Cocteau's fantastical updating of the Orpheus legend is cinematic poetry. Unforgettable and profoundly influential.
Winner of four Academy Awards Federico Fellini has had an immense impact on contemporary film. A visionary a dreamer a passionate storyteller and one of the most revered directors in the history of cinema Federico Fellini managed to create the most original and unique films celebrating the ceaseless carnival of life. With his vivid visual style iconic surreal imagery sly humour and magical sense for the bizarre Fellini's groundbreaking work has influenced and inspired such celebrated directors as Woody Allen Terry Gilliam and David Lynch. Included in this collection is the enchanting comedy The White Sheik (1952) (Federico Fellini's debut as a solo director and his first collaboration with composer Nino Rota) his endearing compelling and unsentimental neo-realism master piece Nights Of Cabiria (1957) and La Strada (1954) the classic drama that introduced him to the world and established him as an important creative force.
Gervaise is a 1956 French film directed by Rene Clement and based on the novel L'Assommoir by Emile Zola. Gervaise Macquart, (Maria Schell, Le Notti Bianche) a young crippled laundress, is left alone with two young children when her lover, Auguste Lantier decides to leave. Despite many struggles she works hard to turn her life around and marries Henri Coupeau, a roofer and fulfils her dream of buying her own laundry, however things takes a turn for the worse as her old lover returns and her husband starts drinking heavily.
Welcome to a bittersweet world of episodic adventures and strange encounters. Welcome to a sordid nocturnal world of ruthless callous boyfriends and stray movie stars looking for seedy kicks. Welcome to the harsh unforgiving streets of a crumbling Rome where hope can still prevail and dreams cradle the lost. Welcome to the world of Cabiria a feisty loud outspoken and somewhat na''ve prostitute waiting for a miracle and one of the most unforgettable and endearing characters of European cinema. Eventually remade in Hollywood as Sweet Charity Nights Of Cabiria is a often humorous poignant unflinching and vivid portrait of one woman's picaresque existence and her perseverance through adversity. Starring Fellini's wife Giulietta Masina as the irrepressible protagonist Nights Of Cabiria marked Fellini's last foray into gritty neo-realism before venturing into the surreal satire and dream logic of La Dolce Vita and Eight And A Half.
Corrado Cattani is a police inspector whose life is devoted to fighting the Italian mafia (known here as “La Piovra” or “The Octopus”). Even as his family and life are being destroyed by ruthless criminals the intrepid comissar keeps fighting…
Widely regarded as one of Alan Resnais' (Last Year In Marienbad) finest films Staviskyattempts to shed some light on the eponymous enigmatic and yet comparatively unknown Russian migr who scandalised France. Stavisky (brilliantly portrayed by Belmondo) built an empire through a combination of subterfuge fraud and false identity becoming as the more respectably titled Serge Alexandre one of the most influential and powerful men in France in the period between the wars. As the investigations of Inspector Bonny (Claude Rich) reveal Stavisky's life was the perfect sham which took in businessmen financiers and politicians of all persuasions. Eschewing a straight historical biopic Resnair and writer Jorge Semprn (Z) restrict the scope of the film to the last few months of Stavisky's eventful life covering his spectacular fall from grace. A work of rare technical brilliance in which the period detail is impeccable Stavisky's score is courtesy of Stephen Sondheim.
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