Wednesday 10 March 2021

At the Randwick Ritz - Seven Beauties:The Films of Lina Wertmüller - Sunday 28 March – Sunday 9 May at 4:00 pm. Short notes on the films and the presenters of each session.

In collaboration with Cinema Reborn, the Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Sydney 
and the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities


Lina Wertmüller was the first woman to be nominated for a Best Director Oscar  (whose name she thought sexist and should be renamed ‘Anna’). 

“Her films were funny and frighteningly harrowing and big and emotional and over-the-top and popular….  she was able to do things that nobody else was doing… This was a very special artistic vision.”
Martin Scorsese.

Book tickets here


Sunday 28 March. The Lizards (I basilischi), 1963. With a wicked eye, Wertmüller’s first film follows three young male loafers who constantly hatch half-hearted plans but are hopelessly trapped in their own small-town lethargy. Introduced byA/Professor Jane Millswho teaches film at UNSW, isa member of the Sydney Film Festival’s Advisory Panel, and Associate Programmer for the Antenna Documentary Festival.

Sunday 4 April. The Seduction of Mimi (Mimi’ metallurgico ferito nell’onore), 1972.The devilishly handsome Giancarlo Giannini plays a Sicilian dockworker who fights Mafia corruption and the wiles of a beautiful Communist organiser. Aferocious farce that won Wertmuller best-director award at Cannes.  

Introduced by Dr Blythe Worthy, researcher and adjunct academic at the University of Sydney and Film Reviews Editor for the Australian Journal of American Studies.

Sunday 11 April. Love and Anarchy (Film d'amore e d'anarchia, ovvero: stamattina alle 10, in via dei Fiori, nella nota casa di tolleranza…) 1973. Fascist Italy before the outbreak of World War II: Giannini plays a farmer turned anarchist who stays in a brothel while planning to kill Mussolini and, inevitably, falls in love with one of the whores. As you do. The director’s unique brand of feminism and Marxism is played to the hilt. 

Introduced by A/Professor Bruce Isaacswho teaches Film Studies at the University of Sydney and is currently working on a research project, ‘The Making of the Modern Action Film.’ Read Bruce’s ‘Great Movie Scenes’ column in The Conversation

Sunday 18 April. All Screwed Up (Tutto a posto e niente in ordine)1974.An outrageous, anarchic comedyin whicha group of immigrants try to adjust to city life; they soon find that everything is in its place, but nothing is in order. 

Introduced by Danielle McGraneentertainment reporter/producer and critic specialising in music, film and TV who regularly appears on several ABC Radio 702 shows talking film and music.

Sunday 25 April. Swept Away (Travolti da un insolito destino nell'azzurro mare d'agosto), 1974. A mischievous contest of wills between a beautiful, rich, bourgeois woman and a smelly (according to her) communist sailor (Giannino in a Cannes Festival Best Actor award winning role) who find themselves shipwrecked on a deserted beach.

Introduced byA/Professor Francesco Borghesi, Chair of the Department of Italian Studies, University of Sydney whose teaching includes “Passions in Italian Culture.”

Sunday 2 May. Seven Beauties (Pasqualino, Settebellezze), 1975. In fascist Italy, a macho, small-time criminal (Giannini in an Oscar-nominated performance) triggers his downfall when he vows revenge on a rival, and ultimately gets his will to survive tested to its limits when he is sent to a concentration camp. Nominated for a Best Film Oscar. 

Introduced by A/Professor Giorgia Alù who teaches Italian Studies at the University of Sydney. Her research interests include Italian cultural and social history and visual studies.

Sunday 9 May, Ciao, Professore! 1992. Critic Roger Ebert called this film about a strict teacher and his much smarter) young students “a sweet movie.” But lurking in the shadows is Wertmüller’s social conscience which exposes the ideological conflict between wealthy Northern Italy and the poverty-stricken south. 
Introduced by Giorgia Alù.

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