31 July 2007

If I ever get a tiny dog, I shall name him "Marcellino."

So Eryn asked about linking with html, and I am by no means at all an html whiz, but I made this little image as a reference. Obvi, just replace the linkies that you see there with whatever your little heart desires. I hope that came out clear enough. Stupid compression.

Another shocker was that Punky Lewster has never seen a Marcello Mastroianni flick. Before I disown her as an amica, I guess I should explain the wonder behind this man. And again, I'm no expert on the Cello, but I do adore him more than most. He's very captivating and charming as an actor; he has a certain ease as a performer– an apparently innate quality (is it his very Italianess? Non lo so.) His face is lined with tragedy and he carries himself with a sort of languid grace- he's amazing at expressing the depth of a character. He's incredibly compelling and can deliver a dialogue about a thinly veiled hypothetical situation like nobody's business. (I speak of him in the present, but he is quite dead, unfortunamente.)

To start out, I suggest Divorzio all'italiana (aka Divorce Italian Style), even though Marcello looks (molester 'stache!), and acts so incredibly sketchy. He plays a married man "in love" with a much younger woman, during a time when divorce was not allowed in Italy. He realizes, however, that if catches his wife cheating on him, he can kill her, be pardoned, and thus free to marry the younger woman (who I believe is his cousin in the film, upping the sketch factor.) It's a twisted, relatively dark comedy, which you may enjoy.

Le Notti Bianche is okay– nothing too superb. Marcello's performance of a lonely, lovesick man is understated and touching, but the story is slowly-paced and sad. It's based on a short story by Dostoevsky, so I really shouldn't have been surprised.

I love 8 1/2 and to a slightly lesser extent, La Dolce Vita. Both movies are written and directed by Federico Fellini, and he and Marcello make for an amazing team.

Perhaps I like 8 1/2 more because it's less depressing than LDV, but just as beautifully shot. There are so many times you just want to pause the movie and stare– the photography is just stunning– so fluid and glossy. As for the plot, the movie is pretty much a thinly veiled autobiography of Fellini, and I enjoy that peek into his head. Marcello plays Guido, a film director who struggles with creative-block, while simultaneously being harassed by his wife, his lover, friends, and "friends." The entire film turns out to be as bold a statement a director could make– perhaps best exemplified when Guido says, "I thought my ideas were so clear. I wanted to make an honest film. No lies whatsoever. ... A film that could help bury forever all those dead things we carry within ourselves. Instead, I'm the one without the courage to bury anything at all. When did I go wrong? I really have nothing to say, but I want to say it all the same." An artist is an artist is an artist.

The film meanders from the real to the surreal so effortlessly that occasionally it's hard to tell when one begins and the other ends. The first time I watched it, I was left scratching my head a bit, but the second time was a revelation. I guess it should also be said that 8 1/2 is known for having one of the greatest openings and endings in film history.

To be fair, though, I'd say La Dolce Vita is a little more accessible, and perhaps more vibrant and exciting. I know that I need to give it a second viewing to be sure. It follows the story of Marcello (his name in the film as well), as a tabloid journalist in Rome in the 1960's. He's longs to become a great and relevant writer– but he's pulled into the hedonistic shallowness of those surrounding him. This film has one of the most famous scenes in film history– the Trevi Fountain scene.

And, it has one of my favorite Marcello lines ever, which One Eye and I would throw back and forth at eachother: "Emma... ché cosa fai?" AND my favorite pose, a gesture innately known to all Italian men to express a multitude of emotions...

The Shrug.

But both films give a great (albeit sort of surreal) glimpse of 1960's life en Italia. And they're ohso brilliantly Italian. Everyone's tormented inside... but damn it- they look amazing.

I could go on and on about the movies (and realize that I did quite a bit), but it beats writing cover letters. I hope that convinces you to Netflix some flicks with my main Italian man. Oh boy, I could use a cold glass of Limencello and some Marcello stasera. To the packie! Arrivederci!

1 comment:

Eryn said...

man on WOman, a post dedicated to me. i'm so touched. and thanx so much BW for the image letting me know how to link. may i say, it's kind of a pain in the ass. i was so expecting to be able to right click and voile, i could create a link. oh well....i still love you for illustrating the process so clearly for me.

and....i can't wait to order some mastroianni flicks on our blockbuster queu. atown has been monopolizing it with "star trek, deep space nine," don't even get me started.

and i've heard so many great things about fellini, mostly from "Under The Tuscan Sun," but still. I can't wait to become somewhat of an Italian film nut.

love you for the blog dedication. bye lover!