Presented in collaboration with the Consulate of Italy and Italian Week 2011, the Gallery will screen two cinema classics to celebrate the relationship between theatre, film and reality. A combination of comedy and social criticism, commedia dell'arte developed in Italy and offered an improvisational response to comic performances utilising stock characters, physical humour and social commentary.
Le Carrosse D'or (The Golden Coach) 1952 G 'In this story, set in Peru in the 18th century, Jean Renoir takes as his subject the contrast between theatre and life, focusing on a commedia dell'arte troupe and their temperamental star, Camilla — the luminous Anna Magnani at her comic best. Camilla is courted by three suitors, an actor, a bullfighter and a viceroy, each of whom loves her for something different, and something different than she loves in herself. In the end, she renounces all three for her true love. This sublime comedy of manners is at once a tribute to the commedia dell'arte and to Magnani, who soars above the other actors and is only matched in the film by Renoir's own intelligence and expansive humanity.' Pacific Film Archive
La Strada (The Road) 1954 M 'Widely considered to be Fellini's first masterpiece, La Strada features a masterful performance by Anthony Quinn as an itinerant strongman who purchases a tragic, affection-starved waif (the sublime Giuletta Masina) as his assistant for the price of a plate of pasta. He exploits her at every turn as they travel to grey and desolate towns that Fellini captures in strikingly poetic and symbolic imagery. Winner of an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, La Strada also features a haunting score by composer and lifelong Fellini associate Nino Rota.' Harvard Film Archive