Wednesday, 24 June 2015

LA DOLCE VITA, THE CONFORMIST, UMBERTO D. - Reviews By Greg Klymkiw - The TIFF Cinematheque presents the "Summer in Italy" series at TIFF Bell Lightbox. These 3 titles are also available on sumptuous Criterion & Kino-Lorber Blu-Ray/DVD Editions.

It's that time of the year again. The Toronto International Film Festival's Cinematheque at the TIFF Bell LightBox in Toronto presents a whole whack o' classics with a pasta theme, programmed by the illustrious James Quandt with the popular "Summer in Italy" series running June 27 to September 5, 2015 and a great new series entitled: "More Than Life Itself: Rediscovering the Films of Vittorio de Sica" running June 26 to September 6, 2015. Here are 3 important titles in both series that are happening in August. MARK YOUR CALENDARS!!! Those who don't live in Toronto and/or can't get to Toronto and/or are agoraphobic can choose the sumptuous Blu-Ray/DVD editions from the Criterion Collection and Kino-Lorber. Buy your advance tickets to these great TIFF Bell Lightbox presentations (they sell out, don'cha know) by clicking HERE.

Saturday Aug. 1, 2015 @ 5:30pm @ TIFF Bell Lightbox and/or Criterion Blu-Ray

La Dolce Vita (1960)
dir. Federico Fellini
Starring: Marcello Mastroianni, Yvonne Furneaux, Anouk Aimee,
Anita Ekberg, Alain Cuny, Walter Santesso, Nico, Alain Dijon, Lex Barker

Review By Greg Klymkiw

It has been said that in death we all end up alone. If we are alone in life, bereft of love, is existence itself then, not a living death? For me, this is the central theme of La Dolce Vita, Federico Fellini’s great classic of cinema – a film that never ceases to thrill, tantalize and finally, force its audience to look deep into a mirror and search for answers to questions about themselves. This is what makes for great movies that live beyond the ephemeral qualities far too many filmmakers and audiences prefer to settle for - especially in the current Dark Ages of cinema we find ourselves in. It’s the reason why the picture continues to live forever. What makes La Dolce Vita especially great is that Fellini – as he was so often able to achieve – got to have his cake and eat it too. He created art that entertained AND challenged audiences the world over.

Most of all, though, La Dolce Vita is cool – cooler than cool, to be frank.


Thursday Aug. 7, 2015 @ 9:00pm @ TIFF Bell Lightbox
and/or Kino-Lorber/RaroVideo Blu-Ray

The Conformist (1970)
Dir. Bernardo Bertolucci
Starring: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Stefania Sandrelli, Dominique Sanda

Review By Greg Klymkiw

You're never going to see a more gorgeous movie about fascism than Bernardo Bertolucci's The Conformist.

He was only in his late 20s when he made this 1970 adaptation of Alberto Moravia's novel and the picture still crackles with urgency, dread and horror. It's furthermore infused with a winning combination of political/historical smarts, deeply considered intellectual rigour and an eye for heart-aching, stunning and dazzling visual artistry.

Working with ace cinematographer Vittorio Storaro (Apocalypse Now), there isn't a single composition, lighting scheme or camera move in the entire photoplay that's anything less than gorgeous. The sheer physical beauty in interior decor, architecture and the natural world is an effective and complex juxtaposition within the story of a man driven by pure ambition.


Sunday Aug. 16, 2015 @ 6:00pm @ TIFF Bell Lightbox
and/or on The Criterion Collection Blu-Ray

Umberto D. (1952)
dir. Vittorio De Sica
Starring: Carlo Battisti, Maria-Pia Casilio, Lina Gennari, Flike

Review By Greg Klymkiw

The old man Umberto (Carlo Battisti) must bid goodbye to the only thing he genuinely loves in the whole wide world, a tiny dog called Flike. He's so poor he must check himself into a hospital to treat a simple case of Tonsillitis. This allows him to get free meals for a few days so he can save enough money to avoid eviction. De Sica takes us on the road of this one man's life - a life that could belong to any one of us. This man's journey is harrowing, to be sure, but we're all the better for taking it with him.