Modernist Master: The Cinema of Francesco Rosi 

7/8/10 to 8/28/10

A committed leftist and an equally committed modernist, Francesco Rosi offers a body of films whose political and emotional impact is almost purely visual. Born in Naples, Rosi is a man of the South who constructs his films, mostly thrillers and political exposés, as dramatic inquiries, frequently into real situations, always into real social forces-the forces of corruption.

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  • Three Brothers, July 8

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Past Films

  • The Moment of Truth

    • Saturday, August 28 8:30 PM

    Francesco Rosi (Italy/Spain, 1965). See July 16. (110 mins)

  • Neapolitan Diary

    • Thursday, August 26 7:00 PM

    Francesco Rosi (Italy, 1992). Thirty years after making Hands Over the City, Rosi returns to Naples in this documentary “sequel” that captures the beauty, decay, and suffering of his native city.

  • To Forget Palermo

    • Saturday, August 21 8:30 PM

    Francesco Rosi (Italy/France, 1990). Rosi's first English-language film moves from New York to Palermo, following an ambitious politician (James Belushi) who comes afoul of the Mafia when he tries to legalize drugs. Music by Ennio Morricone. (110 mins)

  • Chronicle of a Death Foretold

    • Thursday, August 12 7:00 PM

    Francesco Rosi (Italy/France, 1987). Rosi adapts Gabriel García Marquez's famous novel on machismo, murder, and “the forces that can transform a rational man into an assassin” (Rosi), set and filmed in Columbia and starring Rupert Everett. “An absorbing and unusual murder mystery.”-Time Out (110 mins)

  • Just Another War

    • Sunday, August 8 5:00 PM

    Francesco Rosi (Italy/Yugoslavia, 1970). During World War I, an upper-crust general orders his troops into a no-win battle, with predictable results, in Rosi's fiercely anti-militaristic work, an Italian Paths of Glory or Farewell to Arms. (101 mins)

  • Lucky Luciano

    • Saturday, August 7 8:10 PM

    Francesco Rosi (Italy, 1973). Gian Maria Volonté is the Italian American gangster of the title, on the rise and on the run-and, hints Rosi, well-connected to U.S. officials. “The finest movie made about the Mafia.”-Norman Mailer (115 mins)

  • More Than a Miracle

    • Sunday, August 1 5:00 PM

    Francesco Rosi (Italy/France, 1967). Spanish prince Omar Sharif prefers sport to marriage, until he meets bewitching peasant lass Sophia Loren, in Rosi's unexpected detour into romantic fantasy and comic fable, set in 17th century Italy. “Splashy and beautiful.”-Pauline Kael (103 mins)

  • Christ Stopped at Eboli

    • Sunday, July 25 7:00 PM

    Francesco Rosi (Italy, 1979). Anti-fascist writer/doctor Carlo Levi's memoirs provide the source material for this quiet epic about Levi's 1935 exile in a small southern town. “I was completely absorbed by what I was seeing….The audience seemed hushed, as if at a concert where the musicians were playing very softly.”-Pauline Kael (151 mins)

  • Illustrious Corpses

    • Saturday, July 24 8:40 PM

    Francesco Rosi (Italy, 1976). Rosi called this detective thriller/political exposé “a trip through the monsters and monstrosities of power,” as a detective hunts for truth, and discovers far-ranging corruption. “One of the best political conspiracy films of the ‘70s.”-Pacific Cinematheque (120 mins)

  • Hands over the City

    • Sunday, July 18 5:00 PM

    Francesco Rosi (Italy, 1963). Rod Steiger is a ruthless Napoli property developer busy trying to wipe the blood off his hands (or buy off someone to do it for him) when a slum building collapses. “Tough and forthright...totally convincing as an analysis of civic corruption.”-Tony Rayns. (110 mins)

  • Salvatore Giuliano

    • Friday, July 16 7:00 PM

    Francesco Rosi (Italy, 1961). Salvatore Giuliano was a real-life Sicilian bandit turned Mafia boss turned guerrilla fighter in Sicily's war for independence. Rosi dissects his life and times in this elliptical look at violence, the Mafia, and the State. (107 mins)

  • The Moment of Truth

    • Friday, July 16 9:05 PM

    Francesco Rosi (Italy, 1965). Rosi's definitive cinematic treatment of bullfighting, “rendered with vivid brilliance by this uncommonly unsentimental director.”-Time Out (110 mins)

  • The Mattei Affair

    • Sunday, July 11 7:00 PM

    Francesco Rosi (Italy, 1972). The life and suspicious death of Italy's legendary leftist oil czar Enrico Mattei (“Mao was right”) forms the basis of this Citizen Kane for the Enron set, a crackling political thriller about oil, power, and capitalism. Winner, Cannes Palme d'Or. (118 mins)

  • The Challenge

    • Friday, July 9 7:00 PM

    Francesco Rosi (Italy, 1958). A smalltime smuggler hopes to expand his business-but doesn't bargain on the Mafia-in Rosi's first feature, a striking example of late neorealism. (95 mins)

  • The Swindlers

    • Friday, July 9 8:55 PM

    Francesco Rosi (Italy, 1959). Alberto Sordi is an Italian swindler in Germany who shows a fellow countryman how to “participate” in the postwar German Economic Miracle. A fascinating glimpse into Europe's postwar urban culture, shot in the strip clubs, jazz bars, and rundown docks of Hamburg and Hannover. (107 mins)

  • Three Brothers

    • Thursday, July 8 7:00 PM

    Francesco Rosi (Italy, 1981). Three brothers-a lawyer, a radical, and an idealist-return to the South for their mother's funeral in Rosi's elegiac examination of ‘70s Italy. “A great film . . . extraordinarily beautiful.”-David Denby (113 mins)