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Sicilia!

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Sicilia!

Rating: NR   Released: 1999  Length: 1hrs 6min

Sicilia!

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20th Anniversary Digital Restoration

Synopsis: Something as simple as a herring roasting on a hearth or a meal of bread, wine, and winter melon takes on the humble aura of a Caravaggio painting in this masterful film. Filmed by the great cinematographer William Lubtchansky, SICILIA! is a tragicomedy involving an orange peddler, an Italian recently returned from America, two “stinky” police officers, a guilt-stricken landowner, a traveling knife sharpener and, perhaps most unforgettably, an indomitable peasant mother who reminisces about meals of snails and wild chicory, her husband’s philandering and cowardice, and her own father’s belief in an honest day’s labor, socialism, and St. Joseph.

Film has never seen a collaboration like that between Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, a fiercely intellectual husband-wife duo whose decades-spanning oeuvre aimed to spark a revolution among the masses. It contains adaptations of Kafka and Brecht, homages to D.W. Griffith, Renoir, and Bresson, and treatises on political matters both current and eternal.

Language: Italian with English subtitles

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“The film’s starkly exquisite black-and-white images set the dialogue as if to visual music”
– New Yorker

“One of [Straub-Huillet’s] great later works.”
– The Village Voice

“Straub-Huillet’s aesthetic abounds in anomalies. One finds comfort, albeit austere, in encountering patented elements of the filmmakers’ approach in Sicilia!”
– James Quandt, Artforum

 

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