|Sophia Loren, Neapolitan Carousel|
"Neapolitan Carousel could be called a history of Naples over several hundred years. But this Naples belongs to the same world as the Venice we see in Powell and Pressburger’s The Tales of Hoffmann (1951), a place of studio sets, streets smooth enough and wide enough for large dances, and colours as vivid as the imagination. When an iterant storyteller (Paolo Stoppa) sees his sheet music blown around by a wind those songs become the heart and motor of the film.
In 1954 a number of Italian films were released that became classics – Rossellini’s Journey to Italy and Fear, Fellini’s La Strada, Visconti’s Senso – and a large number of films directed at the domestic audience with actors like Toto, Alberto Sordi and Gina Lollobrigida. Many of the names are now largely forgotten but not a then 20 year old Sophia Loren. In that year’s output Neapolitan Carousel stands out because it is so hard to classify. It is as lush and as musical and as fantastic as an MGM musical (think, for example, of Minnelli’s The Pirate). ....."