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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Film D'Amore E D'Anarchia (aka Love And Anarchy) (1973)

When his close friend is murdered by the police, a young farmer (Giancarlo Giannini, whose performance here won the best actor award at the Cannes film festival) takes it upon himself to accomplish what his friend intended to do before being killed ... assassinate Benito Mussolini! Unlike most overtly political films which tend to be either intense dramas or comedic satires, the director Lina Wertmuller balances both with equal dexterity. By turns funny, brutal, tender, bawdy and intense; Wertmuller realizes she can do more to get her intent across by entertaining you rather than giving you a political diatribe (though the film can be shrill at times). The majority of the film takes place in a brothel and Wertmuller really shines in these sequences. Like Fellini, she has an eye for faces and assisted by Giuseppe Rotunno's camera and Gianni Giovagnoni's art direction, it often borders on beauty. The sad faced Giannini and Mariangela Melato as a brassy bleached blonde whore not only make a wonderful contrast but bring an added verve to the already heightened proceedings. The underscore is shared by Nino Rota and Carlo Savina. With the Kewpie doll Lina Polito as the prostitute who falls in love with Giannini and Eros Pagni overdoing the fascist pig bit.

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