Yesterday saw the passing of Francesco Rosi, who made (among many others) the excellent CHRIST STOPPED AT EBOLI, SALVATORE GIULIANO, and HANDS OVER THE CITY. Rosi leaves behind an impressive (and underseen) body of work that is an interesting marriage of neorealism and New Wave sensibilities. I hope his passing renews interest in his work.
Below is an appreciation I wrote of his 1965 bullfighting saga, THE MOMENT OF TRUTH (which contains an unfortunate STAR WARS analogy but please look past that).
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Francesco Rosi’s THE MOMENT OF TRUTH is a blood-soaked poem observing (if not totally celebrating) the gory pageantry of the bullfighting circuit.
The film begins with an extended, dialogue-less trek through a religious festival in a Spanish city. Onlookers line the street while Catholic acolytes in Klan-like capirotes lumber through clouds of incense, holding grotesque statues of Jesus and the Virgin.