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NIGHT OF THE SHOOTING STARS: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
The Night of San Lorenzo, the night of the shooting stars, is the night when dreams come true in Italian folklore. In 1944, a group of Italians flee their Tuscan town of St Martino after hearing rumours that the Nazis plan to blow it up and that the Americans are about to arrive to liberate them. The wartime story of survival is told by Concetta (Moragarita Lozano) a loving mother, who recollects her flight as a 6 year old. Though death and suffering are prominent in her memories, these often transform into surreal dreams filled with young love and partisan heroes painted as Greek warriors.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Balanced and see sawing between hope and despair, a Tuscan village in World War II is waiting for either the Germans to blow them up or the American army to liberate them. This sets the mood, and establishes the tension. But the Taviani brothers, winners of the Palm d'Or at Cannes five years earlier with Padre Padrone, are not satisfied with telling a simple story, a recollection from the war. Littered with sudden, brutal scenes - like the iconic fantasy scene of Roman soldiers spearing a Facsist in a field - the film is nonetheless poetic and beautiful - it's Tuscany, after all.

Lyricism, poetry, brutality, reality, fantasy ... mixed and slowly stirred, make for a special mood, one that impressed the jury at Cannes in 1982, awarding the film the Grand Jury Prize (like 2nd prize after the Palm d'Or). For lovers of cinema, there is a special interest in the film's style and storytelling, its superb cinematography and the emotional soup in which it swims.

Life, death, love, hate and the randomness of it all - it's as if the night of the shooting stars, when your wishes come true, is just a cruel joke played on humanity. It's full of the Tavianis' romanticism, flavoured with realism. The film ends with a flourish of the former.

Published January 29, 2009



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NIGHT OF THE SHOOTING STARS: DVD (M)
(Italy, 1982)

La Notte di San Lorenzo

CAST: Omero Antoiniutti, Margarita Lozano, Claudio Bigagli, Miriam Guidelli, Massimo Bonetti, Enrica Maria Mondugno, Sabina Vanucchi, Girogia Naddi, Renata Zamengo, Micol Guidelli, Massimo Sarchielli, Mario Spallino, Paolo Hendel

PRODUCER: Giuliani G. De Negri

DIRECTOR: Paolo & Vittoria Taviani

SCRIPT: Paolo & Vittoria Taviani, Giuliani G. De Negri

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Franco Di Giacomo

EDITOR: Roberto Perpignani

MUSIC: Nicola Piovani

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Gianni Sbara

RUNNING TIME: 105 minutes

PRESENTATION: 16:9; DD 2.0

SPECIAL FEATURES: Interview with the Taviani brothers (84 mins); trailers [English, Spanish subtitles]

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Umbrella

DVD RELEASE: January 10, 2009







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