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: Week 4

Well, the harassment has paid off! Many of my online friends, old and new, have joined this online festival of Italian cinema. Feast on the results—from art house classics to splashy genre flicks—below!


Pete of Furious Cinema discovers the intensity of Girl with a Suitcase, which he describes as “a rollercoaster of emotions.” Introducing us all to a less well-known maestro of cinema, he writes, “The black and white cinematography by Tino Santoni and the seamless direction by Zurlini are both spectacular. The gray backgrounds of the Italian skies and the ocean give the film an almost dreamlike appearance.” Well, thanks, I’ve added this to my must-watch list!


“Fellini captured something of Italy that still resonates in the public and global perceptions of the country,” observes  Miss V of Girls Do Film. She digs into the substance of La Dolce Vita‘s iconic sartorial style—and she’s even got labels and brand names for you to drool over! Re-experience this film through a fresh lens. For instance, did you know “Fellini often claimed that designer Cristóbal Balenciaga’s sack dress inspired his vision for the film”?


Speaking of style, Miguel of Monster Island Resort explores the dark side of Italy’s passion for fashion with his analysis of Blood and Black Lace. As he notes, “Underlying the immediate fear of murder and violence that flows through Blood and Black Lace seems to exist another, more subtle fear. Perhaps it is the fear of the greed and alienation that tends to accompany high fashion.” 


There’s epic and then there’s EPIC! Cabiria falls into the later category. of Crítíca Retrô tackles this monumental silent period drama and illuminates just how important it is to cinema history. “Director Giovanni Pastrone created astounding scenes, filled the screen with crowds, reconstructed the distant past, and pioneered the use of artificial lights and camera movement.”


RayRay of WeirdFlix celebrates The Inglorious Bastards, a tough-as-coffin-nails 1978 WWII flick with gore to spare… sound familiar? Well, where do you think QT learned his stuff? “When you talk about macaroni combat films, one name inevitably comes up. Writer-director Enzo G. Castellari has been called ‘the poor man’s Peckinpah.’ [H]e certainly knew how to make action movies on the cheap.”


Kellee of Outspoken & Freckled decodes the fabled “spaghetti Western” for us through an exploration of the three Sergios who produced some of the most outstanding examples of the genre. “While the term ‘spaghetti Western’ was originally considered a negative slur,” as Kellee informs us, the form won over critics and audiences alike with its “uniquely edgy” style that marked “a definitive departure from the predictable American westerns.” 

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

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