Spring 2006 Film Series
at   the
Casa Italiana,
Nazareth College of Rochester, NY

The Spring 2006 Film Series will principally reflect Casa Italiana's spring events which emphasize Northern Italy. With the exception of the first film which features the comedy of DeSica and TotÚ, the films will focus on Northern Italy, chiefly Venezia. All films [except for Senso] will be Sunday afternoons at 4:00 PM in the Casa Italiana.

Following the table of dates, times, and titles of the Casa Italiana Fall Series a brief description of each film is provided here .

Casa Italiana of Nazareth College

Sunday afternoons at 4:00 PM     [ Except for Senso which begins at 3:00 PM ]

All films are free of charge, open to the public, and dedicated to an appreciation of Italian Language and Culture through Film.

NOTE: Change in Il Caso Mattei. This film will now be shown with English subtitles.

Date Title Duration Director English Subtitles
Feb. 5 I Due Marescialli (The Two Marshalls)   
Preghiere a San Gennaro [Prayers to St. Gennaro]
98 min.
  6 min.
Sergio Corbucci
Massimo Troisi and Lello Arena
Italian with No English subtitles
Neapolitan with No English subtitles
Feb. 19 Senso [Livia, the Wanton Countess] 117 min. Luchino Visconti Italian with English subtitles
Mar. 5 Dangerous Beauty 111 min. Marshall Herskovitz In English Rated R for Sexual Content
Mar. 19 Le Notti Bianche [White Nights] 102 min. Luchino Visconti Italian with English subtitles
Apr. 2 Il Caso Mattei [The Mattei Affair] 116 min. Francesco Rosi Italian with Italian WITH English subtitles
Apr. 30 Nudo di donna [Portrait of a Nude Woman]    
106 min. Nino Manfredi Italian with English subtitles

I Due Marescialli

I Due Marescialli
(The Two Marshalls)
Directed by Sergio Corbucci

Sunday, February 5, 2006 at 4:00 PM
In Italian with no English subtitles   (98 min.)

This is a classic TotÚ comedy with a battle of wits between a thief, TotÚ, and a marshal, DeSica, in World War II Italy. A bombardment interrupts TotÚ's arrest for a clever theft while dressed as a priest,. This results in TotÚ stealing the uniform and position of the marshall while DeSica is left with the priest's clothes and seeks refuge from the Germans who are shooting many carabinieri. Each is trapped in the other's clothing and comedy results.

Additional information on I Due Marescialli may be found here .

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Preghiere a San Gennaro

Preghiere a San Gennaro
(Prayers to St. Gennaro)
Massimo Troisi and Lello Arena

Sunday, February 5, 2006 at 4:00 PM
In Neapolitan   with no English subtitles   (6 min.)

Massimo Troisi was an esteemed Italian actor, film director and poet from San Giorgio a Cremano, Naples. He started his artistic career as a cabaret showman together with Lello Arena and Enzo De Caro, in a comic trio called "La Smorfia" (from the name of the "book of the numbers" traditionally used in Naples for Lotto and Bingo). The trio reached television and gained national popularity.

Preghiere a San Gennaro is a delightfully performed, short comic piece in which Troisi and Arena pray (somewhat competitively) to San Gennaro for favors.

The Text Of Preghiere a San Gennaro may be found here .

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Senso   (1954)  
[Livia, the Wanton Countess]
Directed by Luchino Visconti

Sunday, February 19, 2006 at 3:00 P.M.  
In Italian with English subtitles   (117 min.)

Senso takes place in Venice during the spring of 1866 in the last days of the Austrian occupation. A performance of Il Trovatore ends in an anti-Austrian demonstration, organized by Count Ussoni. His cousin, Countess Serpieri, falls in love with the Austrian Lieutenant Franz Mahler. We follow Mahler, a strikingly elegant Austrian officer, through desertion, drunkeness, and living in squalor with a prostitute on money supplied by the Countess. His decay symbolizes the fate of the Austrians in Italy. Visconti again follows cultural change through a study of an individual or family.

Dr. Savella's notes for this film are   here .

Additional information on Senso may be found here .

Dangerous Beauty
Dangerous Beauty

Dangerous Beauty   (1998)  
Directed by Marshall Herskovitz

Sunday March 5, 2006 at 4:00 P.M.  
IIn English     Rated R for Sexual Content     (111 min.)

This very beautiful film tells the story of Veronica Franco, a 16th Century Venetian poetess and courtesan. Venetian, courtesans enjoyed unique privileges: they read, composed poetry and discussed affairs of state with the men who governed the Republic. She became a heroine when she helped convince France to aid Venice in a war with Turkey, but when a plague descended, she was charged with witchcraft and forced to match wits with an old rival, speak for all women, and call courage from her lover and the men of Venice. This is an extremely beautiful look at 16th century Venice with outstanding cinematography.

Additional information on Dangerous Beauty may be found here .

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Le Notti Bianche
Le Notti Bianche

Le Notti Bianche     [White Nights]    (1957)  
Directed by Luchino Visconti

Sunday Mar. 19, 2006 at 4:00 P.M.
In Italian with English subtitles     (102 min.)

Set in a mythic, Venice-like city with canals and bridges (actually Livorno), this fine adaptation of Dostoyevsky's short story is evocative and boasts beautiful black and white cinematography. The snow scenes at the end are particularly striking. Marcello Mastroianni is a lonely, introverted clerk living in an Italian town. One night, he encounters Maria Schell on a canal bridge, distraught over the fact that her lover, Jean Marais, has failed to meet her as promised. As they begin to talk, over a couple of nights, he falls in love with her and he agrees to assist her in finding the man, but does so with the secret goal of preventing her reunion and wooing her himself. This film wonVisconti theVenice Film Festival's Silver Lion; Mastroianni and Nino Rota won awards for best actor and best musical score respectively.

Additional information on Le Notti Bianche may be found here .

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Il Caso Mattei
Il Caso Mattei

Il Caso Mattei    [The Mattei Affair]   (1972) 
Directed by Francesco Rosi

Sunday Apr. 2, 2006 at 4:00 P.M.
In Italian WITH English subtitles     (116 min.)

Il Caso Mattei is the fascinating story of Enrico Mattei, a man who helped change Italy's destiny by promoting methane gas and the development of oil resources. This energy helped to fuel the economic miracle which brought Italy out of World War II to a strong economic position in postwar Europe. The cause of his 1962 death in a private plane crash outside of Milan remains shrouded in mystery. This is a thought-provoking and intriguing drama about a great man, brilliantly portrayed by Gian Maria VolontŤ

Additional information on Il Caso Mattei may be found here .

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Nudo di Donna
Nudo di Donna

Nudo di Donna    [Portrait of a Nude Woman]    (1981)  
Directed by Nino Manfredi

Sunday April 30, 2006 at 4:00 P.M.
In Italian with English subtitles   (106 min.)

Manfredi directs and stars as a Roman adrift in Venice during Carnival. As he enters midlife, he frequently argues with his wife. She decides they should separate so he can sort out his mind. His first night away, he sees a photograph of a nude; the image resembles his wife. He searches for the model, whose name is Riri. He finds her, and she looks exactly like his wife, except that Riri is a gaily attired prostitute and Laura is a self-contained antiquarian bookseller. Are they two women or are they one? Nudo di Donna makes excellent use of Venice. Both in character and attitude, the film uses the city as a resident, rather than a visitor. Venice's confusing pattern of plazas and walkways is both an apt representation of the hero's emotional state and a key plot element.

Additional information on Nudo di Donna may be found here .

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