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THE WITCHES (1967)
LE STREGHE
1967, Park Circus/MGM, 112 min, Dir: Mauro Bolognini, Vittorio De Sica, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Franco Rossi, Luchino Visconti

Some of the greatest figures of postwar Italian cinema directed this anthology film, which is composed of five separate segments ranging from comedy to drama. The international cast includes Clint Eastwood, Annie Girardot, Alberto Sordi and Silvana Mangano.


WHITE NIGHTS
LE NOTTI BIANCHE
1957, Janus Films, 102 min, Dir: Luchino Visconti

Based on a Dostoevsky short story, Visconti’s tale of unrequited love stars Marcello Mastroianni as Mario, new to the city and quickly smitten with Natalia (Maria Schell), whom he meets on a bridge. Natalia has returned to that bridge every night for a year, waiting for a man (Jean Marais) who had promised to come back to her. Giuseppe Rotunno’s wonderful B&W cinematography gives the town of Livorno a dreamlike quality, an effect accentuated by Nino Rota’s score.


POPEYE
1980, Paramount, 114 min, USA, Dir: Robert Altman

Few actors could bring a cartoon character to life the way Robin Williams does in his first major film role as the titular sailor man in director Robert Altman’s musical comedy (though Shelley Duvall is pretty well cast herself as rail-thin love interest Olive Oyl). Bluto, Wimpy, Swee'Pea and all your favorites are here, as Popeye searches for his father and discovers the power of spinach. While not the blockbuster it was expected to be, the film was a financial success, and its cult reputation has risen through the years, thanks in part to its Jules Feiffer-penned screenplay and Harry Nilsson’s music.


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