 1950s Italy. Winner of both the Silver Lion at the Venice movie Festival in 1953 and an Academy Award nomination for best screenplay in 1958, the movie’s success launched Fellini’s career after the commercial failure of The White Sheik (1952). . It also launched its protagonist Alberto Sordi.

As summer sets in, a violent storm interrupts a beachside beauty show in a provincial town on the Adriatic coast. Sandra Rubini, crowned “Miss Sirenetta 1953”, suddenly gets angry and faints: there are rumors that she is pregnant due to the inveterate seducer Fausto Moretti. Under pressure from Francesco, his father, Fausto agrees to a shotgun wedding. After the wedding ceremony, the newlyweds leave the city for their honeymoon.

The Road (1954)

It is a 1954 Italian drama movie directed by Federico Fellini and co-written by Fellini, Tullio Pinelli and Ennio Flaiano. The movie tells the story of Gelsomina, a girl (Giulietta Masina) bought by her mother from Zampanò (Anthony Quinn), a brutal street artist who takes her with him on trips.

Fellini explained La Strada as a movie that encompasses his entire mythological world, a representation of his identity. The movie required more effort and time than any of his other works, before or since. The production procedure was tortuous and long; there were problems during production, consisting of insecure financing, problematic castings, and various robberies. Shortly before the production wrapped, Fellini suffered a nervous breakdown that required medical attention in order to finish movieing. The critical and public response to the movie was extreme and the movie’s screening at the Venice movie Festival generated a bitter debate between critics and Fellini supporters. The Road is among the most important movies ever made. It also won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language movie in 1957.

Abandoned (1955)

It is a 1955 Italian movie set during the aftermath of the Allied invasion of Italy in 1943 during World War II. The movie went to the 1955 Venice movie Festival. It is the directorial launch ofFrancis Maselli. The music was composed by Giovanni Fusco and staged by Ennio Morricone.

In the summer of 1943, the Countess Luisa and her son Andrea leave Milan because of the Allied battles in the city and retire to their property outside the city, where they host 2 of Andrea’s peers, her cousin Carlo, the son of a fascist for Switzerland, and his friend Ferruccio, son of an army officer who took part in the war. The 3 young people kill time in sweet idleness, sunbathing along the river, barely aware of the ongoing quarrel, thanks to the broadcasts of Radio London. They begin to become aware of the gravity of the scenario when the displaced people arrive from the city and Andrea is obliged to accept hosting some of them on the property, to the discomfort of his mother.

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The Cry (1957)

It is a 1957 Italian movie directed by Michelangelo Antonioni and starring Steve Cochran, Alida Valli, Betsy Blair and Dorian Gray. Based on a short story by Antonioni, the movie tells of a man who wanders aimlessly, far from his city, far from the woman he liked, and ends up being mentally and socially unstable. Il Grido won the Golden Leopard at the Locarno International movie Festival in 1957 and the Silver Ribbon for Best Cinematography (Gianni di Venanzo) in 1958.

Aldo worked at the sugar factory in Goriano for 7 years. His fiancée, Irma, discovers that her partner, who had left for Australia years earlier to look for work, has recently died there. Irma goes to the sugar factory and brings Aldo lunch. Aldo returns to your house where they discuss the death of his spouse. Aldo says that after 7 years they can finally get married and legitimize their little girl, Rosina. The next day, Irma reveals to him that she likes someone else. Aldo can’t believe his words. Over the next few days he frantically tries to change her mind, but to no avail, and the affair ends with him slapping her in public.

The Nights of Cabiria (1957)

It is a 1957 Italian drama movie co-written and directed by Federico Fellini. It stars Giulietta Masina as Cabiria, a street woman who lives in Rome. Also in the cast are François Périer and Amedeo Nazzari. The movie is based on a short story by Fellini, which he expanded into a cinematic screenplay together with his co-writers Ennio Flaiano, Tullio Pinelli and Pier Paolo Pasolini.

Best Actress Award at the Cannes movie Festival for Giulietta Masina, Nights of Cabiria won the 1957 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language movie. This was the second consecutive year that Italy and Fellini won this Oscar, after La Strada the year before, which also starred Masina. The prostitute Cabiria and her lover Giorgio playfully chase each other across a field and around a river bank. Unconcerned with Giorgio’s criminal intent, Cabiria stands near the water’s edge, before being pushed into the river and having her purse and money taken away. She is saved by a group of men who save her from drowning.

Cabiria returns to her suburban home, but Giorgio has disappeared. She is bitter and when her friend and neighbor, Wanda, tries to help her through the event, Cabiria chases her away and is left miserable. One night, he is outside a fancy club and witnesses a fight between famous movie star Alberto Lazzari and his wife. The angry Lazzari takes Cabiria to another club where they dance the mambo, before returning to the movie star’s home, where Cabiria is shocked by his luxury. The two share an intimate minute in Lazzari’s bedroom, but are blocked by the intrusion of Lazzari’s ex-girlfriend. Cabiria spend the night locked in the bathroom, and spies Lazzari and his wife reconciling through the keyhole of the bathroom door.

La dolce vita (1960)

Made in the midst of the Italian boom years, the international success of Federico Fellini tells of beauty and celebrity in the society of the time. The movie made Marcello Mastroianni a star: he plays a chatty journalist who frequents the crazy world of Roman nightlife. The movie’s depiction of this environment as a soul-destroying hedonism is impressive. Fellini movies everything with such cinematic vigor that it’s often hard not to get caught up in the frenzied events on the screen. Much of how we see fame still goes back to this movie; it even created the word paparazzi. It is definitely among those movies that change your life.

The Adventure (1960)

This italian movie is based on a story by Michelangelo Antonioni written with co-writers Elio Bartolini and Tonino Guerra, an arthouse movie about the disappearance of a lady (Lea Massari) during a boat trip in the Mediterranean, and also about the subsequent betrayal of her admirer (Gabriele Ferzetti) with his partner (Monica Vitti) It was movieed in Rome, the Aeolian Islands and Sicily in 1959 in difficult economic and logistical conditions. A work of art to see to understand the essence of Antonioni’s cinema and its effect on all other moviemakers.

While Claudia waits downstairs, Anna and Sandro have sex at her house. The following morning the personal luxury yacht reaches the Aeolian Islands in northern Sicily. Having passed Basiluzzo, Anna impulsively dives into the water for a swim and Sandro leaps after her. Sandro tries to save her when Anna sobs that she actually saw a shark. Anna confesses to Claudia that the shark was a lie to arouse Sandro’s interest. After seeing Claudia liking her blouse, he tells her to put it on, that it fits much better than her, and that she can keep it. Anna is dissatisfied with Sandro’s long business trips, who ignores her problems and sleeps on the rocks.

Black Sunday (1960)

A witch and her evil servant return from the grave and embark on a bloody strategy to recover the body of the witch’s descendant. Movie director:Mario Bava. Starring: Barbara Steele, John Richardson, Andrea Checchi, Ivo Garrani. Modern Italian cinema critics panned the movie negatively, although some enjoyed the cinematography. The movie has nice camera movements and Bava’s visual style produces poetry and feeling as well as fear. Bava is an author of pictorial movies and this is among his best works.

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Eyes Without a Face (1960)

The instructor Génessier, a well-known plastic surgeon who deals with transplants, is responsible for a car accident from which his daughter Christiane came out alive but with a terribly mutilated face. With the help of an assistant, he lures women into his workshop to rip the skin off their faces and use it on his daughter’s wounds. An operation so difficult that it is necessary to repeat it systematically, after each failure of the grafts. Christiane, a mask on her face, still does not understand absolutely anything …

French critics claimed that it was an imitation of the German Expressionism or simply a mistake for the director’s leap from documentaries to genre movies. The British press claimed that when a director like Georges Francis does a movie horror, one cannot try to find allegories or levels of reading. Eyes Without a Face was re-released theatrically in September 1986 to accompany retrospectives at London’s National movie Theater and the Cinémathèque Française, and the movie began to be re-evaluated. French reviews of the movie have been particularly more encouraging than they were upon its preliminary release. Audiences discovered the poetic nature of the movie by comparing it with the work of the French poet and director Jean Cocteau. Franju uses a strange poem in which Cocteau’s inspiration appears.

Divorce Italian Style (1961 )

Oscar winner, the movie byPeter Germi it’s a black comedy which tells a story about divorce in Sicily in a really clever and funny way. Mastroianni plays Ferdinando Cefalù, a man tired of his wife, so much so that he wants to kill her. He wants to marry Angela, a beautiful young woman who loves him back. He doesn’t care about being an aristocrat: Ferdinand only desires Angela and sets out a strategy to eliminate his wife. Convinced that his plan will surely work, he starts imagining a positive future for him. Ferdinando’s madness and eccentricity are represented by the body twitches and nervous tics that Mastroianni performs wonderfully throughout the movie.

movie is really hilarious and has a fast pace, with a precise editing like a time bomb. Germi’s direction is superb, and the story is full of the nastiness and cynicism typical of the Italian comedy. It’s a scathing satire on divorce in southern Italy in the 1950s.

A Difficult Life (1961)

This italian movie directed by Dino Risi tells the story of Italian national politics from 1944 to 1960, from the problems of the Second World War to the end of fascism and the birth of the Italian Republic up to the birth of the Italian Communist Party. It follows the life of Silvio, who thinks his political faith should be rewarded, but in the end he recognizes that Italy has changed and he too must change with it.

In 1944 the Roman Silvio Magnozzi (Alberto Sordi), is a second lieutenant in the Royal Army in service on Lake Como. After the Italian desertion of 8 September 1943, Silvio enlisted in a local partisan group to continue fighting the Nazis who still reside in the Italian countryside. Looking for a safe place to stay, he is sent to a hotel. He is discovered by a German soldier who intends to eliminate him on the spot. Elena (Lea Massari), the hotelier’s daughter, saves her life by killing the German with an iron. She takes him to the mill of her deceased grandparents. For 3 months he and Elena live together. At the end of that period Silvio leaves without even saying goodbye and enlists in the partisans.

Accattone (1961)

Vittorio (Franco Citti), nicknamed “Accattone”, leads a life of slacker until his street woman, Maddalena, is exploited by her competitors and convicted. With no steady income, he initially tries to make up with his child’s mother, but is rejected by his parents; whereupon he meets a girl from the township, Stella, and attempts to make her a prostitute for him, but when his first client beats her, she runs away. Accattone tries to console her, but leaves her, after she has an unusual vision of her own death, to go with her friends.

Although it was shot with a script, Accattone is a cinematic version of Pasolini’s early stories, especially Ragazzi di vita and Una vita violenta. It was the first movie of Pierpaolo Pasolini as a director, and uses directing styles that would surely have been seen as Pasolini’s trademark characteristics: non-professional actors from the place where the movie is set, it is among the excellent cinematographic works to be seen certainly on people affected by hardship.

Il posto (1961)

It is a 1961 Italian movie directed by Ermanno Olmi. Typically cited as Olmi’s first major work, it is an example of Italian neorealism. Olmi won the David di Donatello for best director for his deal with the movie. The movie tells the story of Domenico, a boy who gives up school because his family needs money and has to go to work. Landing a job at a large city corporation, he goes through a strange series of exams, tests and interviews. During a short break from rehearsals, he meets Antonietta, a girl who, like him, has given up on her education because she needs money to support herself and her mother. During this meeting, they have coffee in a café and talk about their lives and aspirations. Domenico is attracted to her, but they are separated when they get jobs in various departments.

The Eclipse (1962)

It is a 1962 Italian arthouse movie written and directed by Michelangelo Antonioni and played by Alain Delon and Monica Vitti. Shot between Rome and Verona, the story follows a girl (Vitti) who has a relationship with a young stockbroker at the financial market (Delon). When a solar eclipse occurs in Florence, Antonioni associated some of his inspirations with the movie. The movie is the end of a trilogy and is preceded by L’Avventura (1960) and La Notte (1961). L’Eclisse won the Special Jury Prize at the 1962 Cannes movie Festival and was chosen for the Palme d’Or. Defined by Martin Scorsese as the boldest movie of the trilogy, it is among the director’s best-known works.

One Monday in July 1961, at dawn, Vittoria, a young literary translator, ends her relationship with Riccardo in his apartment in the EUR real estate district of Rome, after a long night of discussions. Riccardo tries to persuade her to stay, but she informs him that she no longer loves him and leaves. As she strolls through the deserted early morning streets past the EUR water tower, Riccardo joins her and walks her through a wooded place to her apartment, where they say goodbye for the last time.

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The Easy Life (1962)

It is among the best examples of Italian comedy as it chronicles modern Italy of the 1960s with economic development and likewise the rise of “nouveau-riche” society, mainly thanks to a rapidly growing market. The duo Gassman and Jean-Louis Trintignant make this set one of the most wonderful. The differences of the characters, which culminate in an anomalous tragic fate for a comedy, make “Il Sorpasso” one of the most unusual and remarkable movies.

Bruno Cortona is a naive and enthusiastic playboy of the good life, who after being assisted by Roberto Mariani, a shy and shy law student who wants to spend his day, welcomes him to spend the day with him on a car trip. A little doubtful, Roberto accepts this unusual offer and begins the curious journey through the region, up to Tuscany.

The duo works fully and even the difference of the characters really radiates in a movie that leads us to understand Italy in the 60s. Regardless of their inevitable distinctions and controversies, the two characters end up having empathy for each other. The movie is also an allegory and description of the “new life” that was emerging in Italy at that time.

Mafioso (1962)

It is a 1962 Italian mafia and black comedy movie directed by Alberto Lattuada. The movie stars Alberto Sordi as a factory manager in the north who visits his hometown in Sicily and is tasked with carrying out a heist for the Mafia. It was awarded Best movie at the San Sebastian movie Festival.

Antonio Badalamenti, a Sicilian who has actually been absent for several years in Northern Italy and is employed in an automobile factory in Milan, takes a road trip with his family, leaving the modern perks of his home in Northern Italy, to visit his hometown youth in Sicily and introduces his wife, a blonde North Italian named Marta, to his mother, father and other relatives back home.

While his wife suffers in the rustic conditions of her husband’s hometown and has difficulty adjusting to Sicilian culture, Antonio ends up reconnecting with his youth companions. Also visit the regional prosecutor, Don Vincenzo, who is a mafia boss. The boss solves some problems that Antonio had with an offer to buy some properties on the island and, in exchange, he is given the task of carrying out a murder for the mafia. As an outsider and a man with no Mafia connections, Antonio is seen as the ideal killer.

The Monsters (1963)

Monsters is a movie Italian comedies of 1963 by the director Dino Risi. The movie was a notable success in Italy. It was censored in Spain. In 1977, an Oscar-nominated sequel entitled The New Monsters was movieed. The movie consists of many episodes in which the protagonists Ugo Tognazzi and Vittorio Gassman are the main protagonists. The stories provide a clear picture of the practices, vices and cheats of the majority of Italians in the 1960s. Undoubtedly the funny characters and situations are staged in such a way that they touch the strictest limits of satire: it is definitely a must-see movie, a work of art in the comic category. The satire of the episodes affects characters of all kinds and social classes, police officers and political leaders who abuse their power, and also the bourgeois class.

8 1/2 (1963)

Guido Anselmi, a well-known Italian director, is facing “director’s block”. Stuck in his new sci-fi movie which consists of veiled autobiographical confessions, he doesn’t like his current life, full of creative and marital worries. While trying to recover from stress and anxieties by treating himself at the thermal baths of Chianciano, Guido contacts a famous movie critic to examine the screenplay of his movie, but the critic brutally crushes it, fueling his doubts. Guido has repeated visions of a woman he considers essential to his story, as his lover Carla prepares to visit him, but Guido puts her in another hotel to avoid her being noticed by the movie’s production team.

After the success of La dolce vita, Fellini recovered from a stalemate with this autobiographical work of art about a director experiencing a creative block. Taking the title from the number of movies Fellini had actually finished up to that point. Cult movie of directors around the world, Fellini’s movie has been remembered and imitated in many subsequent movies.

Black Sabbath (1963)

Boris Karloff stars in a trio of scary stories including an abused call girl, a vampire making the most of his home, and a nurse who is being haunted by her ring’s rightful owner. Movie director: Mario Bava. Starring: Michèle Mercier, Lidia Alfonsi, Boris Karloff, Mark Damon. The scariest element of the movie is its style, especially the dirty and heavy interiors of The Drop of Water, while the performance is less convincing. Even the sound and optical forcings sometimes appear too extreme: a greater rigor would have benefited the movie.

The Ape Woman (1964)

It is a 1964 Italian movie directed by Marco Ferreri. It participated in the 1964 Cannes movie Festival. The movie was motivated by the real-life story of Julia Pastrana, a 19th century woman. Marie, the “Monkey Woman”, is completely covered in hair; the entrepreneur Focaccia finds it in a convent in Naples; he marries her as a condition imposed by the nuns, and begins to show her to the general public. He tries to give it to a boy who appreciates his virginity, but she is reluctant. After tasting success in Paris, the woman dies in childbirth. Focaccia recovers the body from the naturalistic museum and exhibits it in Naples.

I Knew Her Well (1965)

It is a 1965 Italian comedy-drama movie directed by Antonio Pietrangeli and interpreted by Stefania Sandrelli. Since she wants to be an actress, Adriana (Stefania Sandrelli), a young Italian woman from the provinces, moves to Rome. The movie won 3 Nastri d’Argento: best director, best screenplay and best supporting actor (Ugo Tognazzi). Pietrangeli was named Best Director at the Mar del Plata movie Festival. A poetic female portrait and fresco from the 1960s, it is one of the unmissable masterpieces of Italian cinema that finds a rare balance between tragedy and comedy.

Seduced and Abandoned (1964)

Seduced and Abandoned is an Italian comedy with satire, strong language and sexual innuendo. It’s an extremely dense story, which thickens as it progresses. The characters change a lot from the start, especially one of the characters, Agnes. She is Matilde’s sister, engaged to Peppino, seen by women as a handsome man, and also the daughter of Don Vincenzo.

One day, while everyone is sleeping, Peppino seduces the innocent Agnese, who appreciates his beauty and has always had a crush on him. They sleep together and a story begins with numerous funny twists. Contrary to many movies of the Italian comedy which have a bitter and sometimes tragic aftertaste, “Seduced and Abandoned” is a totally humorous movie. It is a movie not to be missed, especially if you like the subtlety and intelligence of the stories of Pietro Germi.

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The Battle of Algiers (1966)

It is a 1966 Italian war movie written and directed by Gillo Pontecorvo. It is based on events during the Algerian War (1954-1962) against the French federal government in North Africa, one of the most popular being the Battle of Algiers of the same name. The movie is shot in black and white with a documentary style to add historical value, with mainly non-professional actors who had experienced the real battle.

The movie’s music was composed by Pontecorvo and Ennio Morricone. It is a movie linked to Italian neorealist cinema. It could be a much larger cinematic experience than numerous moviegoers can handle: pessimistic, reflective, heartbreaking, and extreme. It could be about any war. It is regarded as one of the best movies of eternity. American director Stanley Kubrick praised the movie saying, “All movies are, in a sense, wrong documentaries. They try to get as close to reality as possible, only it’s not reality. There are people who do exceptional things, who it really completely surprised and deceived me. The battle of Algiers is truly remarkable.” Anthony Frewin, Kubrick’s personal assistant, said: “When I started working for Stanley in September 1965, he informed me that I really couldn’t understand what cinema was without seeing The Battle of Algiers. He was still passionate about this movie shortly before his death.”

The Birds, the Bees and the Italians (1966)

It is an Italian movie by Pietro Germi from 1966 in the comedy genre. The movie tells 3 stories, all set in the Italian city of Treviso. In the first story, a husband pretends to be impotent as a cover for having an affair. In the second, a cashier abandons his wife for a pretty girl, but the rest of the town ends up envious and unites to conspire against them. In the third, the boys of the town all seduce a teenage girl, but her father finally reveals that she is a minor and they face prosecution for rape.

Ugly Birds and Little Birds (1966)

It is a 1966 Italian movie directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini. The film participated in the 1966 Cannes movie Festival where he received a “Special Mention” for Totò. The movie can be described as partly neorealist and deals with Marxist issues of hardship and class conflict. It includes the popular Italian comic actor Totò accompanied on a journey by his son, played by Ninetto Davoli. This is the last movie starring Totò before his death in 1967.

Totò and his son Ninetto wander through the Roman countryside. During their walk, they observe a body being taken from a house following a murder. They next come across a talking crow, which is explained in the captions: “For the benefit of those who were not taking note or remain in doubt, we advise you that the crow is – as you claim – a left-wing intellectual of the type alive before the death of Palmiro Togliatti”. After many failures the 2 characters find the language of birds and manage to preach love to families, but the hawks continue to kill and eat the sparrows, as it is in their nature.

Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

A man called “Harmonica” seeks revenge against the criminal Frank. Frank works as a hit man for the railroad tycoon, Morton, who is trying to get land owned by the Brett McBain family. The dusters they wear make them think they’re the Cheyenne boys. Frank leaves evidence to blame Cheyenne for the murders. This spaghetti western artwork made by director Sergio Leone is set in a civilized America, albeit movieed in Rome and Spain. The movie takes place in a new frontier as an old world of heroes fades into memory. The cold gaze of Henry Fonda, the guitars of Ennio Morricone and Charles Bronson as the gunslinger are simply 3 elements of a masterpiece.

Dillinger Is Dead (1969)

It is a 1969 Italian drama directed by Marco Ferreri. In the cast Michel Piccoli, Anita Pallenberg and Annie Girardot. The story is a darkly satirical mix of dream and reality. The movie follows a bored and alienated man through the night at his home. The title originates from a newspaper article included in the movie declaring the death of American gangster John Dillinger. The movie appeared objectionable in its preliminary release for its subject matter and violence, but is now generally considered the most important piece of art in Ferreri’s movieography. He was well known to the major French movie publication Cahiers du cinéma and Ferreri later lived and worked in Paris for several years.

Glauco, a middle-aged commercial gas mask designer, is tired of his profession. After discussing alienation with a partner at the factory, he returns home. His wife lies in bed with a headache but has left his dinner on the table, which has gone cold. He is disappointed with the food and starts preparing himself a better meal.

Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (1970)

It is a 1970 crime movie directed by Elio Petri, with Gian Maria Volonté and Florinda Bolkan. It’s a satire and black comedy about the corruption of power, telling the story of a top law enforcement officer who kills his girlfriend, and then sees if the cops have the guts to charge him with the crime. He begins following up on the investigation by leaving clues while law enforcement officers ignore them, intentionally or unintentionally. The movie won the Jury Prize at the 1970 Cannes movie Festival and the David di Donatello for Best movie for Best Actor (Gian Maria Volonté). In the United States, it won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language movie. Petri and his co-writer Ugo Pirro were chosen for the best original screenplay.

The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970)

It is a 1970 Italian movie directed by the master of Italian Giallo Dario Argento in his directorial debut. The movie is the first in the Giallo italiano category which ushered in a long period of success for this kind of movie. Upon its release, the movie was a big hit at the box office. It was also a success outside Italy.

Sam Dalmas is an American writer vacationing in Rome with his English girlfriend, Julia, who is going through writer’s block and is on the verge of returning to America, however he witnesses a woman being attacked in an art gallery by of a strange guy with black gloves and raincoat. Trying to reach him, Sam is trapped between 2 mechanically operated glass doors and can only see the man escape. The girl, Monica Ranieri, was attacked and the authorities took Sam’s passport to prevent him from leaving the country. The attacker is believed to be a serial killer who’s been eliminating women all over town, and Sam is a major witness.

Roma (1972)

Federico Fellini tells of his youth in Rome. A young Fellini (Gonzales) moves into a large Roman house inhabited by grotesque individuals, including a Benito Mussolini impersonator, and managed by an obese lady. He attends 2 brothels – one tiny and overcrowded and the other more elegant – and has sex with a prostitute. There’s a cheap vaudeville theater, busy streets, tunnels, and an ancient catacomb with frescoes that get damaged by the fresh air soon after archaeologists find it.

Among the most famous scenes are an elderly noblewoman holding an extravagant church-style parade for a cardinal and several other high prelates with nuns and priests parading in all kinds of unusual outfits. The plot is very little, and the only “character” to establish itself substantially is Rome itself. Peter Gonzales plays the young Fellini and the movie is made up of a number of non-professional actors. Anti-narrative movie, in blocks of autonomous series, visionary, psychedelic, delirious. Each sequence is a work of art, a movie within a movie. Every shot, even those that last just 2 seconds, is a painting worthy of a prestigious art gallery. Among the greatest figurative journeys of the 20th century.

GO TO MOVIES TO WATCH

Amarcord (1973)

In Borgo San Giuliano, a town near Rimini, the arrival of poplar seeds carried by the wind heralds the arrival of spring. As night falls, the villagers make their way to the town square for a bonfire in which the Old Winter Witch is burned. People play tricks on each other, set fireworks. School under fascism is boring, with strict teachers and cold days. In confession, Titta hides from Don Balosa her masturbations and her efforts to attract Gradisca, a beautiful lady: luckily the priest is more concerned about the floral decorations in the parish.

The fascist authorities arrive in the city and the schoolchildren are forced to carry out athletic training. Titta’s pudgy friend Ciccio has visions of being married to their bourgeois classmate Aldina; celebrating the wedding is a huge face of Mussolini. Hidden in the bell tower of the town church, a gramophone reproduces an engraving of “L’Internazionale”, which is tracked down and shot by the fascists.

The character of Titta is undoubtedly inspired by Fellini’s youth companion, Luigi Titta Benzi, from Rimini. Benzi ended up working as a lawyer and continued to keep in close contact with Fellini throughout his life. A work of art charged with humanity and poetry, it is a must-see movie for all, even those who do not fully understand Fellini’s more sophisticated movies.

We All Loved Each Other So Much (1974)

Italian movie directed by Ettore Scola, the story follows 3 friends over the course of 30 years. Gianni, Marco and Nicola meet for the first time as young optimists who lead Italy’s fight for freedom from fascism. After the war they leave, with the intention of making their dreams come true. In the following years, their lives intersect again, between failures and personal dreams and dreams of Italy in general. A romantic comedy of anti-heroes, with a melancholic and bitter flavor about the passage of time and how lives change with the transformation of society and the inability to remain consistent. It is among those comedies that turn into existential drama and that bring both laughter and tears.

Fantozzi (1975)

Fantozzi’s movies are some of the most famous Italian comedy movies ever and are really full of idioms and words that are currently part of the Italian language. They tell the story of Ugo Fantozzi, an extremely servile mediocre Italian employee, who serves as a model to tell the customs and hypocrisies of the Italian petty bourgeoisie. Many cult scenes: Fantozzi and his partner Filini playing tennis, Fantozzi jumping off the terrace to arrive and catch the bus that takes him to his workplace on time, the obligatory movie club for employees with the projection of the battleship Potëmkin …

Ugly, Dirty and Bad (1976)

It is an amazing movie directed by Ettore Scola, not only for its funny minutes, but also for its meanness and strong language. Like Fantozzi, this movie too was released in the second half of the 1970s, affirming a new type of Italian comedy, building a plot with comic components full of meaning and ferocious social criticism.

It is undoubtedly among the most difficult and significant roles of Nino Manfredi, where he plays a rude one-eyed man. Giacinto takes care of all his children, grandchildren, their companions and every type of “family” imaginable, in a small hut with more than 10 people crammed inside. After losing his eye, his insurance coverage has provided him with a large sum, which he refuses to show to the rest of the “family” by keeping it under wraps. His daughters are called “whores” by him, and his sons he calls thieves, murderers and pigs, accusing them of wanting to steal his money. The movie is a work of art that has revolutionized the panorama of Italian comedy.

The House with Laughing Windows (1976)

Stefano, a young restorer of works of art, is commissioned to restore a fresco located in the church of a remote village. Director: Pupi Avati. Protagonists: Lino Capolicchio, Francesca Marciano, Gianni Cavina, Giulio Pizzirani. The fans of the Italian horror movies they might find this gothic movie unlike many titles in this movie category, but in this one it truly surpasses its contemporaries: a sense of constant dread that expands intolerably as the story progresses.

1900 (1976) 

It’s a epic movie historical drama 1976 directed by Bernardo Bertolucci which includes an international cast composed by Robert De Niro, Gérard Depardieu, Dominique Sanda, Francesca Bertini, Laura Betti, Stefania Casini, Ellen Schwiers, Sterling Hayden, Alida Valli, Romolo Valli, Stefania Sandrelli, Donald Sutherland and Burt Lancaster. Set in Emilia-Romagna, the movie narrates the lives and relationship of 2 men: the landowner Alfredo Berlinghieri (De Niro) and the farmer Olmo Dalcò (Depardieu). They witness and take part in the political disputes between fascism and communism in Italy in the first half of the 20th century. The movie premiered out of competition at the 1976 Cannes movie Festival.

Running for 317 minutes in its initial release, the movie is notable for being one of the longest movies ever made. Its length led to its distribution in 2 parts when it initially launched in many countries, including Italy, East and West Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Colombia, Pakistan and Japan. In other countries, such as the United States, a single abridged version of the movie was released. It is considered a cult classic.

A Special Day (1977)

It is a 1977 Italian drama movie directed by Ettore Scola and starring Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni and John Vernon. Set in Rome in 1938, its story follows a woman and her neighbor who stay home the day Adolf Hitler meets Benito Mussolini. It is an Italian-Canadian co-production. The themes of the movie are gender identity, fascism and the persecution of homosexuals under the fascist government of Mussolini. It has received numerous nominations and awards, including a César for best foreign movie, a Golden Globe for best foreign language movie and 2 Academy Awards in 1978.

On May 4, 1938, the day Hitler met Mussolini in Rome, Antonietta, a naïve, overworked and homesick housewife, stayed at home to do her normal household chores, while her fascist husband, Emanuele, and their 6 children they take to the streets to follow the demonstration. The house is empty, except for the caretaker and a neighbor, a man named Gabriele. Because of his homosexuality and his declared anti-fascist stance, he has been fired from his job and is about to be deported to Sardinia.

An Average Little Man (1977)

It is a 1977 Italian drama movie directed by Mario Monicelli. It is based on the book of the same name composed by Vincenzo Cerami. The movie blends Italian comedy with tragedy. The movie participated in the Cannes movie Festival in 1977. Giovanni Vivaldi (Alberto Sordi) is a petty bourgeois, a modest employee nearing retirement in a public service in the capital. His life is divided between work and family. With his wife Amalia (Shelley Winters) he shares a great desire for his boyfriend, Mario (Vincenzo Crocitti), a newly graduated accountant: to get him hired in the same job where he worked. The father, in an attempt to help his son, joins a Masonic lodge to help him win friendships and favoritism to get the job. Just as Giovanni Vivaldi’s efforts seem to be successful, his son Mario is killed, hit by a stray bullet during a shootout in which the father and the boy happen to be involved.

Suspiria (1977)

An American student at a German ballet academy realizes the school is a front for something ominous in the midst of a series of grisly murders. Director: Dario Argento. Starring: Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, Flavio Bucci, Miguel Bosé. Dario Argento is a director who knows exactly how to make a thriller. The movie nails you to your chair, keeps you tense, puts doubts in your head. It is a fascinating, sophisticated, extremely vibrant and bizarre work, with superb photography by Vittorio Storaro. Charming and meaningful, if undermined by lame dialogue, Suspiria is mostly blood and fear. The plot is kept to a minimum and compared to his previous movies the director chooses to focus on the visuals.

The Tree of Wooden Clogs (1978)

It is a 1978 Italian movie written and directed by Ermanno Olmi. The movie tells the story of Lombard peasant life on a late 19th century farm. It bears some similarities to the earlier Italian neo-realist movement, and the parts were played by real peasants and residents, rather than professional actors. The movie won fourteen awards including the Palme d’Or at Cannes and the César Award for best foreign movie. The initial variation of the movie is spoken in Bergamo Lombardo.

4 peasant families who worked farms for the same master scrape together a meager profit in 1898 in the Bergamo countryside. Over the course of a year, children are born, crops are planted, animals are slaughtered, and couples are married; prayers and stories are exchanged on the families’ shared farm. Transformative undercurrents are sensed by peasants, but mostly ignored, a communist rebel gives a speech at a regional fair, and when a newly wed couple visit the big city of Milan and witness the arrest of political prisoners. Spring arrives, the father cuts down a tree to make wooden clogs that his child can wear on his feet to go to school, however the landowner notices this, and the family is forced to leave the land.

Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

Once upon a time in America by Sergio Leone it’s as impressive as Goodfellas and as wise as Mean Streets. A frank, precise, timeless work of art, an epic of mafia and family ties like The Godfather. Leone’s movie lasts 4 hours. It is rarely offered in its initial form, and even the movie’s producers themselves believed it was too long. Leone’s initial release was 2 movies of 180 minutes which would be shown separately. After the preliminary release, the director edited the two parts into one 4-hour, 29-minute movie. A movie to watch on virile friendship and the passage of time, to enter the atmosphere of the myth of Leone’s movies.

The Embalmer (2002)

It is an Italian noir film from 2002 directed by Matteo Garrone, presented in the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs at the 55th Cannes Film Festival. The film is inspired by the Roman news stories of the “dwarf from Termini” Domenico Semeraro, a homosexual taxidermist, killed by his protégé, Armando Lovaglio, in 1990. Garrone’s intent was to tell the story of a man who seeks a difficult love a handsome young boy. The leading actors are Ernesto Mahieux, who won the David di Donatello for best actor in the role of Peppino, Valerio Foglia Manzillo, at his film launch in the role of Valerio, and Elisabetta Rocchetti in the role of Deborah, Valerio’s companion. The film was shot in Villaggio Coppola, a district of Castel Volturno known for being built illegally, as well as in Cremona. The songs were composed at Banda Osiris.

Gomorrah (2008)

It is a 2008 Italian crime film directed by Matteo Garrone, based on the non-fiction publication of the same name by Roberto Saviano, who also collaborated on the film’s screenplay. It tells of the Casalesi clan, a criminal group within the Camorra based in Naples and Caserta in the Campania region The film was released in Italy on May 16, 2008 and had its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, 2008, followed by launch in New York City and Los Angeles on February 13, 2009, and won the Grand Prix at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival as well as 7 David di Donatello Awards, including Best Film and Best Director. It also won five awards at the 2008 European Film Awards.

What excites about Gomorrah, and also makes it feel different from many American crime films, is both its meaningful portrayal of violence and its understanding of how everywhere Mafia guns go. Gomorra is a deeply moral film, which does not tolerate any darkness or attenuating in its infernal vision. Director Martin Scorsese, who enjoyed the film, allowed his name to be used for advertising and marketing purposes when the film was released in the United States.

Suspiria (2018)

More than forty years after its release, Dario Argento’s classic horror has a remake, directed by Luca Guadagnino. Placed in a dance school where murders of women occur, Suspiria uses Dakota Johnson for her lead role, accompanied by Chloë Grace Moretz, Mia Goth, Tilda Swinton and Sylvie Testud as overbearing and dangerous instructors. Among the most anticipated scary movies of 2018 is a movie that transforms Dario Argento’s initial movie into something totally different, with a broad directorial language that makes it much more than just supernatural horror: a fantastic arthouse movie, coming out of the recents of the scary genre. Undoubtedly among the best movies made in the last 20 years.

The Kempinsky Method (2020)

The road is made of water, the sea voyage and the mirror of life, and the place where everything happens is not identified: the images of Federico Salsano’s experimental movie on the road strike the eye and seduce the mind. A philosophical and visual journey across the ocean that ends up being the metaphor of the journey of life. A compulsive, paradoxical, intimate circulation of ideas which is a confession of the doubts and unresolved plots of an entire existence.

The landing in Cuba as a shipwreck, naked, leaving the shores of the West, in search of that meaning that always seems to move away. Is there really any sense? A spiritual movie ed esoteric developed as a stream of consciousness with superb dream images, which does not take itself too seriously but which does not give up dealing with the drama of the search for one’s identity. Among the best independent movie Italians not to be missed.

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Corona Days (2020) 

Made during the lockdown, it is an independent movie shot in direct contact with reality, part fiction, part documentary, with a construction of visions that open like Chinese boxes. Instinctive and completely “other” than the traditional conception of cinematic entertainment, Corona Days is a sort of “cinediary” on loneliness and loss, which also ends up being a reflection on the mysterious paths of life.

The protagonist, played by the director himself Fabio Del Greco, is safe at home alone during the lockdown. It is a moment of inner reflection on one’s life, on the loss of his father, on the changes in the society that surrounds him. But also a period of imaginative journeys to other continents, walks in the pine forest behind the house that look like shadows in an action movie, searches for an open bar where to have a coffee that become metaphors for a society of separated and manipulated individuals.

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Appennino (2017)

Appennino is an unconventional documentary, between intimate reflections of the author and chronicle of events. The movie starts from the slow reconstruction works of L’Aquila, the director’s city Emiliano Dante, in Italy, and also proceeds with the Apennine earthquakes of 2016-17, then following the long and tiring stay of the homeless victims in S. Benedetto del Tronto. An intimate and paradoxical story, geometric and lyrical at the same time, where the questions of living in an earthquake zone end up being the tool to innovate the sense of making cinema of reality.

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Abacuc (2015)

And experimental movie that challenges the audience with innovations that really manages to find new elements in the cinematic language, which is now very rare these days. The movie tells the daily life of a surreal character who is not easily forgotten, Abacuc, a man condemned to wander in an icy provincial town in northern Italy that looks like a frozen, lifeless hell. Abacuc is a man weighing almost 200 kilos, who invests his time in limbo away from any kind of sensation, he mainly goes to the cemetery, to the theme parks of the Romagna Riviera. Abacuc represents the need of cinematographic art to self-extinguish and implode in itself. The work of director Luca Ferri is very important, because it creates new paths of avant-garde cinema, paths forgotten and ignored by critics and the public but which are the foundations of the cinema of the future.

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Feast (2018)

The master of movie poetry Franco Piavoli, author of works of art such as “The Blue Planet” and “Voices in Time”, tells the story of the daily life of a town on a day of celebration. Franco Piavoli returns to making a movie inspired by Leopardi and Pascoli, remaining faithful to poetic cinema that transcends any type of narrative plot.

A movie that needs no frills of any kind, and presents itself straight to the heart of the audience without mediation, without any pretense, without any additions. The lyrical cinema of poetry by a director who actually lived and worked constantly away from the cinema market. There is absolutely nothing further from the cinema of the Oscars, the statuettes and the plastic smell of contemporary cinemas than Franco Piavoli’s independent cinema. And this certainly makes him one of the greatest and most important directors in the world

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