“I Knew Her Well”: Get to know this lost Italian masterpiece

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First, let’s get this out of the way: “I Knew Her Well” is a masterpiece of ’60s Italian cinema. Never released in the United States when it came out in 1967 and only now available via a new Criterion Collection edition, Antonio Pietrangeli’s film deserves to stand alongside such classics as Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita” and Dino Risi’s “Il Sorpasso.” All three films chronicle the good times of handsome young people enjoying a prospering, changing Italy — until the party ends, and they realize how hollow the good times have been.

“I Knew Her Well” screens at 7 p.m. Saturday at the UW-Cinematheque series at 4070 Vilas Hall, 821 University Ave. as part of a series of newly restored Italian films. It’s free, and one you won’t want to miss, if only to see the gorgeous black-and-white cinematography up on the big screen.

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Blu-ray review: “Il Sorpasso: The Criterion Collection”

 

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Last month, Alexander Payne was a special guest at the Wisconsin Film Festival, but the film he was presenting wasn’t one of his own, like “The Descendants” or “Sideways.” It was one of his favorite films as a fan, Italian director Dino Risi’s “Il Sorpasso” (“”The Easy Life.”)

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