BARON BLOOD
GLI ORRORI DEL CASTELLO DI NORIMBERGA
1972, NAOR World Media Films, 100 min, Italy/West Germany, Dir: Mario Bava

Lovely Elke Sommer is menaced by Joseph Cotten, a 400-year-old sadistic nobleman bent on restoring his youth in Bava’s gruesome, Grand Guignol Gothic. With Massimo Girotti, Rada Rassimov. “… an almost Technicolor richness that encompasses a wide range of styles, from an enameled hardness that recalls the work of Douglas Sirk to a luminous, painterly vividness based on Bava’s fondness for color gels and his endlessly churning fog machine … ultimately a heady exercise in style, with several brilliantly mounted sequences; a convincing, insistent air of horror; and some unforgettable imagery.” – Gary Morris, Images Movie Journal.


OSSESSIONE
1943, 131 min, Italy, Dir: Luchino Visconti

Based on James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice, the first acclaimed work of Italian neorealism is a gritty, earthy (and unlicensed) adaptation of the famous noir novella, much closer in tone and spirit to Cain’s tale than the 1946 Hollywood version. Clara Calamai and Massimo Girotti burn up the screen as the doomed lovers, but Visconti makes the story as much about poverty as about lust and greed. The film was reviled and banned by Italy’s Fascist government, and MGM (legal holder of the movie rights) confiscated and destroyed all the prints it could find. Yet OSSESSIONE survives, a stunning hybrid of noir and neorealism - the director’s first masterpiece. In Italian with English subtitles.


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