Thursday, July 01, 2010

Sotto il sole di Roma

18.15 Cinema Lumière - Sala Scorsese, Bologna, 1 July 2010.
Rooman auringon alla / Under the Sun of Rome. IT 1947. PC: Universalcine. D: Renato Castellani. M: Nino Rota. Among the actors in a supporting role Alberto Sordi (Fernando, the shoe shop assistant). 104 min. A CSC - Cineteca Nazionale print with e-subtitles in English by Sub-ti.

Renato Castellani's Due soldi di speranza I know as a wonderful film, and now I got to see Sotto il sole di Roma for the first time. It is the coming-of-age story of the 17-year-old Ciro (Oscar Blando), starting in 1943 and proceeding through the bombing and liberation of Rome with tragical and comical experiences. It is set in the working-class milieux of Rome, at first following the adventures of a gang of youngsters. The moral center of the story is young Iris (Liliana Mancini) whom we can predict to become a formidable mamma. But Ciro also experiences an affair on the side with the insatiable adult woman Tosca (Gisella Monaldi), losing several kilos of weight in the process.

Nino Rota's rousing score and theme song (by him?) add levels of passion to the film. The cinematography by Domenico Scala (Ossessione, Acciaio, Fanny, Domenica d'agosto) is shot on a rich variety of locations, but the bad print has a seriously duped look, with bad contrast, as if this were a lab test print of a 16 mm blow-up.

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