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

iknewherwell

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.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Blu-ray review: “La Dolce Vita: The Criterion Collection”

la-dolce-vita

I found myself with a lot of trepidation in writing about Federico Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita.” It’s one of my favorite movies ever, now re-released in a new Blu-ray edition from the Criterion Collection. But what could I possibly add to the mountain of great film writing already accumulated around one of the greatest films ever made, perhaps the greatest Italian film?

And how could I even begin to encapsulate all that’s there in the nearly three-hour film, stuffed with allegory and politics, poetry and satire, romance and disillusionment? Could a food critic review an entire buffet?

Continue reading