The wartime experiences of Curzio Malaparte, who served as the American Commanding General’s Italian liaison during the American liberation of Naples. –Inbaseline
Born to a working-class family, she graduated in Classics at Bologna University. In 1960 she enrolled at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia (Experimental Cinematography Centre) where she obtained her diploma with the short films “Incontro notturno” (1961) and “L’evento” (1962). On winning a competition with Rai, she directed various interesting documentaries for the Italian TV service, from “Storia del III Reich” (1962-63) to “La donna nella Resistenza” (1965). She made her debut in full-length feature films in 1966 with “Francis of Assisi (Francesco d’Assisi)”, produced by the TV and magnificently interpreted by Lou Castel; made in a period of political unrest, it was to become a kind of manifesto of dissenting Catholicism.
Her next film, “Galileo” (1968), tackled the difficult relationship between intellectuals and power, while the intense “The Cannibals (I cannibali)” (1969) proposes a reflection on the crimes committed by the authorities, taking its inspiration from Sophocles… read more
Liliana Cavani “The Skin” (“La Pelle” – 1981) From the first glance, Cavani’s film (which on the level of the plot is about the after mat of American liberation of Italy in 1944) is about human history – how historical process smashes human beings as a tank rolls over the human body crushing it (one among many other images in the film impossible to forget). But step by step it becomes evident that the film is about two fascisms – one is ideological, obvious, with Mussolini’s voice, which comes to us from outside and the other is internal, psychological, which is inside. The film is also about innocence – people’s inability to notice and to confront the fascism in all of us. But, according to the film, our cognitive innocence (connected with a deficit in our humanistic education) makes us also unable to recognize fascism hidden in commercial calculation (if it subdues a collective human benefit to its logic). In “The Skin” we see a lot of business activity in post-fascist Italy. Cavani emphasizes that fascism survived its political, ideological and military defeat in the form of commercial activity that uses human beings of both genders including children as sexual toys, and virginity and “fresh” dead human bodies as an items for sale. For us, Americans today, when American conservative leadership in tune with global corporations and our military-industrial complex prepares for future wars and through creating economic collapse enlarge the gap between rich minority and poor majority, it is very important to confront the fact that wars and commerce (if it’s interested only in profit without human dignity) are twins, exactly as Cavani shows it. This film deserves to be watched with amazement by the fact that she in 1981 predicted today’s extreme economic and psychological situation in US. We see a general (Burt Lancaster) posing in front of the cameras which will deliver his victorious image to the American media, and a liberal writer who notices everything and accepts whatever he witnesses without a shade of criticism. Why the title of the film is “The Skin”/”La Pelle”? The film is about our proclivity to verify human being by his/her skin – by his/her look as a human being. But what’s under the skin is the danger of fascist indifference and brutality. And we better become conscious about it. Cavani’s “The Skin” can help us to become more alert to the danger of internal (psychological) fascism. Read articles about films by Godard, Resnais, Bergman, Kurosawa, Fassbinder, Cavani, Pasolini, Bertolucci, Bunuel and Alain Tanner (with analyses of shots from the films) at: www.actingoutpolitics.com by Victor