roc

Rome, Open City

Although one certainly cannot dismiss the impact of World War II on the United States, it’s an order of magnitude more shocking to witness the devastation  wrought across Europe. For all our suffering, we could come home to a country that remained largely untouched by large-scale conflict. Those in Europe, however, were already home.

reed

Revolver

Testi plays Milo, a small-time hood who, when the film opens is lugging his wounded buddy through a field after a heist that has apparently gone rather poorly. His friend dies, and Testi buries him in the field before getting arrested and ending up in a jail run by Oliver Reed’s Vito Cipriani.

eva-green-campari-calendar-2015-photoshoot_1

The Least Offensive of the Musical Comedy Drinks

Even when he’s in Italy — having an Americano at Florian’s in Venice (which is still in operation, in the Piazza San Marco; it opened in 1720 and claims to be Italy’s oldest cafe) while wasting time in the short story Risico — Bond can’t escape tying the drink to France, as his quiet afternoon’s contemplation by “a couple of French culture-snobs discussing the imbalance of the containing facade of St. Mark’s Square.” It is a shame that the simple, innocent Americano gets swept up in 007’s Parisian wrath. It’s not even a French invention (nor an American one).

beauty

The Great Beauty

Italy’s Berlusconi era was characterized by the decadence and corruption of the country’s prime minister. Director Paolo Sorrentino admits that while the decadence was fun, it created a cultural stagnation from which, perhaps, it’s time to emerge.

feat

Colossus and the Amazon Queen

People unfamiliar with genre films sometimes have this weird idea that the movies all carry themselves with an air of complete seriousness, that a particular type of film can’t possibly be aware of its own cliches and pitfalls until some smarmy mainstream director steps in and makes a spoof. That spy movies, even James Bond,…

feat

Gentlemen’s Blog to Midnite Cinema: Lightning Bolt

Frolicking Afield over at the Gentlemen’s Blog to Midnite Cinema again, the official companion to the Gentlemen’s Guide to Midnite Cinema podcast. And this time I’m talking Antonio Margheriti, James Bond rip-off Eurospy films, and Lightning Bolt, a thriller in which the hero tries to avoid conflict by offering to pay his nemesis off, then…