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OPEN CITY

Director: GIANNI BORGNA

ITALY • 2008 • SUBTITLED • COLOUR/BLACK AND WHITE • DIGITAL BETACAM • 100 MIN


Raiding the archives of the Instituto Luce and state broadcaster RAI, cultural historian Gianni Borgna has assembled a fulsome yet intoxicating tribute to Rome during one of the Eternal City’s most flourishing periods — from the end of WW2 to the heady 1960s. At this time Rome was a melting pot and a meeting place for Allies, paisà (compatriots), sciuscià (street urchins) and film icons such as Vittorio De Sica, Roberto Rossellini, Anna Magnani and Aldo Fabrizi. This was the Rome of cultural circles, of literary trattorias and coffee bars where famous painters and writers would talk and argue. It was where Luchino Visconti’s first films were screened, and where ‘Hollywood on the Tiber’ stretched between Via Veneto and Cinecittà. It was also the corrupt city of scandals. Federico Fellini captured much of the ethos in his classic film La Dolce vita, but there was also the work of figures like Michelangelo Antonioni and Dino Risi, especially his film Il Sorpasso/The Easy Life. It’s all captured in this fascinating compilation of sounds and images.

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