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Slideshow

IL SORPASSO

Monday, Nov. 29 at 12:30

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Directed by Dino Risi

Starring Vittorio Gassman & Jean-Louis Trintignant

(1962, Dino Risi) Vittorio Gassman’s just looking for a phone in a holiday-deadened Rome to say he’s already an hour late, while uptight law student Jean-Louis Trintignant just wants to keep on studying, but soon they’re whizzing past everything on the road as shameless hot dog Gassman rides that very distinctive horn, treats Trintignant to meals that he isn’t paying for, even crashing at his own ex-wife’s, where he’s horrified to find teenage daughter Catherine Spaak is…like him? But even as Trintignant switches from “Let’s go back” to “This is the best day of my life,” there’s one more thing to “surpass.” Smash road comedy, a long-unseen classic of the commedia all’italiana, from sadly-underrated titan Risi. DCP. Approx. 105 min.

Reviews

“The most unassuming sort of masterpiece.”
– Nick Pinkerton, Village Voice

“Risi’s corrosive social comedy managed to combine the aggressive energy of the French New Wave and the dissipated drift of Antoniennui in a way that seemed fresh and daring in the Italian commercial cinema of 1962… the styling, with its astute balancing of commerce and modernist understanding, is resolutely assured.”
– Pat Graham, Chicago Reader

“Mr. Risi’s fast-paced direction and, more important, the truths he underlines, gives his uncluttered film meaning and poignancy as well as mere speed.”
– A.H. Weiler, The New York Times

“In a role worthy of his talents, [Gassman] is on camera almost without interruption, and with the zest of an actor aware of his good fortune, he plays a coarse, hearty, and handsome bounder, born to charm and no less to damage everyone else he touches… Like the racing car that is his beloved alter ego, he is all engine and no mind, devised to run at top speed until he wears out or is destroyed… Risi and screenwriters Ettore Scola and Ruggero Maccari have managed not only to tell a cautionary tale that is both funny and tragic but to make a statement about la dolce vita that comes far closer to being true art than the vivid but oddly assorted grab bag of La Dolce Vita.”
– Brendan Gill, The New Yorker

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