Blogathon, Italian Style: Third Course

Gather ’round, cari amici! We’ve got a superb batch of Italian fare this week, including classical American cinema with unexpected ties to Italy and the lowest (or highest?) example of exploitation cinema. Enjoy!

beat

Since this blogathon is about all facets of Italy’s relationship with cinema, The Bogie Film Blog—all Bogie, all the time!—takes a vacation in Ravello with a review of Beat the Devil. “Italy’s not just the setting for this film as much as it is a supporting character.  The viewer is treated to a constant tour of Ravello’s plazas, piazzas, cafés, villas, and tunnel filled, mountainous roads.”

commandos

Ray of WeirdFlix never cared much for the simple good-versus-evil conflicts in American war films—but Italian “macaroni combat” genre flicks are a different story entirely! Commenting on Commandos, set in the sandy waste of WWII Africa, he notes, “Sergio Leone’s western characters didn’t wear white hats or black; their morality was colored in shades of grey. Imagine my surprise and joy to find this same ethic applied to the Italian war films of the same era.”

cannibal

You’d better have a strong stomach before you dig into Cannibal Holocaust“one of—if not the most—violent and exploitive films ever produced.” Fortunately, Charlie of Terrible Movies gives us the low-down on this cult classic, as influential as it is extreme: “we should note at the outset Cannibal Holocaust started the ‘found footage’ genre.” Warning: animals WERE harmed in the making…

macchina

For some lighter fare, Quinn Hough offers a short review of Rosselini’s The Machine that Kills Bad People and discovers surprising nuggets of humor.

123

Lastly, your humble host has cooked up a typically verbose love song to art house giant Michelangelo Antonioni’s first feature. While discussing this lyrical film noir, Cronaca di un amore, I also commit sacrilege against the doctrine of auteurism. Hey, all in a day’s blogging…

If you enjoyed these posts (and, come on, you know you did), be sure to check back for the next course on June 27. Be sure to check out the entries for Week 1 and Week 2. Gripping stuff!

And please consider blogging about some aspect of Italian film culture yourself. Click on the banner below to learn more. 

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