1952. Italy. Alberto Lattuada. 99 min.
Thursday, November 3, 2011, 4:00 p.m.
Theater 1 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 1), T1
1952. Italy. Directed by Alberto Lattuada. Screenplay by Cesare Zavattini, Lattuada, Giorgio Prosperi, and others, based on Nikolai Gogol’s The Overcoat. With Renato Rascel, Yvonne Sanson, Giulio Stival. Writing for Cahiers du cinéma in 1952, André Bazin called Alberto Lattuada’s adaptation of Gogol’s The Overcoat: “exemplary in its intelligence. He has succeeded, in free treatment, in maintaining the spirit of the original while transferring it to a half-imaginary, almost Kafkaesque Italy. The film’s performance will equally be due to the sensational performance of Rascel, whose character clearly owes much to Chaplin, but without that influence ever seeming like plagiarism.” Postwar Milanese writer-director Lattuada is best known today for his masterful Mafioso, starring Alberto Sordi, but he remains underappreciated, and his work defies easy categorization because he brought his Neorealist working-class sympathies to a variety of genres, including black comedy, melodrama, literary adaptation, political satire, and even science fiction. Preserved print courtesy Museo Nazionale del Cinema di Torino and RaroVideo USA. In Italian; English subtitles. 99 min.
In the Film exhibition To Save and Project: The Ninth MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation
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