Italics Film Series


Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, 1970. Directed by Elio Petri. © 1970, 1996, 1998 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Courtesy of Sony Pictures Repertory


The Italics Film Series focuses on highly acclaimed films made from 1969–81, a period that marks the transition in Italian filmmaking from national to international coproduction. Programmed to resonate with the exhibition Italics, the series explores paths of revolution and tensions with tradition across various contexts. Beginning with the metamorphosis of the family and continuing through evolving sociopolitical tensions, the series finally erupts into themes of newfound identity, language, and perspectives on the past. Featuring rare 35 mm prints, all screenings take place in the MCA Theater.

Tickets $8, MCA members $6
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or call the MCA Box Office 312-397-4010.

Tragedy of a Ridiculous Man (La tragedia di un uomo ridicolo), 1981
Thursday, January 7, at 6 pm Saturday, January 9, at 3 pm Sunday, January 10, at 3 pm Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci Cinematography by Carlo Di Palma In Italian with English subtitles, 116 minutes The owner of a parmesan cheese factory faces bankruptcy when his son is kidnapped by terrorists demanding a ransom. But is the abduction a hoax to extort money for his son's leftist friends? A tragicomedy based on a true event in Southern Italy, in which a father raised a ransom that he kept for himself.

The Decameron (Il Decameron), 1971 Saturday, January 9, at 1 pm Sunday, January 10, at 1 pm Directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini Cinematography by Tonino Delli Colli In Italian with English subtitles, 107 minutes Adapted from Boccaccio's classic novel, Pasolini satirizes church, state, and class structures with an eroticized vision of daily life in 14th-century Italy. Pasolini himself appears as a fresco painter and student of Giotto, wondering if perhaps "it's enough to dream a masterpiece rather than paint it."

Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto), 1970 Thursday, January 14, at 6 pm Saturday, January 16, 3 pm Sunday, January 17, at 3 pm Directed by Elio Petri Cinematography by Luigi Kuveiller In Italian with English subtitles, 112 minutes A fascist police inspector murders his mistress for the perverse pleasure of leading the crime's investigation himself. A biting black satire and cinema politico classic. Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1970.

Illustrious Corpses (Cadaveri Eccellenti), 1976 Saturday, January 16, at 1 pm Sunday, January 17, at 1 pm Directed by Francesco Rosi Cinematography by Pasqualino De Santis In Italian with English subtitles, 127 minutes Cleverly named after the surrealist technique "exquisite corpse", this elegant, atmospheric mystery draws elements from Italian crime fiction and thriller genres (giallo andpoliziottesco). This film print is of lower quality, yet is being shown for its extreme rarity.

The Passenger (Professione: reporter), 1975 Thursday, January 21, at 6 pm Saturday, January 23, at 3 pm Sunday, January 24, at 3 pm Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni Cinematography by Luciano Tovoli In English, 126 minutes Jack Nicholson stars as a television journalist covering guerrilla activity in the Sahara Desert. Disenchanted with his life, he steals the identity of an Englishman who dies in a neighboring hotel room. Ending with a famed seven-minute shot, The Passenger is a disquieting exploration of self and alienation. This is a restored, recently re-released film print that includes an additional 6.5 minutes of scenes previously cut from the US version.

The Inglorious Bastards (Quel maledetto treno blindato), 1978 Saturday, January 23, at 1 pm Sunday, January 24, at 1 pm Directed by Enzo G. Castellari Cinematography by Giovanni Bergamini In English, 99 minutes Set in WWII, a group of American soldiers escape en route to military prison. On the way to Switzerland, they unwittingly volunteer to steal a Nazi V-2 rocket gyroscope. An English language "macaroni combat" war film.

Fellini's Casanova (Il Casanova di Federico Fellini), 1976 Thursday, January 28, at 6 pm Saturday, January 30, at 3:30 pm Sunday, January 31, at 3:30 pm Directed by Federico Fellini Cinematography by Giuseppe Rotunno In English, 164 minutes Charged with heresy and possession of books on black magic, Giacomo Casanova escapes Venetian prison into exile. He wanders throughout Europe into a series of bizarre seductions. Fellini's portrayal is haunting and solipsistic, with dazzling mise-en-scene.

The Damned (La caduta degli Dei), 1969 Saturday, January 30, at 1 pm Sunday, January 31, at 1 pm Directed by Luchino Visconti In English, 150 minutes During the rise of Nazism, a family co-opts fascist values to horrific ends in this allegory of human complicity with evil. Originally titled The Fall of the GodsThe Damned depicts the implosion of a country through the lens of a single family and is considered Visconti's most controversial film.