“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Italian Sensation…

Posted on May 25, 2016 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

anna magnani   Before Sophia Loren, Anna Magnani’s blend of fiery passion, earthy humor, and unvarnished naturalism made her the sex symbol of postwar Italian cinema. Becoming an international superstar through her indelible turn in Roberto Rossellini’s Rome Open City, she represented something new to audiences accustomed to movie-star glamour: gritty realism.

   During her career, Anna was one of the most esteemed performers in cinema. The Film Society of Lincoln Center is currently presenting La Magnani, a 24-title retrospective of her greatest work. All of the titles will be screened on 35mm or 16mm.

anna 2   Born in 1908, Anna Magnani (right) grew up in Rome, where she worked on stage and as a nightclub singer, before making her splashy cinematic debut. In an illustrious career, Anna  gave powerhouse performances for directors like Rossellini, Luchino Visconti, Federico Fellini, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Sidney Lumet, George Cukor, and Jean Renoir, who said of Magnani: She is probably the greatest actress I have ever worked with. She is the complete animal—an animal created completely for the stage and screen. In Hollywood, her collaborators included Tennessee Williams, Burt Lancaster, and Marlon Brando. Magnani won an Academy Award for her starring turn in The Rose Tattoo.

   Equally adept at drama and comedy, she could harness her explosive emotional intensity to move an audience to laughter, tears, or both, at once. Her devotion to roles meant that she could be careless about her looks in ways that would horrify mainstream actresses. Anna’s characters were physical, fully aware of their sexual desires and appeal. And, her wardrobe resonated with the common woman, making her a fashion icon of the 1950s. In many ways, she was the anti-Audrey Hepburn. And, she influenced the later works of Simone Signoret, Wendy Hiller, and Patricia Neal; and all delivered Oscar-winning performances for their earthy efforts.

Film Society of Lincoln Center   After the series ends on June 1st at the Lincoln Center Film Society, it will tour the country, playing at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago, Castro Theatre in San Francisco, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, and The Wexner Center in Columbus. Special thanks to Istituto Luce Cinecittà; Ministry of Culture of Italy; UCLA Film & Television Archive; Academy Film Archive.

 Until next time>                              “never forget”

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