Ciao Luis Bacalov! (1933-2017) – Django Composer.

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Academy Award winner (1996 Best original score for Il Postino) Luis Bacalov died on November 15. The Argentinian-born Maestro had a prolific film scoring career in Italy spanning seven decades.  Also being nominated to an Oscar for the music of Pasolini’s The Gospel according to St-Matthew (1964) he was also praised for such film music as Fellini’s City of Women (1980).

But this talented pianist, also active in the Italian progressive music scene, definitely left a mark with his opening song and score to Sergio Corbucci’s Cult classic Django (1966), that same song and score Quentin Tarantino used in Django unchained (It is impressive how many people Continue reading

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FNC 2017 : Il Grande Silenzio (4K Restoration)

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Quentin Tarantino (and Cinematographer Robert Richardson) studied it before shooting The Hateful Eight. At the end of the 1960’s, 20th Century Fox Chief executive, Darryl Zanuck, was so offended by it, he refused to release it in America. It contains a superb score by Maestro Ennio Morricone and it stars screen legends Jean-Louis Trintignant and Klaus Kinski.

It took 50 years, but Sergio Corbucci’s seminal Spaghetti Western, Il Grande Silenzio (1968), has been finally restored (in 4K) by the Cineteca Nazionale of Rome using the film’s original negatives and sound elements. Corbucci’s film about outlaws, in late 19 century Utah, getting unexpected help from a silent gunslinger (Trintignant) against a group of bounty hunters, turns upside down numerous conventions of the Western genre.

A revisionist Western, Il Grande Silenzio was made by Continue reading

FNC 2017 : MARLINA the murderer in Four Acts (Indonesia – 2017)

 

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James Brown wrote : This is a man’s world…
But it wouldn’t be nothing, without a woman …

In MARLINA the murderer in Four Acts, a vicious gang of men (with criminal intentions) come at Marlina’s door, but she manages to (literally) get rid of them for good. With still some faith left toward the local justice system, she sets course on finding the nearest police station carrying with her,  as evidence,  the severed head of the gang leader…

MARLINA the murderer in Four Acts was dubbed a feminist ‘Satay Western’, a clear reference to the Spaghetti Westerns of the 1960’s. And director Mouly Surya’s film is a ravishingly shot absurdist tale that effectively plays like a Western. Cinematographer Yunus Pasolang makes great use of the breathtaking landscapes of the Continue reading

FNC 2017: Faccia a Faccia (Special screening)

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The FNC 2017  is screening Sergio Sollima’s 1967 Spaghetti Western, Faccia a Faccia (Face to Face) in its English version.

It was an era of groundbreaking and unexpectedly high box office returns for Italian Cinema. Prior to the year 1967, Sergio Leone had put the final touch to a handful of successful Italian made Westerns (shot in the Andalusia desert) starring, now cult icon, Clint Eastwood, and dubbed the ‘Dollar trilogy’. By then, dozens of these so called Spaghetti Westerns where being made usually in a production triumvirate between Italy, Spain and Germany.

The social turmoil of the late 1960’s added a leftist dimension to the more politically inclined director Sergio Sollima’s ambitions to bring the old American West to the screen in Faccia a Faccia.

A School teacher traveling to the American West meets a group of Continue reading

FNC 2017: The mind bending world of Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani

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Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani are special guests of the 46th FNC this week. A unique occasion for Montreal film buffs to get acquainted with this peculiar duet of film makers from Belgium. During the Fest, their three features are showcased with a collection of their shorts (6), followed by an intriguing Masterclass, (Saturday October 7, 1:00 PM cinémathèque Québécoise ). They were also offered a Carte Blanche and they selected two classic westerns All’Italiana : Faccia a Faccia (1967) and Keoma (1976) to introduce  to the public. It is especifically with this kind of retrospective events that the fest can fulfill its mission to please pure film buffs.

Cattet and Forzani’s stylish work displays their solid affection for the Italian film genres of the 1960-70’s, notably the Giallo (the Italian word for yellow). These provocative films (even by today’s standards), a mix of slasher, horror and police investigation, were dubbed Gialli (in the plural form) as the ideas originated from a series of Pulp-like Continue reading