A FILM FESTIVAL HONORING THE GREAT SICILIAN PLAYWRIGHT,
IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE HELLUVA THEATER COMPANY’S CITY-WIDE
“PIRANDELLO 150” CELEBRATION
AT FILM FORUM JANUARY 13-19
ONE WEEK ONLY
“Pirandello 150,” a one-week festival celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of the great Sicilian playwright Luigi Pirandello, will run at Film Forum from Friday, January 13 through Thursday, January 19. The series is part of 2017’s city-wide “Pirandello 150” celebration.
The centerpiece of Film Forum’s series is a new restoration of KAOS (1984), an omnibus of four Pirandello stories from his Novelle per un anno, by the directing brothers team of Paolo and Vittorio Taviani (Padre Padrone, The Night of the Shooting Stars, etc.). A raven with a bell on its neck weaves through each of the four stories: a mother favors missing sons over the one present; three weeks after the honeymoon, is the husband a werewolf?; a jar-fixer forgetfully does it from the inside, with the legendary comedy team Franco and Ciccio; and graveyard placement is a rural issue – with an epilogue featuring Omero Antonutti as the author himself.
The festival also includes six other Pirandello adaptations, including Marco Bellochio’s HENRY IV, with Marcello Mastroianni, the Tavianis’ TU RIDI, Bellochio’s THE NANNY, Alessandro Blasetti’s LIOLÀ, and Marcel L’Herbier’s silent masterwork THE LATE MATTHIAS PASCAL, which will be presented with live piano accompaniment by Steve Sterner. Three 35mm prints and one DCP will be imported from Luce Cinecittà in Rome especially for Film Forum’s screenings.
Nobel laureate for literature Luigi Pirandello (1867-1936) has become an adjective for theater around the world via deeply probed themes of illusion and identity, with actors everywhere breaking the fourth wall, and commenting freely on the works they’re simultaneously performing. But further, in his stories and novels, he evoked the sights, the sounds, the smells, the tastes of his native Sicily. His influence alone has made him one of the seminal dramatists of the 20th century and has been acknowledged by Sartre, Camus, Beckett, Ionesco, Edward Albee, Arthur Miller, and Thornton Wilder, along with the more contemporary playwrights influenced by those writers.
“Pirandello 150” is a city-wide, year-long festival commemorating the 150th anniversary of Pirandello’s birth, presented by the newly-formed Helluva Theatre Company. In addition to the film festival, it will include one-act plays, major theatrical productions, readings, panel discussions, podcasts, and academic seminars.
Says John Martello, artistic director of the “Pirandello 150,” “Our purpose is not simply to celebrate the anniversary of this great playwright’s birth, but to also bring new audiences to his work and to re-establish his place in dramatic literature. The seven Pirandello adaptations in Film Forum’s series are a fine example of his comic genius and represent his power as a dramatist.”
Approx. 188 min. | A Cohen Film Collection Release
Directors: Paolo & Vittorio Taviani
Screenplay: Paolo & Vittorio Taviani, Tonino Guerra
Cinematography: Giuseppe Lanci | Music: Nicola Piovani
FRI/SAT 12:30, 4:00, 7:30*
WED 12:30, 4:00
THU 2:30, 8:00
* Introduced by John Martello, Artistic Director of “Pirandello 150”
“Rigorous and eloquent, effortlessly poetic…
the Tavianis at their best.”
– The New York Times
“The Tavianis are like magicians who expose their tricks as they go along but still manage to astound… They appeal to the child in us, but they also appeal to the adult. Childlike marvel coexists with a mature appreciation for the texture of the work, its elegant mechanics and deftly deployed details.”
– Dave Kehr
OTHER SCREENING DURING THE WEEK:
SIX CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR
(1976, Stacy Keach) Who’s disturbing the taping of crusty director John Houseman’s show? Why the eponymous six characters, led by three-piece suited Andy Griffith (yes, that Andy Griffith). Transposition of the legendary play to a TV studio in a rare directorial effort by actor (Fat City) Keach. Produced by Norman Lloyd. Digital.
SUN, JAN 15 1:20
THE LATE MATHIAS PASCAL
(1926, Marcel L’Herbier) Fleeing personal tragedy, Russian acting legend Ivan Mousjoukine unexpectedly wins a fortune at Monte Carlo, then learns he is presumed dead. A new life? Design tour de force for L’Herbier, who personally talked Pirandello into letting him film the novel. Debut of a very young Michel Simon. DCP courtesy Flicker Alley.
SUN, JAN 15 3:40*
MON, JAN 16 12:40**
*With live piano accompaniment by Steve Sterner
**With orchestral soundtrack; music composed by Timothy Brock
(1984, Marco Bellochio) Delusional aristo Marcello Mastroianni has lived as the 11th century emperor since a 20-year-old concussion, but old flame Claudio Cardinale and shrink Leopoldo Trieste try for an intervention – with startling results. From the director of Fists in the Pocket and China is Near. DCP courtesy Luce Cinecittà.
MON, JAN 16 7:30
(1998, Paolo & Vittorio Taviani) Literally, “You laugh.” Ex-baritone/now accountant Antonio Albanese wonders why he laughs in his sleep…and then finds out. Lousy disguises for the kidnapper of 19th century Sicilian doctor Turi Ferro, who recognizes former patients, but what if nobody wants to pay ransom – paralleled by a disturbing modern-day crime. 35mm print courtesy Luce Cinecittà.
TUE, JAN 17 8:00
THU, JAN 19 12:30
(1964, Alessandro Blasetti) In late 19th century Sicily, rich farmer Pierre Brasseur is still hoping for an heir from Anouk Aimée when Aimée’s old flame, Ugo Tognazzi’s Liolà, wanders back in to town. But Brasseur’s cousin and potential inheritor Giovanna Ralli has schemes of her own. 35mm print courtesy Luce Cinecittà.
WED, JAN 18 7:30
(1999, Marco Bellochio) Early 20th century Rome and shrink Fabrizio Bentivoglio’s wife Valeria Bruni Tedeschi suffers from bad post-partum depression – time to get rural illiterate May Sansa to be wet nurse and nanny. But then she wants to learn to read and write… Steeped in typical Bellochio (Fists in the Pocket) atmosphere, based on Pirandello’s novel. 35mm print courtesy Luce Cinecittà.
THU, JAN 19 6:00
Supported by ITALIAN CULTURAL SERVICES, NEW YORK and LUCE CINECITÀ.