Friday, July 27, 2007

My New Feet



How do you like my "space age feet"? These were fashioned just for moi--to fit my own quirky feet and even have a label on the bottom of each with not only my name but my podiatrist's name! How classy is that?

But I guess I like them so much that I overdid the "road testing" of them yesterday and ended up with a throbbing foot. Needless to say, today I am being a good girl and am staying off my feet more--to speed up the healing of the inflamed tendon in my left foot. With my "advanced" years, the podiatrist said the healing would probably take 6 months! Argh! That means I will be healed just in time for my trip to Italy in November.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

2007-2008 Italian Film Series

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

A comedy relating the tales of three very different women, all played by Sophia Loren, and their relationships with three different men, all played by Marcello Mastroianni.
119 minutes.

A trio of comedies with Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni portraying the leading roles. Each story tells how each woman uses sex in various ways to attain her desires. This film contains Loren's now-famous striptease scene. Best Foreign Language Film Oscar for 1964. 119 minutes.

Bicycle Thief

In post-war Rome an impoverished father and son search desperately for their most essential possession: their newly-purchased bicycle, stolen on the father's first day of work. 90 minutes.

An impoverished man in post-war Rome spends all his family's savings to purchase a bicycle, essential to obtain a job putting up posters. When that bicycle is stolen on his first day of work, father and son embark on a desperate journey to get it back. Directed by Vittorio De Sica, this is considered one of the most important and influential masterpieces of neo-realism. 1949 Honorary Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. 90 minutes.

Facing Window

Old relationships change; new relationships emerge. Past and present intertwine, as a young husband is drawn to a mysterious old man and his wife obsesses over the attractive neighbor viewed nightly through their front window. 106 minutes.

When a young couple meet a confused old man with a mysterious past and the wife obsesses over the attractive neighbor she views nightly through their front window, they are each drawn into new relationships which change their own. Winner: 2003 Italian Golden Globes (Best film, actor, actress) Winner: our own 2004 Seattle International Film Festival Golden Space Needle (Best film). 106 minutes.

Life is Beautiful

A celebration of the human spirit! An irrepressibly-optimistic father so loves his young son that he finds a way to protect him from the horrors of a World War II concentration camp. 116 minutes.

A unique and beguiling film that celebrates the triumph of the human spirit. A father successfully creates a world within a world to protect his young son from the horrors of the World War II concentration camp to which they have been sent. 1998 Oscars: Best Foreign Language Film, Best Male Actor in a Leading Role (Roberto Benigni.) 116 minutes.

The Nights of Cabiria

Oscar-winning Fellini film in which we follow Cabiria, a prostitute living in Rome, through her many adventures as she seeks true love but finds only disappointment. Despite this she retains her sentimentality and optimism. 110 minutes.

A powerful performance by Giullietta Masina as the waif-like prostitute, Cabiria, highlights this film. We follow her adventures on the streets of Rome as she seeks true love but finds only disappointment. However, optimism always picks her up. This film has one of the most powerful endings on film. Directed by Fellini. 1957 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. 110 minutes.

Bread and Tulips

When a disillusioned housewife is accidentally left by her family at a roadside cafe while on a bus tour, she rebels and hitchhikes to Venice. 114 minutes.

While on a bus trip with her family, a disillusioned housewife is accidentally left behind at a roadside cafe. Seeing an opportunity for a new life, she rebels and hitchhikes to Venice.
114 minutes.

Comedy in which a housewife on a bus tour with her family is "accidentally" left behind at a roadside cafe. Told by her unfaithful husband to wait for him to pick her up, she, instead, rebels and hitchhikes to Venice to begin a new life. 114 minutes.

Two Women

Sophia Loren's highly-emotional portrayal of a mother fiercely-protecting her 13-year-old daughter in World War II Italy earned her the 1961 Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. 99 minutes.

World War II Italy: Cesira and her 13-year-old daughter flee to Cesira's home village to avoid the bombings in Rome. Cesira is fiercely-protective of her daughter both on the road and in the village. But when both are raped by soldiers, Cesira suffers a breakdown. A powerful and gut-wrenching performance by Sophia Loren as the mother, earned her the Best Actress Academy Award for 1961, the first ever for any actor or actress in a non-English speaking role. 99 minutes.

The Garden of the Finzi-Continis

It is 1938 and soon brutal outside forces will render asunder the perfect life of the wealthy, Jewish family, the Finzi-Continis, who obliviously play in their lovely home with a gorgeous garden. 94 minutes.

How easy it is for the wealthy, aristocratic Jewish Finzi-Contini family to ignore the outside world of politics as they play in their large, beautiful villa with a marvelous garden, oblivious to outside forces closing in on them. It is 1938 and World War II is poised to brutally intrude upon their "perfect" life. 1971Oscar: Best Foreign Language Film. Director Vittorio De Sica's fourth and final Oscar. 94 minutes.

Golden Door

A poor Sicilian peasant family journeying to America in the crowded hold of a ship lives on hope and their "golden dreams" of a new life. 118 minutes.

The title of this movie refers to the "Golden Door" of Emma Lazarus' poem engraved on a plaque on the Statue of Liberty. Traveling in the crowded hold of a ship, a Sicilian peasant family is buoyed on their journey with promises and ecstatic dreams of anticipation of a sublime new life in America. 118 minutes.

Seven Beauties

Small-time crook and womanizer, Pasqualino, has "only" one motivation: survival! Director-Writer Lina Wermuller's masterpiece follows him through World War II battles and a German concentration camp.

In this masterpiece, written and directed by Lina Wertmuller, we follow Pasqualino, a small-time crook and womanizer--whose only motivation is to survive--through World War II battles and a German concentration camp.1976 Oscar nominations: Best Foreign Language Film, Best Director, Best Actor in a Leading Role.

The Postman

This is a moving tale of the friendship between the famous Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda, exiled for political reasons, and the simple postman, Mario, hired solely to deliver Neruda's mail.

Pablo Neruda is a famous Chilean poet exiled to a small Italian island for political reasons. Mario is the simple man hired solely to deliver the huge quantities of Neruda's mail. This moving tale of their friendship shows how they learned much from each other. 1995 Oscar nominations for Best Picture and for Best Actor in a Leading Role. 113 minutes.