THE CANTERBURY TALES
1971, Park Circus/MGM, 109 min, Italy/France, Dir: Pier Paolo Pasolini

On a pilgrimage to Canterbury, a group of travelers agree to share stories to ease the journey – and we’re treated to a riotous carnival of lecherous old merchants, deceitful young wives, naked satyrs, houses of prostitution, a handsome devil in rent collector’s clothes and much more. With stunning production design by Dante Ferretti (GANGS OF NEW YORK) and a haunting score of period music selected by Pasolini and Ennio Morricone. Winner of the Golden Bear at the 1972 Berlin Film Festival. With Hugh Griffith, Laura Betti, Ninetto Davoli, Franco Citti and Pasolini himself as Geoffrey Chaucer.


THE WITCHES (1967)
LE STREGHE
1967, Park Circus/MGM, 112 min, Dir: Mauro Bolognini, Vittorio De Sica, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Franco Rossi, Luchino Visconti

Some of the greatest figures of postwar Italian cinema directed this anthology film, which is composed of five separate segments ranging from comedy to drama. The international cast includes Clint Eastwood, Annie Girardot, Alberto Sordi and Silvana Mangano.


BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE
L’UCCELLO DALLE PIUME DI CRISTALLO
1970, AGFA, 96 min, Italy/West Germany, Dir: Dario Argento

Director Dario Argento’s debut feature film was a huge success all over the world and served to codify the classic giallo thriller formula like no picture before or since. Visiting American writer Sam Dalmas (Tony Musante) witnesses an attempted murder when he becomes trapped in the foyer of a small art gallery. Although our hero has failed to glimpse the assailant’s face, the black-clad killer nevertheless starts dogging his trail when not busy dispatching beautiful young women. Suzy Kendall, as Musante’s girl, is stupendous as always, and a great catalogue of character actors joins in the fun, including disturbed gallery owner Eva Renzi, hitman Reggie Nalder and itinerant, cat-loving painter Mario Adorf. A pure giallo lover’s delight from beginning to end, with perhaps Ennio Morricone’s all-time greatest giallo score.


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