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.


BELLISSIMA
1951, Movietime, 108 min, Dir: Luchino Visconti

Anna Magnani is unforgettable as Maddalena, a working-class Italian convinced that her daughter could be the next Shirley Temple. Against the advice of her husband (Gastone Renzelli), Maddalena spends a small fortune on clothes, hairstyling, ballet lessons and anything that might give little Maria (Tina Apicella) the edge in auditions – only to discover that the movie business isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. Real-life director Alessandro Blasetti plays himself in the neorealist dramedy, which reportedly was inspired when Visconti cast a child’s role in an earlier production and was deluged by stage mothers.


RATATOUILLE
2007, Walt Disney Pictures, 111 min, USA, Dir: Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava

This Oscar winner for Best Animated Feature follows Remy (voiced by Patton Oswalt), a rodent who dreams of becoming a top chef. Remy gets his chance by teaming up with a garbage boy at famed Paris restaurant Gusteau's, but he must be careful – rats are killed if caught in the kitchen. A voice cast including Ian Holm, Janeane Garofalo, Brian Dennehy and Peter O'Toole serves up a banquet of delicious performances. “A nearly flawless piece of popular art, as well as one of the most persuasive portraits of an artist ever committed to film.” - A.O. Scott, The New York Times.


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