5 days of films from Rome, May 23 to 27, 2011

All Films Lead to Rome

This May we celebrate the golden age of Italian cinema!

 All Films Lead to Rome, companion program to Rome: From the Origins to Italy’s Capital at Quebec City’s Musée de la civilisation, takes you on a grand tour of cinematic landmarks set in the Eternal City. Post-war Rome emerges as a character in its own right and a hotbed of new cinematic forms. For Italian filmmakers the city epitomized a society and a culture torn between an infinitely rich past and the doubts and questions of contemporary society, a tension incarnated in the incessant hustle and bustle of city life.

No grand tour would be complete without a side trip into genre film—particularly the historical drama much loved by North American and Italian audiences alike.

 Thanks to the collaboration of Cinémathèque québécoise and the Italian Cultural Institute, we will be showing mainly new 35 mm prints with French subtitles, courtesy of Cineteca and Cinecittà.

Event program

May, 23, 2011 %u2013 6:30 p.m

La dolce vita

Federico Fellini, Italy, 1960, 167 min., It. with Fr. subtitles, 35 mm.

With Marcello Mastroianni, Anita Ekberg, Anouk Aimée

Fellini’ s masterpiece covers a beat—Rome—as vast as humanity itself. La dolce vita is life reported in the tabloids and illuminated by the flashbulbs of the paparazzi. What remains are moments of magic as eternal as the city itself: the scene at Trevi fountain, the walk to the beach after the orgy, Steiner’s salon, and countless others. Not to mention Nino Rota’s haunting music—so riveting that even 40 years later it’s still stuck in my head. Grazie mille, Federico. (Jean Lefebvre, 2000)

May, 24, 2011 %u2013 6:30 p.m

La romana

Luigi Zampa, Italy/France, 1954, 92 min., It. with Fr. subtitles, 35 mm.

With Gina Lollobrigida, Daniel Gélin, Franco Fabrizi


Rome. A naive, virginal young girl (Lollobrigida at the top of her form) is exploited by all sorts of people. Her one true love is an anti-fascist. A violent, tragic, sensual movie whose realistic backdrop—Rome—and strong contrasting images accentuate the story’s harshness.

May, 24, 2011 %u2013 8:30 p.m


Pier Paolo Pasolini, Italy, 1961, 117 min., VOSTF, restored 35 mm print.

With Franco Citti, Franca Pasut, Silvana Corsini

On the outskirts of Rome a pimp’s life is turned upside down when his wife, who is also his prostitute, is arrested. “With an overriding respect for his characters and the places they live, Pasolini manages see deep into the everyday situations he depicts and lay bare his characters’ souls. Everything he films is touched with the virginal ‘naiveté’ of a new filmmaker—as if it were seen for the first time” (Stephan Krezinski, 1995)

May, 25, 2011 %u2013 6:30 p.m

Rome, Open City

Roberto Rossellini, Italy, 1945, 95 min., It. with Fr. subtitles, restored 35 mm print.

With Anna Magnani, Aldo Fabrizi, Marcello Pagliero

Rome is under German occupation. The Resistance is rising up. Repression is the order of the way, dashing the hopes of a young couple eager to marry. Magnani plays a working-class Roman woman, the role that will became her hallmark. “People call this the first-ever authentic representation of the Resistance on film, but it is more than that: the beginning of a new way of making and thinking about films. In 1945 Rome, Open City launched neorealism. It was a film of its time and a film whose time had come” (Barthélemy Amengual, 1975)

May, 25, 2011 %u2013 8:30 p.m

Mamma Roma

Pier Paolo Pasolini, Italy, 1962, 106 min., It. with Fr. subtitles, 35 mm.

With Anna Magnani, Ettore Garofalo, Silvana Corsini

A juvenile delinquent reconnects with his mother, who has given up prostitution. Set against a wide swath of Rome comprising the outer districts, modern sections, and the remains of the ancient quarters. “Pasolini takes elements like the expressive silent close-ups that startled viewers in Accatone and that, in the silence of the soundtrack, elevate the tragic to the inexpressible—like the shots of Ettore, the disappointing and soon-to-be delinquent son, or that of the impossible revolt of Mama Rosa in the second-to-last scene of the film” (Claude Michel Cluny, 1976)


May, 26, 2011 %u2013 6:30 p.m


Vittorio De Sica, Italy., 1946, 93 min., It. with English subtitles, 35 mm.

With Franco Interlenghi, Rinaldo Smordoni, Annielo Mele

Rome, 1945. Two shoeshine boys getting by any way they can in the aftermath of the war end up in juvenile prison. A neorealist classic and the first part of Zavattini and De Sica’s celebrated Roman trilogy (Sciuscià, The Bicycle Thief, and Umberto D). “The most intelligent, engrossing, disturbing, poetic, complete, instructive, and beautiful movie I have had the good fortune to see in a long time” (Henri Troyat, 1947)

May, 26, 2011 %u2013 8:30 p.m

Nights of Cabiria

Federico Fellini, Italy, 1957, 110 min., It. with En. subtitles, 35 mm.

With Giulietta Masina, François Périer, Franca Marzi

A young Roman prostitute gets swept up in a series of bittersweet, madcap adventures without losing her faith in the fundamental goodness of her fellow citizens. “No one handles a crowd like Fellini. Take the scene at a pilgrimage when the entire audience, waiting for a miracle, begins praying out loud. It’s one of the great moments in the history of film. Fellini is clearly a painter, the greatest painter cinema has known, when you look at his street scenes, his characters, and his singular dramas and comedies. Cabiria Nights is great filmmaking. Giulietta Masina fully deserved the award she won” (Claude Garson, 1957)

May, 27, 2011 %u2013 6:30 p.m


Stanley Kubrick, USA, 1959, 160 min., English, 35mm.

With Kirk Douglas, Peter Ustinov, Laurence Olivier

One of the greatest Hollywood historical dramas was saved when the young Stanley Kubrick stepped in after fabled director Anthony Mann jumped ship. A larger-than-life production that tells the epic tale of the famous Roman slave fighting for his freedom. This resplendent reconstruction of ancient Rome marks the end of an era when Hollywood looked to the ancient world as its double, like Narcissus looking into the pool.


Coming soon


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