Saturday, October 01, 2016

Volcanic Anna Magnani, BAMPFA's Big Series and Me

(A still from "Teresa Venerdi" with Magnani playing a nightclub singer, graces the cover the current BAMPFA program.)

She lights up the screen with volcanic fury, a full-chested life-loving laugh and unstoppable human compassion, no matter what role she plays. I'm talking about the magnificent actress Anna Magnani. The Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive is celebrating her long career with a comprehensive series featuring dozens of her films.

From the renowned "Rome Open City" and "The Rose Tattoo" to the obscure and never-released in the United States, "Teresa Venerdi" and "Anna" will be shown now through December 4th in the East Bay. My aim is to catch as many of the films as possible.

The retrospective opened on September 25th with Magnani starring in "Angelina" where she plays a poor mother and wife in post-war Italy who, because of poverty and her take-charge bossiness, becomes a community organizer eventually winning a seat in the national Congress.

A neo-realist comedy, no, that's not a contradiction of terms, "Angelina" depicts Italian gender and economic issues clashing against the corrupt agenda of the ruling elites. Magnani plays a version of herself, with a lot of close-up and rousing speeches who in the end gives up politics to be a stay-at-home matriarch.

For more info on the Magnani films and to purchase advance tickets, click here.

Watch this snippet, sorry, no subtitles but it's Magnani so the eyes and hands tell the story, from "Angelina" and see it on Sunday, October 16th at BAMPFA.

1 comment:

Michael Zonta said...

Merci pour le video de Anna Magnani. Je suis aussi une "fan" de elle.