DAILY (except SUN/MON)
12:30 2:20 4:10 6:00 7:50 9:40
SUN 3:45 5:35 7:25 9:15
MON 12:30 2:20 4:10 8:20 10:10
Friday, June 16 - Tuesday, June 27
THE LOST FILM BY VITTORIO DE SICA
NEVER BEFORE RELEASED IN THE U.S.
Starring Alberto Sordi
(1963) Amidst Italy’s “economic miracle” (“il boom”) of the early 1960s, everybody’s dancing to Chubby Checker’s “The Twist”… and getting filthy rich – everyone except archetypal Everyman loser Alberto Sordi (the great star of Mafioso, The White Sheik, I Vitelloni, etc., etc.), who’s in hock to his eyeballs. And everyone in Rome seems to know it, except his beloved status-proud wife Gianna Maria Canale. But then rich, rich matron Elena Nicolai (long-time La Scala mezzo stalwart tour-de-forcing in her first movie role) offers him a way out: enough lire to get out of debt – and to re-establish himself – in exchange for … No, not that. Biting satire made even blacker by Piero Piccioni’s persistently perky score, and scripted by De Sica’s longtime collaborator Cesare Zavattini, (Shoeshine, The Bicycle Thief, Umberto D., Gold of Naples, etc.). Never released in the United States, and screened here only a handful of times in fifty-four years, this is its first long-run New York City engagement, with brand new English subtitles by Michael F. Moore and Bruce Goldstein. DCP restoration. Approx. 88 minutes.
A RIALTO PICTURES RELEASE
“A BITTERSWEET SATIRE OF THE WIFE-SWAPPING, TWIST-DANCING, GET-RICH-QUICK LIFESTYLE! Perhaps it’s the current credit crunch that makes De Sica’s sardonic comedy, about uxorious husband Giovanni drowning in debt in the consumer excess of the early 1960s, feel newly resonant. Puzzlingly marginalized until recently in surveys of De Sica’s commedia all’Italiana period, it’s underpinned by a deliriously mocking script from Zavattini and the callous, neon-shiny cityscapes of DP Armando Nannuzzi. As Giovanni, Alberto Sordi expertly blends clowning, contempt and desperation, wrapping his pleas to friends for loans in a gay and ghastly humor that turns a tennis match into an extended humiliation.”
– Kate Stables, Sight and Sound
“A REAL MASTERPIECE! A PROPHETIC FILM! ONE OF THE MOST FUTURE-DIRECTED FILMS IN ALL OF ITALIAN CINEMA!”
– Walter Veltroni
“One of the most undervalued of all the films to emerge from the director’s long and fruitful collaboration with Zavattini. In more recent times, however, the film has found its champions. Italian film historian Enrico Giacovelli has re-evaluated it as not only one of the duo’s finest films but also as something of a minor masterpiece of the commedia all’italiana (comedy Italian style), that particularly mordant form of film comedy that arose in Italy in the late 1950s as a reflection of – and a reflection upon – the profound moral dilemmas and social contradictions brought about by the so-called Italian ‘economic miracle’… 20 years later in a post-Berlusconian Italy, its uncanny prescience becomes even more evident.”
– Gino Moliterno, Senses of Cinema