THE ITALIAN CONNECTION: POLIZIOTTESCHI AND OTHER ITALO-CRIME FILMS OF THE 1960s AND 70s
June 19 – June 29
Influenced both by 1960s political cinema and Italian crime novels, as well as by French noir and American cop movies like DIRTY HARRY and THE FRENCH CONNECTION, many Italian filmmakers in the late-60s and early-70s gradually moved away from the spaghetti western genre, trading lone cowboys for ‘bad’ cops and the rough frontier of the American west for the mean streets of modern Italy. Just as they had with their westerns, they reinvented the borrowed genre with their inimitable eye for style and filled their stories with the kidnappings, heists, vigilante justice, and brutal violence that suffused this turbulent moment in post-boom 1970s Italy. The undercurrent of fatalism and cynicism in these uncompromising movies is eerily reminiscent of the state of discontent in Italy today.
‘The Italian Connection’ showcases the diversity and innovation found in the genre, from the gangster noir of Fernando Di Leo’s CALIBER 9 to Damiano Damiani’s political thriller CONFESSIONS OF A POLICE CAPTAIN, and from Carlo Lizzani’s real-time exposé BANDITS IN MILAN to Umberto Lenzi’s genre favorite ALMOST HUMAN and Aldo Lado’s scarce BORN WINNER, starring Joe Dallessandro. Featuring terrific scores by Ennio Morricone, Stelvio Cipriani, Bruno Nicolai, Maurizio & Guido De Angelis, and others, some of these gems have been rediscovered and released on DVD thanks to the enthusiasm of the likes of Quentin Tarantino and Joe Dante, but many remain under-recognized in the U.S.
Programmed by Alessio Giorgetti, Alessio Grana, and Yunsun Chae (Malastrana Film Series) and by Harry Guerro. Special thanks to Laura Argento (Cineteca Nazionale), Chris Chouinard (Park Circus), Stefano Curti (RaroVideo), Matt Jones (University of North Carolina School of the Arts), Christopher Lane & Michael Horne (Sony), Alfredo Leone (International Media Films), William Lustig (Blue Underground), Judy Nicaud (Paramount), and Ermanno Germano Porcelli (Cineteca Lucana).