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Thursday, August 24

12:30   4:50   9:10

2:40   7:00

DOUBLE FEATURE: Two films for one admission. Tickets purchased entitle patrons to stay and see the following film at no additional charge.


Directed by Dino Risi
Starring Vittorio Gassman & Jean-Louis Trintignant

(1962) 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 Vittorio 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 Speak 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. 108 min.
12:30, 4:50, 9:10

“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.”
– 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. Mr. Risi has filled his settings with pictorial comments of considerable wit and has taken care to keep them interesting and beautiful in themselves; not an inch of his film or a second of our time goes to waste.”
– Brendan Gill, The New Yorker


Directed by Mario Monicelli
Starring Anna Magnani & Ben Gazzara

(1960) “Miracolo! Miracolo!” bellows desperate-to-be-noticed extra Anna Magnani, amid cardboard sets on yet another cheapo spear-and-sandal epic at Cinecittà. Then, when the company breaks for New Year’s Eve, she goes for the glam via blonde wig, silver fox (complete with head), and bespangled evening gown for that all-night party – but where’s the rest of the gang? Oh well, there’s still time for an instant crush on cheap, but dapper, crook Ben Gazzara, who’s rousted her on-the-skids fellow thesp Totò to help roll the revelers. And through the long New Year’s night, the trio encounter drunken Yank Fred Clark (How to Marry a Millionaire) at the Fontana di Trevi (in a send-up of Fellini’s La Dolce Vita, released only months before), perform an impromptu Music Hall turn, wade through a mansion awash with German bluebloods, among an assortment of gigantic parties and banquets, and peek in at early Mass – and the slammer – in their overnight odyssey across a festive Rome. The Italian title translates as “Joyful Laughter.” Based on stories by Alberto Moravia (The Conformist). DCP. Approx. 106 min.
2:40, 7:00

“SHIMMERING LIFE, LUST AND COMEDY! GORGEOUSLY RESTORED! The fantastic, weird combo of Magnani, Gazzara and Totò scramble and scheme through Rome on a New Year’s Eve filled with shrieks of laughter, desperate actions and consuming pleasures.”
– Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

“FUN AND FROTHY! Like a long night of champagne without the hangover.”
– Time Out

– David Edelstein, New York Magazine

“Monicelli opens The Passionate Thief with a gorgeous montage of Rome at Christmastime, a world of tinsel-festooned shop windows and cheerful winter neon. It’s dazzling enough that you might wonder, momentarily, if anything that follows could live up to it. And then there’s Magnani… pulling out all the stops for the evening, going straight over the top, as if a wig could make a woman larger than life. But beneath, it’s just Magnani, if there ever could be such a thing as ‘just’ Magnani.”
– Stephanie Zacharek, Village Voice

– Cahiers du Cinéma

“Reunites Totò with the magnetic Magnani, his frequent stage partner during the 1940s, and for one of the few times in his career he cedes the spotlight to someone else, giving an unusually subdued performance as a middle-aged bit actor… Monicelli takes a number of digs at the Church and the dolce vita of the privileged (even poking fun at the Fellini film); his heart is with the little people, who cling to their humor and dignity as means of survival.”
– Ted Shen, Chicago Reader