Saturday, October 3, 2009

Sophia Loren 4-film Collection

Like Catherine Deneuve 5-film Collection Boxset, the cover of the DVD is also made of thick plastic, but the red colour for this Sophia Loren boxset is much more charming.

1. Carosello napoletano (1954)
This is a beautiful musical consists of many stories, linked by a traveling family. I guess the songs are from or about Napoli, judging from the title. It's a well made movie with lovely costumes and sets. My favourite part happens to be around when Sophia Loren appears, along with the trio. I never knew that 3 + 7 = 27 can sound very nice. It's so funny when Sisina breaks up with her boyfriend and they ask everything they have given to each other back.

2. Attila (1954)
This is the worst among the 4 in the collection, imo. Anthony Quinn plays Attila, leader of the Huns who almost destroys the Roman empire. Rome is ruled by the weak Valentinianus, but his ambitious sister Honoria (Loren) offers her hand to Attila, promising him the empire as dowry. Nothing can stop Attila, except the man whose name is like an animal: Pope Leo.

3.Madame Sans-Gêne (1962)
Not as great as Fanfan La Tulipe, but is worth watching. Like other Christian-Jaque's works, this movie also combines action, drama and comedy. Sophia Loren plays Catherine, a laundress during the French Revolution, who marries sergeant Lefebvre (Robert Hossein) and both will climb unto the high society where Catherine meets again her old customer: Napoleon Bonaparte. Like in Fanfan La Tulipe, there is a funny scene where Lefebvre eagerly runs after Catherine that they don't realize they have gone too far into the enemy's area.

4. I girasoli (1970)
This movie reminds me to Waki Yamato's Haikara-san ga Tōru, although since the movie came first, perhaps Waki Yamato got her inspiration from I girasoli. Giovanna (Sophia Loren) and Antonio (Marcello Mastroianni) are newly wed, but he must go to Russia to serve military service. He tries to avoid the task by pretending he goes mad, but the authority can find it out. After the WW2 is over, Antonio doesn't return and is declared missing. Many believe he is dead, but Giovanna believes he is still alive and she goes to Russia looking for him, only to find the bitter truth, that he has married again to a Russian girl and has a child. There is a beautiful scene with a field of sunflowers where a Russian woman told Giovanna that every flower covers a dead soldier. The music by Henry Mancini is hauntingly beautiful.

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