Saturday, 24 January 2015

Capital Celluloid 2015 - Day 40: Mon Feb 9

Rome, Open City (Rossellini, 1945): BFI Soutbabnk, NFT1, 6.10pm

This film screens as part of the Passport to Cinema season at the BFI and tonight is introduced by screenwriter, director and producer Mamoun Hassan. There are more screening on 15th and 17th February and you can find all the details here.

I haven't seen this since my post-graduate days at Derby Lonsdale College in the mid-1980s but found it a real eye-opener at the time and wouldn't disagree with this ecstatic review in Chicago Reader. Director Roberto Rossellini was a pioneer and this film, which won the Grand Prix at Cannes, brought the attention of the world to the development of the hugely influential neorealism era in Italian cinema.

Chicago Reader review:
Roberto Rossellini's 1946 story of a group of workers and a priest in 1943-'44 Rome, declared an “open city” by the Nazis, was begun only two months after the liberation. Its realistic treatment of everyday Italian life heralded the postwar renaissance of the Italian cinema and the development of neorealism; the film astonished audiences around the world and remains a masterpiece. With Anna Magnani, Aldo Fabrizi, and Maria Michi.
Don Druker

Here (and above) is the trailer.

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