SEVEN BEAUTIES
PASQUALINO SETTEBELLEZZE
1976, Kino Lorber, 115 min, Italy, Dir: Lina Wertmüller

One of the most pivotal films of the 1970s, SEVEN BEAUTIES received Academy Award nomination in the categories of Best Actor, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Foreign-Language Film. The film is the grotesquely funny story of Pasqualino Settebellezze, a small-time crook and ladies’ man who fumbles his way through the atrocities of World War II. Giancarlo Giannini's Academy Award-nominated performance is sheer genius. He is a “Chaplinesque Valentino,” a silent film clown who thinks he is a matinee idol, with his combination of arrogance and eloquence; serenity and disorder. Wertmüller's direction, from the perfumed vaudeville of Pasqualino's prime to the Grand Guignol of the concentration camps, is simply astonishing.


TRISTANA
1970, Cohen Film, 95 min, Spain, Dir: Luis Buñuel

Catherine Deneuve is at her best as the title character, an orphan left in the care of libertine aristocrat Don Lope (Fernando Rey), who seduces the woman, setting her on a path to bitterness and manipulation. Playing upon a reversal of audience sympathy, TRISTANA is among the most powerful portraits of lost innocence, one of Buñuel’s favorite themes (the film also makes striking use of a favorite Buñuel technique, the dream sequence). In Spanish with English subtitles.


1492: CONQUEST OF PARADISE
1992, Paramount, 154 min, USA, Dir: Ridley Scott

Released on the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ voyage to the New World, this epic adventure stars Gérard Depardieu as the famed explorer and Sigourney Weaver as Queen Isabella. While his initial landing on San Salvador made history, Columbus’ later voyages were increasingly costly - both to him and to the native inhabitants, who were brutally subjugated by the Spanish colonizers. Unjustly neglected at the time of release, the film features a stirring score by Vangelis as well as strong supporting performances from Armand Assante, Fernando Rey and Frank Langella.


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