Directed and produced by Roberto Rossellini
Story by Roberto Rossellini with collaboration by Sergio Amiedi, G. P. Callegari, Art Cohn, and Renzo Cesana
Screenplay by Rossellini and Father Félix Morlión
Cinematography by Otello Martelli
Edited by Roland Gross (uncut version) and Alfred L. Werker (U.S. version)
Stromboli’s full title in Italian reads Stromboli, terra di Dio or Stromboli, Land of God. The complete title is crucial to understanding what Rossellini is trying to convey. The film goes beyond the concept of Italian neorealism, reaching for something larger and yet personal and intimate. Does it succeed?
February is off to a pretty good start with 10 movies in seven days. Please read on…
Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni
Produced by Amato Pennasilico
Written by Michelangelo Antonioni, Elio Bartolini, Tonino Guerra
Cinematography by Aldo Scavarda
Edited by Eraldo Da Roma
Music by Giovanni Fusco
(For more about the Blind Spot series, please check out The Matinee.)
“Everything is becoming so hideously easy. Even forgetting pain.”
This line – delivered late in the film – summarizes what L’Avventura is all about. It is a revelatory line for the character who delivers it, a line that not only encapsulates everything about the film, but also barely scratches the surface of much bigger themes.
We’re only ten days into the new year and I’ve already seen at least five films that could be considered masterpieces. I’ve also knocked off two films from my Blind Spot 2017 series, one discussed here and another that I hope to write up soon.
Brief Encounter (1945)
Directed by David Lean
Written by Anthony Havelock-Allan, Ronald Neame, and David Lean
Based on the play Still Life by Noël Coward
Cinematography by Robert Krasker
Edited by Jack Harris
FilmStruck streaming (1:26)
(For more about the Blind Spot series, please check out The Matinee)
David Lean’s Brief Encounter is undeniably a great film, one that continues to resonate with audiences for many reasons: it depicts a forbidden romance, is superbly crafted, meticulously photographed, and refuses to descend to the level of sappy vapid romances that have plagued movies since their inception. Although the story is set in the prewar British suburbs of 1938, the film was released in November 1945, several months after the end of World War II. While Brief Encounter is not a film noir, it contains an undercurrent of dissatisfaction (in this case, with a marriage) and unease, elements that are common to both noir and the postwar era. The film also prompts us to examine our own lives, in effect asking – regardless of the differing mores of 1945 versus 2017 – “What would I do in a similar situation?” Brief Encounter hits us where we live.