MASTERPIECE


This film is a masterpiece and Anna Magnani a goddess. Nothing more to say.

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Anna Magnani is possibly the greatest of all film actresses and the other great Italians Giulietta Masina and Sophia Loren were no slouches either. This film and "Rome- Open City" both have the power to break your heary due in no small part to the unforgettable face of Anna Magnani.

But you ARE Blanche ... and I AM.

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Mamma Roma is a must not only for Pasolini's fans.
It's by far his best film and the best rapresentation of the best of his poetry.

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Have to agree....a beautifully done film. Magnani is stunning to watch.

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Just saw this on TCM. God bless them for it. What a master he was.



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I too just saw this film on TCM. I had been waiting since last month when I first saw it on their schedule. It was my first Pasolini film, and thought it was brilliant! Anna Magnani was fantastic, I have seen her in "Open City",
"Wild is the Wind", and "The Fugitive Kind", as well as her cameo in "Fellini's-Roma". I've liked her in everything that I've seen, she was truly a "natural".
On TCM Robert Osborne brought up the fact that she was close friends with Tennessee Williams, who wrote the play "The Rose Tatoo" for Magnani to play the lead, though she declined feeling that her English wasn't clear enough for the play. She did however play the role when the film version was made in 1955. I will be on the lookout for that film and any other's with Magnani; especially the Italian ones!

I had been waiting to see a Pasolini film for quite a few years, since I fell in love with Italian films and film makers. THANKS ONCE AGAIN TCM !!! Can anyone recommend any other Pasolini films that I might enjoy? The only one that I know anything about is "Salo, or the 120 days of Sodom" his last and most infamous I believe. I just remembered seeing a film called "Le Streghe" (The Witches) from 1967, which was made up of 5 short stories, each by a different Italian director including De Sica, Visconti and Pasolini, all starred Silvana Mangano. Pasolini's was by far the strangest! Anyway, any suggestions would be appreciated, thanks.

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Accattone is equally brilliant. I saw that first and was waiting to see this one.

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The Decameron, and The Arabian Nights are very, very interesting and I most highly and certainly recommend them!!! Viva Pasolini!!!

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Actually its complete garbage. I don't really see how one could find Magnani attractive so your deification of her strikes me as odd. She seems to have been a decent (albeit one note) actress though and she was acceptable in her role in actual masterpiece Rome, Open City.



Chileans soon accepted Chile as Hell, of course, they are real patriots

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Eh, normally I wouldn't be so dismissive of the opinions of others, probably just having a bad day when I wrote that. Anyway, here are a few of my problems with it:

This is very much the Magnani show and I can't stand her as an actress, nor do I like the type of character she plays here and in Rome, Open City. In fact, I disliked all of the characters in Mamma Roma.

I don't get why there's so much overbearing Christian imagery.

Most of the themes of the film had already been handled much more adeptly by other Neo-realists much earlier, Pasolini had nothing new to say but I got the impression that this material was supposed to be taken as something profound. At the same time, Pasolini seems to wallow in the misery of his characters, to delight in it, much more than even Rossellini or De Sica at their worst. I think it's a misanthropic film.







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Fair enough. I liked Teorema from Pasolini, so it's not like I want to write him off entirely. I guess I should see Accattone already.

No problem, I'm always up for civil discussion



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Agree to an extent. I wasn't blown away by anything other than some of the imagery of this film. It was "the Magnani show" and at one point I just wanted her to shutup already, but that's also a problem with some early Pasolini I have - nonstop, grating dialogue which doesn't allow me to just simply enjoy watching a film - The Gospel According to St Matthew suffered tremendously from this as well. It started off strong but then fell into the predictable and just became a matter of time before the Italian tragedy completely unfolded. The ending was just abrupt and seemed thrown together last minute.

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I don't really see how one could find Magnani attractive
I found her attractive. She has a handsome face for a woman and it was arresting. The swollen circles beneath her dark eyes. The full lips and large teeth that were enticing at times and vulgar at others. The magnificent bone structure offset by thick, dark hair. Her well worn wisdoms delivered in a deep and resonant voice. She had a terrific figure too. One that I envy!

I don't deify her but I suspect that the film is making a point about the Italian obsession - though it extends throughout time as a projection from men onto women - of the mother/whore dichotomy and that Magnani's character symbolises both according to where and when you see and hear her. Bruna is Mamma Roma's successor and so it is that Ettore gives her a silver madonna with child.

In your post below you question the Christian references. Actually they are very Catholic because not as many Christian religions deify Mary, Mother of Christ. Italian religious art is littered with Mary and her son as a baby or dead and dying in her arms after he is removed from the cross. So it is with MR and Ettore. I see the film as Pasolini's "plaint innumerable" to his mother, his homosexuality, his country's religion, Rome and Italy itself.
A bird sings and the mountain's silence deepens.

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Mamma Roma è bellissima! 30 years banned in the so called "land of the free"? so much for the alledged freedom of speech in USA ("freedom" of speech as long as you are not leftist, I suppose).
About the movie itself, Mamma Roma ranks amongst the best films by Pasolini. I always preferred his earlier films such as Accattone, The Gospel According St. Mathew, The Hawks and the Sparrows, etc. I don't dislike Teorema, Medea, The Tales of Canterbury, The Decameron, etc. I like those films also, just that I find his earlier films more powerful and unforgettable, perhaps because IMO they are truer to Pasolini's beliefs.

There have been always the false belief, mainly in Hollywood, that artists shouldn't speak their minds, that their works should be "apolitical" (if such thing is possible), mere escapism. While I can enjoy a good escapist movie. NONE of them have the power and honesty found in a work where the artist is actually free to speak about everything he wants to.
That's why I will always prefer the works of Pasolini, Eisenstein, Buñuel, Rossellini, Soderbergh, van Sant, Glauber Rocha, Raymundo Gleyzer, Ripstein, Gutiérrez Alea, amongst others, instead of masters of the style over substance whose movies are "cool" but fatuous exercises on the nothingness (Tarantino, Lynch, Cameron).

Viva Pasolini!

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