Monday, June 27, 2011

"I live. Isn’t that challenge enough?"

CHAINS (1949, Raffaello Matarazzo)
TORMENTO (1950, Matarazzo)
NOBODY'S CHILDREN (1952, Matarazzo)
THE WHITE ANGEL (1955, Matarazzo)
All of the above images hail from Criterion's 27th Eclipse set (released last Tuesday), RAFFAELLO MATARAZZO'S RUNAWAY MELODRAMAS. I had the privilege of taking an early glimpse of the thing, an opportunity which I then squandered via procrastination (and overwork at the job that actually pays my bills, as opposed to this slapdash enterprise). My review, for the estimable GreenCine, will (hopefully) run tomorrow, along with a write-up of the new Criterion disc of PEOPLE ON SUNDAY.

The Matarazzo set is receiving its due praise, most notably over at the New York Times, where David Kehr hails the "Mozartian grace" of the films. I chose the frame grabs based on the simple-minded fact that "to understand" is one of the few Italian words I can, uh, capisce.

Links to the aforementioned reviews will follow tomorrow. Until then, I will confess that I'm a Matarazzo convert and look forward to checking out the other two films Criterion has made available via their Hulu channel. This set best exemplifies the goal of the Eclipse line: introducing a heretofore forgotten body of work to American audiences.

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