GENRE CINEMA ALL'ITALIANA: ENZO CASTELLARI EN SERGIO MARTINO
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Italy was at the forefront of such popular movie genres as peplums, spaghetti westerns, thrillers, police action, and horror. Many directors (Mario Bava, Lucio Fulci), cinematographers (Vittorio Storaro), and composers (Bruno Nicolai, Ennio Morricone) made their names during this golden age of Italian genre cinema, or “filone” - a term for the cross-pollination between various film traditions, cycles, movements, and trends contributing to the richness and diversity of popular Italian cinema. Also prominent in this era of enormous creativity and expansion were the festival's guests of honor - Enzo G. Castellari and Sergio Martino.
In response to the rise of American blockbusters in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Italian producers ripped off and riffed on any genre which did well at the box office, including the killer shark craze (Castellari's “The Last Shark”) and post-apocalyptic science fiction (Martino's “2019: After the Fall of New York”).
In collaboration with Instituto Italiano di Cultura Brussels.
The first collaboration between Castellari and actor Franco Nero is one of the pivotal entries in the “poliziotteschi” genre. Expect brutal murders, lengthy shout-outs with machine guns, stylishly choreographed action scenes, socio-political turmoil, drug dealers, and a hot-tempered police officer.
Crime and police corruption were rife in 1970s Italy. An engineer (Franco Nero) is taken hostage during a violent robbery. But the police don't care about justice and drop the case, so he takes the law into his own hands. A mix between poliziotteschi and spaghetti western by the “European Sam Peckinpah”.
This Italian rip-off of “Jaws” proves diabolically effective. Astute camera work and a catchy soundtrack mix with unintentionally funny scenes in which the supposedly deadly beast looks more like an inflatable shark or a sick dolphin. An irresistible guilty pleasure!
A violent cop goes in search for a rich teenager (played by Stefania Girolami, Castellari's daughter) who went missing in the Bronx, now a “no man's land” run by fearsome motorcycle gangs. This hilarious hotch-potch of “Mad Max ”, “Escape From New York” and “The Warriors” is purest camp!
When a large corporation wants to “clean up” the Bronx, the local gangs react by starting a war. The non-stop violence reaches insane heights in this science-fiction movie disguised as a spaghetti western, the sequel to “1990: The Bronx Warriors”.
In a quiet Italian town, criminals extort money from local store owners by menacing them with rape and violence. But the victims team up to fight back, resulting in epic brutality, explosive twists, and a vigilante-style shoot-out. Castellari considers the ending to be the best one he ever shot.
After she loses her baby in a car crash, Jane (Edwige Fenech) has nightmares about a knife-wielding maniac. Her neighbor decides a Black Mass is a solution to Jane's problems. A Polanski-esque tale about paranoia, devil worshipers, ritualistic murder orgies, and madness.
Sergio Martino pulls out all the stops in this highly stylized, ultra-violent giallo classic about a serial killer who hides behind a ski mask to strangle beautiful young students before slicing them up with a bow saw. The many suspenseful scenes in this scary whodunit will have you gasping for air.
After a nuclear holocaust, the world has been reduced to a wasteland populated by mutants. A mercenary is dispatched to the ruins of New York to try and save the last fertile woman on earth. A thoroughly engaging post-apocalyptic delight.
Dr. Russ Hunter (co-editor of “Italian Horror Cinema”) will provide an overview of the Italian genre film, looking at the dynamics behind an industry that variously produced spy thrillers, funky hardboiled cop films, hyper-violent thrillers, gore-drenched horrors, spaghetti westerns, zany sci-fi cinema as well as bawdy comedies. Dr. Alexia Kannas (author of “Deep Red”) examines the key features of the giallo, a uniquely Italian blend of lurid violence, inventive set-piece murders, pulsating soundtracks and sitting alongside often beautifully realised visuals. Dr. Jamie Sexton (author of “Cult Cinema”) will look at the contribution that two iconic composers, Ennio Morricone and Bruno Nicolai, made to the success of Italian genre films. Their soundtracks have, somewhat unusually, taken on cult status and contributed hugely to making Italian genre cinema both successful and memorable to the ear. Finally, Dr. Louis Bayman (co-editor of “Italian Popular Cinema”) explores the poliziotteschi, a series of gritty police dramas that mixed up high-speed car chases, kidnappings, bank robberies, high-powered shootouts and angry lone wolf protagonists with a sense of style that was distinctly Italian. Followed by a roundtable with director Sergio Martino and Manlio Gomarasca (author, editor, and journalist at “Nocturno”).
Police inspector Giulio Caneparo (Luc Merenda) takes justice into his own hands to avenge the death of his boss, who was on the trail of a gang of bank robbers. All bets are off and anything goes in this indictment of Italian fascism and political chaos.
After the brutal murder of an underage prostitute, an undercover agent infiltrates a Milanese gang and finds a trail leading to the highest echelons of power. An essential link between giallo and poliziottescho, directed by Martino as an unpredictable roller coaster ride full of spectacular chases.
When an anthropologist goes missing in the jungle of New Guinea, his wife and her brother set out to find him, only to run into a tribe of torture-loving cannibals... This infamous “video nasty” was banned for years in the UK due to its explicit sex, gratuitous violence, and alleged animal abuse.