UNA VITA VIOLENTA
(aka “A Violent Life”)
Dir. Brunello Rondi & Paolo Heusch, 1961.
103 min. Italy.
In Italian with English subtitles.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14 – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17 – 10:00 PM
Virtually forgotten, A VIOLENT LIFE is Brunello Rondi & Paolo Heusch’s adaptation of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s 1959 novel, one completed before Pasolini had begun directing his similarly-themed first film, ACCATTONE. Franco Citti, who also stars in that and other Pasolini films, plays Tommaso, a young hood living on the outskirts of Rome, flirting with Fascists and Communists, stealing garbage, assaulting strangers, visiting prostitutes and going to the movies. When he falls in love with a young woman, his life takes an unexpected turn.
A VIOLENT LIFE is an exceptional film overshadowed mostly by Paoslini’s subsequent success as director. In the U.S., director Bruenllo Rondi is an unsung figure in Italian cinema. He was a career-spanning collaborator of
Fellini who served as both writer and artistic advisor on 8 ½ and LA DOLCE VITA while also writing scripts for Rosselinni (THE FLOWERS OF ST. FRANCIS, EUROPA ‘51) and De Sica (A PLACE FOR LOVERS). His directorial career is almost entirely ignored: after UNA VITA VIOLENTA, he went on to direct the neo-realist exorcism movie IL DEMONIO. Following their dismal critical and commercial receptions he returned primarily to scriptwriting before helming a string of exploitation films in the 1970s.
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