Blogathon, Italian Style: FINE!

Well, dear friends, cari amici, all good things must come to an end, and this week marks the final chapter of my Italian Film Culture Blogathon!

It started on Italy’s national holiday and it wraps up on the 4th of July. (A small fireworks ceremony was going to be arranged, but we are dealing with technical difficulties.) I invite you to peruse all of the fantastic posts from previous weeks in addition to this one. To all of the marvelous contributors, it has been a pleasure to feature your posts. To all you lovely readers, thanks for reading! And, without further ado, the last batch of posts…


“If you’re worried about logic.. in a flick like this, you are already lost.” RayRay of WeirdFlix returns to the blogathon and takes a ride on Warbus. Yes, as in “war” plus “bus.” As in a busload of missionaries and G.I.’s truckin’ through the perilous jungles of war-torn Viernam. As in a “macaroni combat” film that’s “action-packed and a good bit of fun.” And remember, folks, never get out of the goddamn bus…


Think you’ve seen Danger: Diabolik? Think again! Carol of Monstrous Industry offers up a strikingly original reading of Mario Bava’s fabulously flashy crime thriller. I did a spit-take by the third paragraph. That is intended as a compliment! Carol writes, “I don’t know how else to say this, so I’m just going to say it straight out: Danger: Diabolik is the most vaginal action movie that I have ever seen.” 


Fisty and Bill of peanut butter & gialli debate the merits of the colorful suspense film A Quiet Place to Kill (aka Paranoia) which features a menage à trois, racing cars, nude Carroll Baker, and several shots blocked by a blurry red-liquid-filled glass (don’t ask). Fisty calls AQP2K “sexy, thrilling, and entertaining,” and Bill does his best to resurrect the reputation of exploitation auteur Umberto Lenzi: “He’s better than he gets credit for being.”


Lastly, yours truly would like to introduce you to reel diva Francesca Bertini. This immortal of the screen co-directed and starred in the gritty drama Assunta Spintaand may have invented Neorealism before Neorealists did. If you haven’t heard of her, it’s time you did!

Well, that’s a wrap, folks. Now, let’s head over to Valmont’s Go-Go Pad for the groovy after-party. Ciao, amici! E grazie!

If you enjoyed these posts (and, come on, you know you did), be sure to check out the previous entries for Week 1Week 2Week 3, and Week 4. Gripping stuff!


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!


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.”


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.”


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…


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.


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.