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Friday, September 27, 2019

Rare Italian Gems in the Retrospective and Revivals Section of the New York Film Festival


The extraordinary documentary shorts made by Italian director Vittorio De Seta in the fifties stand alone from the films of his contemporaries for the rigor of their observational eye. Shot in locations around Sicily, Sardinia, and Calabria, these vivid, colorful, narration-free nonfiction works alight on the daily labors and traditional customs of rural workers and their families, bringing out their rituals with such focused determination that they become almost dreamlike. Watching these films together creates a mesmeric immersion into a time, place, and cinema itself. Titles include Lu tempu di li pisci spata (1954), Isole di fuoco (1954), Pasqua in Sicilia (1955), Surfarara (1955), Contadini del mare (1955), Parabola d’oro (1955), Un giorno in Barbagia (1958), Pescherecci (1958), Pastori di orgosolo (1958), and I dimenticati (1959). Restored by the Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory and The Film Foundation, with funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation. The films will be shown on October 2 at 3:15pm. Click here to purchase tickets.



In Valerio Zurlini’s penetrating character study, Alain Delon—who also co-produced—stars as Daniele, a tragically hip poetry and literature professor who travels to Rimini for a four-month teaching assignment with his suicidal wife, Monica (Lea Massari). During his tenure, Daniele is indifferent to his students, even letting them smoke in class. He spends his free time gambling with locals, and begins an ill-fated affair with one of his students, Vanina (Sonia Petrovna). This melancholic visual poem, a film of cold and fog, shot in shades of gray disaffection, was cut down upon its release at the insistence of Delon. Now, 45 minutes have been added back in for a new generation of viewers. The new 4K restoration was done by Pathé and Films du Camélia, by the lab L’Image Retrouvée (Paris), and by Titanus. The film will be shown October 1 at 3:15pm. Click here to purchase tickets.

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