Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Salvatore Giuliano - Criterion Collection|
Actors: Frank Wolff, Salvo Randone, Frederico Zardi, Sennuccio Benelli, Giuseppe Calandra
Director: Francesco Rosi
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Who murdered Salvatore Giuliano? July 5, 1950-the infamous bandit's bullet-riddled corpse is found facedown in a courtyard in Castelvetrano, Sicily, a handgun and rifle by his side. At the age of twenty-seven, Giuliano (... more »
Film Director as Investigative Journalist
Daniel C. Wilcock | Washington, D.C. | 03/31/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"To achieve a masterpiece with no main character and a jarring non-chronological storyline, Rosi borrowed documentary techniques and the attitude of a journalist.He and his film crew descended on Sicily to tell the story of the notorius seperatist/mafia thug and bandit Giuliano.But instead of bringing a cast, Rosi recruited locals. These were people who could authentically portray Sicily and the context surrounding Giuliano's killing.The result is mezmerizing. Rosi captures sunbleached Sicily and it's people masterfully.What's more, his refusal to tie the storyline neatly together allows him to show the maddening intricacies of Italian and Sicilian politics.As the movie opens, we see Giuliano dead. We see him again several times throughout the film, always in his white rain coat, clutching a rifle and scrambling from one moutain hideout to the next.But the movie itself is only anecdotally concerned with Giuliano. Instead, the viewer follows the course of Sicily's history and what Giuliano's deeds and death reveal about the island's political structure.In the brilliant commentary track, Peter Cowie points out that some of the political subtleties and loose ends that Rosi uncovered with this film are still under investigation. Specifically, the May Day massacre of Sicilian communists may have been a Christian Democrat operation with ties to the mafia.The fact that Rosi's film is 40 years ahead of historians is instructive. As Cowie says, this is investigative filmaking.So with such an authentic artful recreation and a facinating commentary track, this DVD comes recommended.However, viewers who tend to dislike disjointed, non-chronological, narratives or do not have the patience to soak in this film's nuance should probably stay away."
Unique Political Cinema...
Kim Anehall | Chicago, IL USA | 02/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Face down in a pair of khakis and a bloodstained white undershirt lays Salvatore Giuliano after having been gunned down by law enforcement in Sicily on a summer morning in 1950. This is the beginning that Rosi portrays as he informs the audience of what happened to Salvatore Giuliano, the infamous bandit and freedom fighter. The film uses flashbacks in order to repaint the truth of the matter regarding what led to Giuliano's death, and the story begins with Giuliano becoming an outlaw by killing a police man in 1943. He was later recruited as a Colonel to support the separatist party as he went on to fight for Sicily's freedom. In Sicily, Giuliano had the reputation of a man that took from the rich and gave to the poor, but on the mainland he was portrayed as an outlaw. When Sicily received its independence all political criminals were given amnesty, but Giuliano and his followers were denounced the right of amnesty. Instead of being captured Giuliano returned to the mountains with his men where they continued to live, but now as bandits. The account that Rosi depicts through his cinematic direction brings the audience back and forth between 1945 and 1950 after Giuliano's death and to a court hearing for Giuliano's group that was tied to a massacre where 11 were killed and 27 were injured. Throughout the court hearing new information surfaces that involves the Mafia, local police, and the Carabinieris, and the evidence suggests that there was something sinister about the death of Salvatore Giuliano.Under the direction of Rosi the audience experiences a new take on Italian neo-realism as Rosi actually brings the audience to the location of the true events as he tells his filmed version of what happened to Salvatore Giuliano. Rosi depicts the true events with equal proportion from different sides in the story. It never becomes an idolization of Giuliano as Rosi cleverly only uses close up shots of Giuliano when he is dead and the rest of the shots are from a distance where one can never make out his face. However, this adds an element of mystery around Giuliano, which is okay as his true story never can be told after his true memoirs seem to have been stolen. A side note is that Rosi was slightly harassed by the local people and police force, was blackmailed, and had to report what he filmed on a daily basis as he worked. Despite Rosi's struggles in Sicily he mustered his creative skill and filmed a film that has taken a unique spot in film history as it pushes the envelope for political cinema."
Loved it the first time I saw it. Even though I was lost.
Antonio Giusto | Toronto, Ontario Canada | 06/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't usually praise this kinda thing but it has to be said. This the best DVD transfer I have ever seen on a film. Criterion did an incredible job with this dvd. It's amazing. Amazing doesn't even do it justice. After seeing this I wish Criterion Collection owned the DVD rights to every movie ever made. I'll admit this film is hard to follow due to the way it was edited and peiced together. It took me a couple of viewings to just take it all in and there is alot to take in. Luckily It was so entertaining that I did not mind watching it a few times at all. Actually this film gets better the more you watch it. Off the batt, some scenes stood out so much that you could really tell what other directors were influenced by this film. Francis Ford Coppolla is the most obvious one. I'll let you figure out the others for yourself. This film has some of the best camera work I've ever seen. Way better then Antonioni's "L'aaventura." This film deserves the praise that "L'aaventura" gets. Even more actually. The acting is strong but to be honest with you you don't really pay much attention to the acting. The visuals in this film alone are so powerful that they leave you in awe. It was too hard for me to focus on the story the first time. I was too busy drooling over the camerawork. I don't wanna write any more about this film. The more I write the more time you waste reading and not watching. Instead of trying to make sense of all this poor grammar you should be watching this film. Go now!!! Watch!! Don't waste anymore time. Amazon will still be here when you get back."
J. Steffen | Decatur, GA USA | 02/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had never seen SALVATORE GIULIANO before watching the DVD, though I was aware of its reputation as a key work in Italian cinema of the 1960s. It turned out to be one of the most stunningly crafted and compelling films I've seen in quite a while, fully deserving of the deluxe 2-disc treatment Criterion has given it. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Rosi's film is that we hardly see the outlaw Salvatore Giuliano himself--the focus is instead on the society around him--his cohorts, the carabinieri, the judicial system and the Sicilian villagers. Through the phenomenon of Giuliano, we get an eye-opening look at the post-war political and social situation in Sicily. The flashback structure is complicated and some of the historical references may be obscure to the casual viewer, but Criterion's intelligently chosen supplements, including Peter Cowie's audio commentary track, do a great job of setting the context. The world-class black-and-white cinematography is by Gianni Di Venanzo, who also photographed Fellini's 8 1/2; Criterion's meticulous transfer is a pleasure to watch just in itself. Take a chance on SALVATORE GIULIANO--you won't be disappointed."