82 Il grido

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What A Disgrace
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82 Il grido

#1 Post by What A Disgrace » Sat Mar 07, 2009 9:31 pm

Il grido

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A cinematic “cry” from one of the most revered of all auteurs, Italian maestro Michelangelo Antonioni (L’avventura, La notte, Il deserto rosso) depicts a world of heartbreaking alienation, with characters riven by trauma, cast against the stunning backdrop of northern Italy’s Po Valley – where the director spent his childhood.

When sugar refinery worker Aldo (American actor Steve Cochran in a career-best performance) is jilted by his mistress, Irma (Alida Valli, famed for her role in The Third Man), he takes to the road. With daughter in tow, Aldo wanders the Po River delta, seeking temporary – but always illusory – respite with a series of lovers, who only serve to remind him of Irma. Unable to find a new life, Aldo’s haunted past gives way to a fateful finale.

With a script conceived by Antonioni, exquisite cinematography (including a signature concern with desolate vistas), and a plaintive score by renowned composer Giovanni Fusco, the award-winning Il grido – which scooped the “Golden Leopard” at Locarno – is an early key work in the director’s much-celebrated oeuvre. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Il grido for home viewing in the UK for the very first time.

Special Features

- New high-definition transfer of the film in its original aspect ratio
- Newly translated optional English subtitles
- Original 1957 Italian theatrical trailer
- Previously unseen footage deleted from the director’s cut
- 56-page booklet featuring a colour reproduction of the original Italian poster, archival publicity stills, an essay by William Arrowsmith (Antonioni: The Poet of Images), and writing and interviews from Michelangelo Antonioni

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Dylan
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Re: 82 Il grido

#2 Post by Dylan » Sat Mar 07, 2009 11:38 pm

Awesome release! One of the key Antonioni films I haven't seen (along with Red Desert). Wonderful cover.

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Tommaso
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Re: 82 Il grido

#3 Post by Tommaso » Sun Mar 08, 2009 7:50 am

I completely agree. The extras look superb. I am very much surprised that this is actually the first home viewing edition of any kind in the UK (and you can probably include most other European countries, apart from Italy and France, too). What's this about the "unseen footage"? How much was cut out for release?

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Re: 82 Il grido

#4 Post by T99 » Sun Mar 08, 2009 8:01 am

Wow! This is a must buy! I hope MoC keeps on releasing Antonioni. Beyond the Clouds and Le Amiche would be great.

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Re: 82 Il grido

#5 Post by ellipsis7 » Sun Mar 08, 2009 9:57 am

There are four deleted (censored) scenes on the French DVD release (which I have not seen but have read descriptions of), and indeed the Censor's consideration and cuts are recorded in the Appendices to the 1957 Cappelli edition of the script of IL GRIDO, which I do have... The Censor's requirements are

1/. Eliminate the scene of 'love on the bed'... (31 seconds cut )

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2/. Re-dubb or eliminate the scene and shots specified where there are references to four religious figures removing these potentially blasphemous references. This I think from my research is a deleted scene on the French disc - 41 seconds - in the script featuring an itinerant salesman selling religious artifacts, statues of saints. various Madonnas etc...

3/. Reduce the lovemaking scene on the bank of a railway escarpment (16 seconds cut)

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...also cut from this scene is the short shot (8 seconds cut ) where the little girl Rosina catches Aldo and Virginia in the act on the sandy slope.

4/. The Censor also required that the film was restricted from showing to minors under 16.

Is there a release date yet for this wonderful MoC release?...

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Re: 82 Il grido

#6 Post by Awesome Welles » Tue Mar 17, 2009 12:02 pm


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ellipsis7
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Re: 82 Il grido

#7 Post by ellipsis7 » Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:16 pm

Adieu Betsy Blair who played Elvia in IL GRIDO...

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peerpee
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Re: 82 Il grido

#8 Post by peerpee » Thu Apr 16, 2009 6:22 pm

Image

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ouatitw
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Re: 82 Il grido

#9 Post by ouatitw » Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:32 pm

I'm a big fan of the films with Vitti, how does this compare?

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Re: 82 Il grido

#10 Post by peerpee » Fri Apr 17, 2009 2:05 am

For us, it's right up there with them. It's a major piece of work.

Michelangelo Antonioni wrote:"In discussing my film, Il grido, the French critics referred to it as a new form of filmmaking which they called “internal neorealism”. Ever since those early days of that documentary about the insane, I have never thought of labelling what for me was always considered a necessity, i.e., to observe and describe the thoughts and feelings that motivate a man in his march to happiness or death. Nor do I ever concern myself with introducing “themes” into my films; I detest films that have a “message”. I simply try to tell, or more precisely, show certain vicissitudes that take place, then hope they will hold the viewer’s interest no matter how much bitterness they may reveal. Life is not always happy and one must have the courage to look at it from all sides. However, the finished film in itself should contain the meaning. If we are sincere in our narration, the ideas we have will sooner or later always get across. The important thing is that the story should be told with a firm and impassioned conscience. The films I like best are those in which the images convey a sense of reality without losing their force of persuasion. Films that are made without affectation, without indulging in romantic extravagance or intellectual excess, films that look at things exactly as they are: not backwards or forwards, or from the side, but face to face."

Michelangelo Antonioni wrote:"Take Il grido, for example. In that film, while you will find my favourite theme, I pose the problem of the emotions in a different aspect. If, before this, my characters usually accepted their failures and emotional crises, this time we meet a man who reacts, who tries to overcome his unhappiness. I have treated this character with much more mercy.

The landscape also has a different function. If in my other films I used it to add better definition to a situation or a spiritual state, in Il grido I wanted it to be the landscape of memory: the countryside of my childhood, seen through the eyes of someone returning home after an intense cultural and emotional experience. In Il grido, this return takes place in the most appropriate season: winter – when the wide, open horizon becomes a counterpoint to the psychology of the film’s central character. L’avventura: this is the story of a cruise on a yacht. The disappearance of a girl during the period of several days is meant to symbolise the fragility of emotions in a real situation. In a certain sense, it is the answer to Il grido provided by the characters who peopled my preceding films. To make a play on words, you might say that “L’avventura” is “Il grido” of “Le amiche” [“The Adventure” is “The Cry” of “The Girlfriends”]."

(both from interviews published in the accompanying 52-page MoC booklet)

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Re: 82 Il grido

#11 Post by T99 » Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:23 am

Hey, that poster looks great! Why not use that as the DVD cover?!

I'm a big fan of the films with Vitti, how does this compare?

This is essential Antonioni. Don't miss it!

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Re: 82 Il grido

#12 Post by peerpee » Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:27 am

T99 wrote:Hey, that poster looks great! Why not use that as the DVD cover?!!

Because we always try and use the original theatrical poster from the country of origin wherever possible. Posters which were often (but not always) approved by the director.

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Re: 82 Il grido

#13 Post by ellipsis7 » Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:31 am

Striking image in several senses... Yes, IL GRIDO is great Antonioni - the internal reality of his characters reflected against his beloved Po Valley...

Important to understand with this film that Aldo has been living with Irma for several years, and they have a seven year old daughter Rosina together... As Robert J Lyons writes in his book "Michelangelo Antonioni's Neo-Realism: A World View"....

Under Italian law the Irma-Aldo relationship is considered illegal concubinage. Irma is married and not free to remarry. News of her husband's death has made her a free woman - free to marry or to reject Aldo. Her choice is the latter. Aldo's reaction to this is at first incredulity, then anger and finally despair. He decides to make a pilgrimage with his daughter Rosina to pick up the pieces of his life and begin anew....

So the actual powerplay in that image used for the MoC advert is somewhat more complicated than it appears on the external surface - the internal reality is different and more emotionally sophisticated.... Irma the stronger is making a feminist choice, Aldo the weaker feels betrayed and abandoned, reacting brutally, before subsiding into making 'The Cry' of existential despair of the title...

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ouatitw
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Re: 82 Il grido

#14 Post by ouatitw » Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:26 pm

Thanks for the information, I'll go ahead and preorder it.

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Re: 82 Il grido

#15 Post by Will Barks » Wed May 20, 2009 5:26 am


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Tommaso
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Re: 82 Il grido

#16 Post by Tommaso » Wed May 20, 2009 6:20 am

Beaver. Very great, and I hope that the pages-stapled-in wrongly in Gary's booklet is not an error generally occuring.

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Re: 82 Il grido

#17 Post by peerpee » Wed May 20, 2009 7:13 am

The booklet problem appears to be a complete one-off. We've examined many copies and can't find any others like that. Gary's been sent a replacement.

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skuhn8
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Re: 82 Il grido

#18 Post by skuhn8 » Wed May 20, 2009 8:59 am

Perhaps an unconscious response to the Sirk debacle. JK.
Kudos on yet another fantastic release MOC! Can't wait to get mine!

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Re: 82 Il grido

#19 Post by sidehacker » Sat May 23, 2009 1:15 pm


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Tommaso
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Re: 82 Il grido

#20 Post by Tommaso » Sat May 23, 2009 2:10 pm

Not sure what the reviewer is complaining about; these caps look pretty strong to my eye, as did Gary's, and kudos to MoC for respecting the exact 1.37 frame. Well, hopefully next week I'll see for myself.

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Re: 82 Il grido

#21 Post by ellipsis7 » Sat May 23, 2009 3:28 pm

Well anyone who can write...

Il Grido is Antonioni finally leaving behind the didactics of neo-realism in order to pose unanswerable questions and present unexplainable stories.

...can be taken lightly. Clearly knows nothing of MA's early work. IL GRIDO returns to Antonioni's beloved Po Valley (where he shot his first short, the documentary GENTE DEL PO, at the same time as Visconti was also shooting OSSESSIONE in the same location, ostensibly the first neo-realist film), while Antonioni's early feature career from 1950 on was almost exclusively focussed on the middle classes, and basically moves in a completely different direction to neo-realism... IL GRIDO represented a rare focus on a working class protagonist, also unusually a male, facing an existential crisis,and, with LE AMICHE, IL GRIDO represents a key breakthrough in his stylistics as he himself notes in the quote posted by Peerpee above...

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david hare
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Re: 82 Il grido

#22 Post by david hare » Sat May 23, 2009 7:56 pm

I had to pick myself off the floor after reading John White's analysis of MA's early career.

To add to what Ellipsis has to say, among other things, one of the formal "problems" in Le Amiche is the variation of accents among the actresses, relflecting class disjunction, not just Regional differences. By the time MA gets to Il Grido - which is one of his masterpieces imo he went to very great trouble to coach Betsy Blair, for instance, in delivery for her scenes with Cochran.

I wish we could completely lose the term "Neo-Realism" as a construct from film school history altogether. At best it has a brief two year, socially-conscious post war connection to a couple of accidents born of formal necessity, including cheap outdoor shooting, non pro actors, and in the case of de Sica/Zavvatini an expression through highly controlled scripting and direction of narrative and performances for socially "worthy" purposes which are in fact as artifical and mediating as the Freed musicals. Even the so called Neo Realist daddy, Renoir's Toni exists totally to reflect Renoir's own personality at its core, and not some post-defined Academic construct.

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Re: 82 Il grido

#23 Post by knives » Sat May 23, 2009 8:28 pm

What buzzword should they use to seem intelligent with, smartguy?

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Re: 82 Il grido

#24 Post by david hare » Sat May 23, 2009 8:49 pm

Smartguy here. I'm saying the term has a strictly, temporally limited usefulness in referring to a very brief period of post war filmmaking in Italy. One of the greatest scourges of too much "Official" film History is inflating an historical moment into a movement, like Film Noir, which merely suits a very specific ideological adademic agenda, and totally ignores the invdivdual personalities of directors like Rossellini, Visconti, de Sica (for that matter), MA, not to mention an entire country. IN the process the offical canonizing of the Movement only harms the actual reputation of the filmmakers, creating damage which is still being undone today by writers far more skilled and astute than me like Tag Gallagher.

"Movement"-making like this is simple-minded authoritarian short hand for people who cant be bothered engaging directly with auteurs

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knives
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Re: 82 Il grido

#25 Post by knives » Sat May 23, 2009 8:59 pm

I was actually agreeing with you.

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