A film in 5 episodes: 1. L’INDIFFERENZA (Carlo Lizzani): A man injured in a car crash tries to get his wife to hospital. He is offered help by a man being pursued by the police. 2. AGONIA (Bernardo Bertolucci): A dying man begins to question the good that he has done in his life, and all his regrets and memories visualise themselves in the form of a theatrical happening. 3. LA SEQUENZA DEL FIORE DI CARTA (Pier Paolo Pasolini): A happy young man walks along the street carrying a paper flow. The voice of God speaks to him and tells him that there is no space on Earth for someone who doesn’t recognise the world’s problems. He disappears. 4. L’AMORE: L’ANDATA E RITORNO DEI FIGLI PRODIGHI (Jean-Luc Godard): An Italian director has an affair with a young French woman. They renounce their relationship when they fail to agree about revolution and democracy. 5. DISCUTIAMO, DISCUTIAMO (Marco Bellocchio): A group of University students debate with the director Marco Bellocchio. It ends in fierce argument between the diverse factions: Maoists, Communists, Liberals and Reactionaries. Note: The English release version (held by the archive) does not contain the final episode. –BFI
Carlo Lizzani (born 3 April 1922) is an Italian film director, screenwriter and critic.
Born in Rome, after World War II Lizzani worked on such notable films of the late 1940s as Roberto Rossellini’s Germany Year Zero, Alberto Lattuada’s The Mill on the Po (both 1948) and Giuseppe De Santis’ Bitter Rice (1950, for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Story).
After helming documentaries, he debuted as a feature director with the admired World War II drama Achtung! Banditi! (1951). He films an episode of L’Amore in Città. Respected for his awarded drama Chronicle of Poor Lovers (1954), he has proven a solid director of genre films, notably crime films such as The Violent Four (1968) and Crazy Joe (1974) or erotic comedy Roma Bene (1971).
He worked frequently for Italian television in the 1980s and was a member of the jury at the Berlin Film Festival in 1994.
His film Celluloide deals with the making of Rome, Open City. —Wikipedia… read more
Bernardo Bertolucci proved to be Italian cinema’s great prodigy, making his debut The Grim Reaper at the age of 22, and Before the Revolution at the age of 24; achievements comparable to Orson Welles directing Citizen Kane at the age of 25. He was born in Parma in 1940. He initially followed the footsteps of his father Attilio, a noted poet and critic. His poetry received prizes at competitions and a collection of his work was published while he was still a teenager. But his attention was already diverted to the cinema, especially after viewing Godard’s Breathless. His planned transition from poetry to cinema found an accomplice in fellow poet Pier Paolo Pasolini. A family friend, he regarded Bertolucci as a kindred spirit and tasked him as his assistant on his landmark debut, Accattone. The experience, described by Bertolucci as witnessing “the invention of the cinema” further ignited his own ambitions.
The Grim Reaper was based on a story by Pasolini but the resulting film displayed… read more
Born in Bologna in 1922, Pier Paolo Pasolini left behind a searing legacy that haunts contemporary Italy more than thirty years after his death. More than anyone, Pasolini gazed deeply into Italy’s role in the spread of Fascism and, more controversially, the continuing influence of its ideas in post-war Europe. For him, this was a matter of great personal significance; his father was a soldier in the Fascist Army (he had once protected Mussolini from an assassination attempt) while his brother joined the resistance only to be murdered in an ambush. This personal trauma coincided with a period of intellectual development as Pasolini engaged with Marxist philosophy; especially the works of Antonio Gramsci, the founder of Italy’s Communist Party (PCI). His relationship with the PCI, however, was tense. As a poet and intellectual, Pasolini scrutinized his fellow Communists as critically as he did bourgeois society. His enemies retaliated by targeting his personal life; the first instance… read more
The lynchpin of the French New Wave, Jean-Luc Godard was arguably the most influential filmmaker of the postwar era. Beginning with his groundbreaking 1959 feature debut A Bout de Souffle, Godard revolutionized the motion picture form, freeing the medium from the shackles of its long-accepted cinematic language by rewriting the rules of narrative, continuity, sound, and camera work. Later in his career, he also challenged the common means of feature production, distribution, and exhibition, all in an effort to subvert the conventions of the Hollywood formula to create a new kind of film.
Godard was born in Paris on December 3, 1930, the second of four children. After receiving his primary education in Nyon, Switzerland – during World War II, he became a naturalized Swiss citizen – he studied ethnology at the Sorbonne, but spent the vast majority of his days at the Cine-Club du Quartier Latin, where he first met fellow film fanatics Francois Truffaut and Jacques Rivette. In May… read more
Born in Piacenza in 1939 from a family of the upper middle-class, he attended the Liceo of the Barnabite Fathers; in 1959 he abandoned his studies in philosophy at the Catholic University in Milan and enrolled at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia (The National Film School in Rom). Then, in London, he followed courses in cinema at the Slade School of Fine Arts, graduating with a thesis on Antonioni and Bresson. He made his debut in full-length films with Fist in His Pocket (I pugni in tasca) (1965), considered one of the best first works in the history of the Italian cinema. In this great film, the rebellious tendency of the young is skilfully expressed in terms of revolt against family and normality, through the story of a young man who decides to exterminate two members of his own family. His next film, China is Near (La Cina è vicina) (1967), marked a turn towards comedy, in the clash between bourgeois hypocrisy and the vain ambition of the fake revolutionaries… read more