Showing posts with label italy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label italy. Show all posts

13 September 2017

8 January 2015

Vittorio Di Sica's Sunflower Starring Sophia Loren Re-Mastered To Be Re-released On DVD

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Oscar-winning screen siren Sophia Loren's classic Sunflower finally gets the release it deserves as it arrives on DVD and VOD in a stunningly re-mastered version, presented in its original widescreen format courtesy of Argent Films.

Loren (Two Women, A Special Day) and award-winning leading man Marcello Mastroianni (Dolce Vita, 8 1/2) are newlywed lovers torn apart by war, despite almost impossible odds they never give up on one another. Originally released in 1970, the film comes to DVD in a newly restored version, taken from HD elements, befitting its sumptuous photography (by Giuseppe Rotunno, who lit most Italian headliners including The Leopard, he was Fellini's cinematographer and received an Oscar nomination for All That Jazz), and production values. Sunflower is presented for the first time in its entirety featuring eight minutes of previously unseen scenes and comes complete with an exclusive documentary Sophia, Yesterday Today Tomorrow, woven around an intimate interview with Loren. The DVD comes with alternative language options: the English language version and optional Italian audio with new improved, switchable, English subtitles.


Twelve days before WW II breaks out, Giovanna (Loren) marries Antonio (Mastroianni), with no desire to fight in the conflict he fakes insanity in an attempt to avoid the draft. Officials see through
the charade and Antonio is sent to the Russian front, where soldiers must endure unbearable freezing temperatures and a short supply of rations.

As the war ends, Antonio is left to die in the snow on the Russian front, but is found by a beautiful Russian girl who hides him and helps him recover. Giovanna refuses to believe that her missing in action husband is dead and travels to the sunflower plains of Ukraine - seemingly to the end of the earth, in by-then post-war Russia - to search for the man she vowed she would never abandon.

Produced by Loren's husband, Carlo Ponti of Doctor Zhivago fame, Sunflower recalls Zhivago with its rich, wide-vista production of this heartfelt drama of war-torn lovers. Underpinned by Henry Mancini's Oscar-nominated rousing score and magnificently directed by one of Italy's greatest filmmakers, Vittorio De Sica (Bicycle Thieves, Two Women), who taps into his Neo-realist roots to depict the human tragedy of war-displaced persons as seen through the heroic determination of Loren's character.

SUNFLOWER will also launch on iTunes on 26 January followed by other selected VOD platforms exclusively for rental & download to own

22 August 2014

Send In The Clowns As Fellini's I Clowns The Masters of Cinema Series Release

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Eureka! Entertainment have announced the release of I CLOWNS [The Clowns], the first ever UK Blu-ray release of Fellini's masterpiece which has been out of circulation for years. The film has long been regarded by Fellini enthusiasts and cinephiles as one of the director's greatest films. The release includes a lengthy essay-film by the greatest Italian critic, Adriano Aprà, and will be released in a Dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD) edition as part of Eureka’s award-winning The Masters of Cinema Series on 20 October 2014.

One of the Fellini films which has been out of circulation for many years, I clowns [The Clowns] has long been revered by Fellini enthusiasts for the several decades since its release as among the Maestro's finest works — a thrilling spectacle, once seen for the first time, — and a picture which after multiple viewings easily takes its place alongside such classics as La strada, Le notti di Cabiria, La dolce vita, Satyricon, Amarcord... but in a register all its own.

I clowns plays out in dazzling colour and in episodic cascade, just as in all of Fellini's late-60s-and-beyond films. As the circus rolls into town, and the big-tent gets erected, the clowns execute their acts with feverish can-you-believe-it bravado. It's all true — and yet not a "documentary" per se; rather, something in-between a dramatic-comedic portrayal of gags-at-play and the memoria of all that makes the spark for childhood inspiration to ignite into creative virtuosity... and/or into something like Federico Fellini.

A great and under acknowledged treasure of the cinema, I clowns takes its place alongside such films as Bergman's Carnies' Twilight, Ophuls's Lola Montès, Étaix's Yoyo, Jerry Lewis's The Day the Clown Cried, and Tati's Parade as one of the grand portraits of the clowning circus, of a bygone era of the wandering entertainer. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Federico Fellini's I clowns in a special Dual Format (Blu-ray + DVD) edition for the first time in the UK.

Watch this rare clip of I Clowns


SPECIAL FEATURES including:

• New high-definition 1080p presentation of feature on the Blu-ray, and in a progressive encode on the DVD
• New and improved English subtitles
• Fellini's Circus — an essay-film about the picture by the great Italian critic and scholar Adriano Aprà
• A 36-PAGE BOOKLET featuring new writing about the film, rare archival imagery, and more!

Hopefully nearer the release we will hope to review I Clowns and the date of Fellini's masterpiece will be 20th October 2014 released on Dual format. You can pre-order/Order your copy of I Clowns (The Clowns) [Masters of Cinema] Dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD) (1970)

23 February 2014

Masters Of Cinema Blu-ray Review - Roma (1972)

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Genre:
Comedy, Drama, World Cinema
Distributor:
Eureka! Entertainment
BD Release Date:
24th February 2014 (UK)
Rating:15
Director:
Federico Fellini
Cast:
Britta Barnes, Peter Gonzales Falcon, Fiona Florence
buy: ROMA (Masters of Cinema) (Blu-ray)

Roma is one of Fellini’s most ambitious films but also one of his most narratively lacking, which at times can be extremely frustrating. It was released the year before the similar but more narrative led Amarcord, which is considered among his finest and rightfully so. Both films however deal with the rise of fascism in Italy during the 30s and both present a snapshot of the place it’s set.

Roma is a fragmented and at times surrealistic look at the city of Rome. Half of the narrative deals with young Fellini arriving in Rome during the Mussolini years. The other half is set during present day, which concerns Fellini (played by himself) making a film about the city of Rome. This is not untypical of Fellini’s films especially 8 ½, which is one of the great examples of film being an imitation of the director’s life.

The film’s lack of narrative can be confusing at times which can become irritating, but Fellini is one of those director’s whose images are so hypnotic that it somehow works. Fellini is also one of the most compassionate directors and he loves every character in his films greatly, no matter the social circumstances of them. Fellini’s films are often called grotesque but I’ve always found they just reflected his reality. It’s always worth noting Fellini was a cartoonist and that shaped how he saw the world, not unlike his obvious successor Terry Gilliam.

It’s Fellini in his most indulgent but even that is much better than most other people’s films, and it’s a fun satirical romp though Rome. The comparison between the Catholic fashion show and the brothel is one of Fellini’s finest moments in a career of many. The disc boosts a great transfer and an interview with Chris Wagstaff (lecturer in Italian cinema) along with roughly 20 minutes of deleted scenes and Italian and international trailers.

★★★★

Ian Schultz