One of the first posts on this site (way back in 2009) was about TIFF Cinematheque’s Italian Cinema showcase. I noted then that Italian films from the 50’s and 60’s were probably some of my favourite movies of all time. In part because I grew up watching them, and also because they still hold up so many years later. Well, starting this month TIFF Cinematheque will be showcasing more gems of Italian Cinema, this time focusing on films starring the incomparable Anna Magnani. If you’re not familiar with La Magnani’s body of work, this is your chance to see some of her most brilliant performances on the big screen. It’s the perfect wintertime date idea! More info after the jump!
- 4K digital restorations of Roberto Rossellini’s neorealist masterpiece Rome, Open City (1945), which introduced Magnani to international audiences with an indelible performance as the pregnant lover of a Resistance worker; and of Mario Monicelli’s beloved comedy The Passionate Thief (1960), starring Magnani as a hapless film extra desperate for attention.
- Daniel Mann’s The Rose Tattoo (1956), Magnani’s first American film, in which she set off emotional and sexual fireworks and won the Best Actress Oscar for the role that Tennessee Williams created especially for her.
- George Cukor’s fabulous tearjerker Wild is the Wind (1957), which follows an aging sheep rancher (Anthony Quinn) as he brings his new bride — the sister of his recently deceased wife — from Italy into the American wilderness and attempts to transform her into a substitute for his beloved departed.
- Pier Paolo Pasolini’s moving Mamma Roma (1962), featuring a bravura performance by La Magnani as a streetwalker who tries to go respectable.
- Alfredo Giannetti’s historical drama 1870 (1972), in a dream pairing with Marcello Mastroianni.
- Fellini’s Roma (1972), a loving meditation on his beloved Eternal City — featuring cameos by Anna Magnani (in her last screen appearance before she passed away), Marcello Mastroianni, Gore Vidal, and Alberto Sordi, and the larger-than-life presence of Fellini himself.