Tag Archive: Italian Films


The 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival is coming to an end tonight. Yesterday, 24th of May, 2014, all the winners were announced (except in the Un Certain Regard category), including for the Palme d’Or. The Un Certain Regard section was announced, day before yesterday, on the 23rd of May, 2014.
Cannes 2014 poster
The over three hour long (196 minutes to be precise), Turkish drama, Winter Sleep (2014), directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, took home the top Palme d’Or award. This is the second Turkish film to win the Palme d’Or.

The Grand Prix went to Italian director, Alice Rohrwacher (one of two female directors in competition) for the Italian film, Le Meraviglie (2014) a.k.a. The Wonders.

The Jury Prize was a tie between the youngest and oldest filmmakers in competition, Xavier Dolan and the legendary, French New Wave director, Jean-Luc Godard. Dolan for the Canadian film Mommy (2014), and Jean-Luc Godard, who was absent from the show, for Adieu au langage (2014).
Cannes Awards Ceremony
Among the other prizes, Bennett Miller won the ‘Best Director’ award for his wrestling drama Foxcatcher (2014), which is now considered an early frontrunner for the Oscars next year. Timothy Spall, bagged the ‘Best Actor’ award, for his portrayal of English artist J.M.W. Turner, in Mike Leigh’s biopic, Mr. Turner (2014). Julianne Moore, who though present earlier in the week, was absent from the award ceremony, won the ‘Best Actress’ award, for her performance of a neurotic aging screen diva, in David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars (2014). She beat some top rated actresses, including Juliette Binoche, Marion Cotillard and Hilary Swank. Russian film Leviafan (2014), won for ‘Best Screenplay’, awarded to Andrey Zvyagintsev and Oleg Negin.

The Un Certain Regard prize was awarded to Hungarian film Fehér Isten (2014) a.k.a. White God. The Un Certain Regard Special Prize went to the French-Brazilian drama, The Salt of the Earth (2014) by Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado. The Un Certain Regard Jury Prize went to Swedish drama, Force Majeure (2014), which was directed by Ruben Östlund. The Un Certain Regard Award for Best Actor went to the Indigenous Australian actor (aborigine actor), David Gulpilil for Australian film, Charlie’s Country (2014). The Un Certain Regard Ensemble Prize went to the cast of Party Girl (2014).
Cannes 2014 winners
The French film, Party Girl, also won the Camera d’Or award.

The 16 minute Columbian film, by director Simón Mesa Soto, Leidi (2014), bagged the Short Film Palme d’Or.

Thus comes an end to yet another great festival of the Year 2014. Can’t wait to watch all these movies.

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

B.Bertolucci

Bernardo Bertolucci & I
My introduction to Bernardo Bertolucci was as a teenager, back in the early/mid 1990’s, when I was awed by the spectacle that was The Last Emperor (1987). A movie I was reprimanded for watching, as supposedly it was not suitable for a 16/17 year old. Even at that age I was aware that I had actually just witnessed an artistic piece of cinematic excellence. What I should have realised at that age, but didn’t, is that I did not belong in this aesthetically depressive dump hole. But I knew that my taste was a bit high for these so called older and wiser idiots to ever comprehend. If they had a problem with me watching such a fine piece of cinema, ’twas because of their own perverted mentality, not mine. None the less, till date, I think The Last Emperor is the best film Bertolucci has made, and my second favourite, besides all the bad memories associated with watching it.
Next, still in my teens, was Little Buddha (1993), in 1994, when we went back to live in New Delhi, after an unpleasant hiatus of six years away from my country of birth to the country of unfortunate roots. Coming from a Buddhist background, minus the deep blinded faith of the religion, instead having a more open minded modern acceptance of the philosophical aspects of Buddhism, Little Buddha was a must watch for me. Though no where as near as excellent as The Last Emperor, I really enjoyed Little Buddha, and thought it was a very good movie.

Bertolucci (80's & 90's)

Bertolucci’s Childhood
Bertolucci was born in the region of Emilia-Romagna, in the city of Parma, in Italy, on the 16th of March 1940. His mother was a teacher, and father, Attilio Bertolucci, a reputed poet, art historian, anthologist and film critic. Bertolucci, also has a younger brother, who is a theatre director and playwright. Thanks to his family background, Bertolucci, started writing at a very young age and as a teenager, received several prestigious literary prizes.
Wishing to be a poet, like his famous father, Bertolucci, attended the ‘Faculty of Modern Literature’, at the University of Rome, from 1958 to 1961. But meanwhile, his father having helped, famed Italian film director, Pier Paolo Pasolini, to publish his first novel, Pasolini reciprocated by hiring Bernardo Bertolucci, as a first assistant in Rome for Pasolini’s film, Accattone (1961), thus Bertolucci left the University without graduating.
At 22, Bertolucci directed his first movie, La Commare Secca (1962), for which the screenplay was written by Pier Paolo Pasolini. Post that, Bertolucci decided to leave behind ‘s poetic ideals, and make it on his own. Giving birth to his second, and more acclaimed, film, Prima Della Rivoluzione (1964), a.k.a. Before the Revolution. The rest, as we know, is history.

Prima Della Rivoluzione by Bernardo Bertolucci

Before and After The Sexual Revolution
After having watched two Bertolucci films, in my teens, the next one I watched, was The Sheltering Sky (1990), in 2002 in London, eight years after watching Little Buddha. A beautiful drama set in the deserted landscape of the African continent, where an American couple travel aimlessly searching for new experiences in the late 1940’s. The Sheltering Sky stars John Malkovich, who is superb as always, Debra Winger and Campbell Scott.
And then I watched the acclaimed, Prima Della Rivoluzione, mentioned above, in 2003, in Oslo, I loved this Italian classic, the only Italian language film of Bertolucci I’ve seen till date. The story is about a May/December romance, set in the backdrop of Italy’s ideologies (much like protagonist’s) torn between their comfortable Bourgeois lifestyle and flirtation with communist theory, released just before the sexual revolution of the 60’s. A study of youth at the edge of adulthood. The lead actress, Adriana Asti, was married to Bertolucci, later divorced.
Soon, in 2003, Oslo, itself, I got a chance to watch The Dreamers (2003), on the big screen there, when it premiered for an Oslo film festival. That was my first and only Bertolucci on the big screen till date. I fell in love with this film about three innocent film buffs, with liberated views, living in a dream world, as the 1968 riots unfold outside in Paris. Thus, set during the height of the sexual revolution. The movie starts with the sacking of famed French film archivist, Cinephile and co-founder of the Cinémathèque Française, Henri Langlois, and ends during the Parisian ‘Student Occupation Protests’, of May 68’. The Dreamers, is my favourite Bernardo Bertolucci venture till date. And I’ve seen it numerous times since then. Post that I watched the controversial Last Tango in Paris (1972), in Oslo itself, and Besieged (1999), while residing in Portsmouth, UK, in 2004.
BB's The Dreamers (03')The Last Scandal of Bertolucci
Last Tango in Paris (1972), was a movie I didn’t really enjoy that much, but happens to be a very good movie, and worth checking out at least once. Made, based on Bertolucci’s sexual fantasies (apparently he once dreamed of seeing a beautiful nameless woman on the street and having sex with her without ever knowing who she was), it is the most scandalous movie Bertolucci has ever made till date, especially due to the graphic rape scene using butter. Actress Maria Schneider, was unaware of such a scene, and was told just before the take that her character was to be raped. She felt she was manipulated and forced to do a scene that was not on the script, and she later mentioned that in that scene, she was not acting but, ‘‘I was crying real tears. I felt humiliated and to be honest, I felt a little raped, both by Marlon (Brando) and by Bertolucci. After the scene, Marlon didn’t console me or apologise.’’ She also added much later that her biggest regret in life was making this movie, and that it ruined her life. She never spoke to Bertolucci after that and never forgave him, even in death, for what she considered an emotional rape. Maria Schneider died of cancer, in February 2011. In 2013, Bertolucci, expressed sadness of his treatment of Maria Schneider stating that, Maria was just, ‘‘a 19-year old who, had never acted before. Maybe, sometimes in the movie, I didn’t tell her what was going on because I knew her acting would be better. So, when we shot this scene with Marlon using butter on her, I decided not to tell her. I wanted a reaction of frustration and rage’’. Yet Bertolucci also mentioned that even though he felt guilty, he did not regret it.
Marlon Brando too felt emotionally raped, and avoided contact with Bertolucci, but reconciled 15 years later. About Marlon Brando, Bertolucci had said that he is, ‘‘an angel as a man, a monster as an actor’’.

Last Tango in Paris (1972)

Academy Awards & Recognition
Bernardo Bertolucci’s film Partner (1968), entered the 29th Venice Film Festival and the 22nd Cannes Film Festival. Amore e Rabbia (1969) entered 19th Berlin International Film Festival, where he was nominated for the Golden Berlin Bear. Il Conformista (1970), earned Bertolucci, many award wins at prestigious ceremonies, including the Golden Berlin Bear, and Bertolucci was nominated for ‘Best Screenplay’ at the Academy Awards in 1972. His very first Oscar nod. Yet it was the controversial Last Tango in Paris (1972) that gained him international recognition (and notoriety), along with two Oscar nominations, for ‘Best Actor’ (to Marlon Brando), and ‘Best Director’ for Bertolucci. Many wins and nominations followed his work then on forward, but it was Bertolucci’s bio-pic, The Last Emperor (1987), gained him an even greater, better reputed, recognition, as one of greatest film director’s ever. It was the first feature film authorized by the Chinese government to film in the Forbidden City in Beijing. The film won all the nine awards it was nominated for, at the Academy Awards, including ‘Best Picture’ and ‘Best Director’. Bertolucci’s biggest Oscar triumph yet. He also won two awards at the Golden Globes. Post that he had many other wins and nominations for various films at various ceremonies, yet nothing broke the his record wins of The Last Emperor. Definitely the best film he’s ever made, and my second favourite Bertolucci. In 2007, Bertolucci won the Golden Lion for his career at the Venice Film Festival, and in recognition of his work, he was presented with the inaugural Honorary Palme d’Or Award at the opening ceremony of the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.

BB's Last Emperor

The Last Emperor (1987)

Bertolucci appeals for a fellow Film director
Director Bernardo Bertolucci, was among the people who signed an appeal to the Swiss government to release Roman Polanski, who was being held while waiting to be extradited to the United States, in September 2009.
(Also see my post Roman Polanski & His Films from September 2013)Director Bernardo Bertolucci - On the sets of ...

Bertolucci Films am yet to watch
I have so many Bertolucci, films I haven’t seen yet, including La Commare Secca (1962), Il Conformista (1970), Novecento/1900 (1976), La Luna (1979), La Tragedia di un Uomo Ridicolo (1981), Stealing Beauty (1996) and Io e Te (2012), to name a few.

Io e Te (2012)

Io e Te (2012)

Belated Birthday wishes to Bertolucci
Bertolucci celebrated his 74th Birthday on Sunday, the 16th of March, 2014. Wishing him all the best for his future endeavours. (Also see my list BB: Set Of Seven On IMDB, made on his 73rd Birthday, last year)

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

Last night I watched Le Procès (1962), a.k.a. The Trial, on TV5MONDE. A European (esp. French) production made in the English language. Ironically, the version I watched, was dubbed into French, with English subtitles.
The Trial
A cinematically surreal piece of brilliance, cinematography wise, set design wise, and conceptual wise. Yet the movie does falter at places, insignificant to prod on.
The Trial (62') scene
The movie starts with a ‘Pinscreen’ animation, telling us about a man who is permanently detained from seeking access to the Law, used as an introductory allegory of what is to befall our hero later on in the film.
We see a common man, Josef K (Anthony Perkins), representing the ordinary middle class young male of modern society (early 1960’s), who is woken up one morning by an unidentified man, whom we assume represents the police/the law, telling Mr. K that he is under open arrest. Thus we follow Mr. K who goes to work, tries desperately to find out what he is charged with, tries to prove his innocence, and makes out with the three female love interests. Resulting in a beautiful surreal journey through law & order and blinded justice, equated to heaven and hell. The outside world heavenly, and inside the law – hell!!! Where everyone, acquainted to the protagonist or not, keeps telling him he’s guilty of an unmentioned crime. While he maintains his innocence, adding that he is just an easy target for the law, like any common man. The film is more philosophical, than realistic, yet almost moves in real time. Through his journey from day to night to day, in the same three piece suit, we meet his next door neighbour, Marika Burstner (Jeanne Moreau); a dancer, with whom he has his first make out session; his advocate, Maître Albert Hastler (played by the director of this fascinating film itself, Orson Welles), and Hastler’s nurse/mistress Leni (Romy Schneider); the supporting lead female character of the film, with whom he has his next make out session, and who tries to genuinely help him. Soon we learn that he is actually condemned to death, and he is “guilty until proven innocent”, ironically the exact opposite of what the law should upheld.
Without giving away the ending, the movie ends on the eve of Josef K’s 31st Birthday.
Orson Welles with cast members on the set of 'The Trial'
It’s definitely worth checking out, though not a great movie. Of course film director, Orson Welles, supposedly mentioned after making this movie that, “The Trial is the best film I have ever made.” In one scene of the movie, Welles’ character Hastler mentions that he “doesn’t understand”, a hilarious pun, adding to the confusion of the audience, if the director can’t understand what’s happening to the protagonist, how is audience to do so.
It is visually and philosophically spectacular, could bore down at a few places though. Worth more if you specifically love surreal cinema and for any film buff.
Very Good 8/10
LE PROCÈS
The film is based on the 1914 German novel, Der Prozess by Franz Kafka. A book I haven’t read yet, but after watching this film am really keen on doing so. Le Procès (1962) is a modern adaptation, which introduces the audience to computer technology of the time, also called the Electronic Brain.

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

Six Degrees of Separation: from Alain Delon to …
(Alain Delon celebrated his 78th Birthday earlier this month, on 8th November 2013)

Alain Delon 6°
…Charlize Theron
Delon played a criminal mastermind devoid of any conscience, in Plein Soleil (1959/60), which was based on the novel, The Talented Mr. Ripley, by Patricia Highsmith (1), and another crime novel of hers was the basis for the Alfred Hitchcock (2) classic, of the same name, Strangers on a Train (1951), and Hitchcock made the movie Torn Curtain (1966); an espionage thriller set beyond the Iron Curtain of East Germany; starring Julie Andrews (3), who starred in the musical, based on a true life story that took place in Austria, The Sound of Music (1965), which also starred Nicholas Hammond (4), who later played the famous fictional webbed suited superhero, ‘Spider-Man’, in the television series, The Amazing Spider-Man (1977–1979), and later Tobey Maguire (5) took over the reigns, and played the webbed superhero, in a more skin-tight stretchy suit, in the trio of Spider-Man franchise of films (from 2002 to 2007), and Maguire appeared in The Cider House Rules (1999), which co-starred Charlize Theron (6).

…Lee Remick
Delon at one time was engaged to actress Romy Schneider (1); with whom he worked on a few projects, including Christine (1958), L’Amour à la Mer (1964) and La Piscine (1969) to name a few; and Schneider was famously associated with the trilogy of Sissi films (1955,1956 & 1957), where she portrayed the well known 19th century fashionista, Empress Elisabeth of Austria (2), a.k.a. Queen of Hungary (nicknamed ‘Sissi’), as did Ava Gardner (3) in Mayerling (1968), and Gardner starred alongside Deborah Kerr (4) in  The Night of the Iguana (1964), and Kerr starred in the beautifully, spooky, children’s horror flick, The Innocents (1961), which was based on a novel, The Turn of the Screw, by Henry James (5), and another novel, of his, was the basis for the film, The Europeans (1979) starring Lee Remick (6).

…Jacqueline Kennedy
Delon starred alongside Claudia Cardinale (1) in the Italian venture, Il Gattopardo (1963), and Cardinale appeared in the Hollywood crime comedy, The Pink Panther (1963), which was directed by Blake Edwards (2), as was 10 (1979), which also starred Dee Wallace (3), who played mother to a very tiny little Drew Barrymore (4) in the children’s, science fiction, drama, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), and Barrymore played Edith Bouvier Beale (5), a.k.a. Little Eddie, in Grey Gardens (2009), who was the cousin of, the United States of America’s, former First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy (6).

AD 6° Connections

…Juhi Chawla
Delon starred in Luchino Visconti’s (1) Rocco and His Brothers (1960), and Visconti directed Italian actress Alida Valli (2) in Senso (1954), who earlier came in the noir classic, The Paradine Case (1947), along with French born, Hollywood star, Louis Jourdan (3), and Jourdan played lead villain in the Bond flick Octopussy (1983), along with Indian actor Kabir Bedi (4), whose daughter, Pooja Bedi (5), came in the Bollywood flick, Lootere (1993), which co-starred, Punjabi born, former beauty queen (Miss India 1984), and Bollywood superstar of the 1990’s, Juhi Chawla (6).

…Helen Mirren
Delon appeared in Is Paris Burning? (1966), which co-starred Kirk Douglas (1), father of actor Michael Douglas (2), who came in Coma (1978); a mystery set in a hospital, where suddenly young healthy people start falling into a coma, after being operated on, and a young female doctor tries to uncover this conspiracy, which in turn ends up being a threat to her own life; the said young doctor was played by Canadian born actress, Geneviève Bujold (3), who portrayed the famous 15th century Queen consort, Anne Boleyn (4), in Anne of the Thousand Days (1969), mother of, the famous virgin queen of the 15th and early 16th centuries, Queen Elizabeth-I (5), who was portrayed by Helen Mirren (6), in the television mini-series Elizabeth I (2005).

…Madhuri Dixit
Delon played Julius Caesar (1) in the comedy Astérix aux jeux Olympiques (2008), as did Rex Harrison (2) in Cleopatra (1963), and Harrison played the lead negative role in the Bollywood gem heist of a movie, Shalimar (1978), which co-starred Zeenat Aman (3), whose most notable role happens to be that of the Hippie girl she played in Bollywood’s most loved Hippie movie, Haré Raama Haré Krishna (1971), which co-starred actress Mumtaz (4), who starred alongside Vyjayanthimala (5) in Suraj (1966), and Vyjayanthimala played a courtesan in Devdas (1955), and actress Madhuri Dixit (6), took over the role of the courtesan, in the re-make, Devdas (2002).

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense ()
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Six Degrees of Separation: from Emile Hirsch to…

Emile Hirsch 6°

…Barbara Stanwyck
Hirsch played the lead in the tragic true-life adventure flick, Into the Wild (2007), which was directed by actor, Sean Penn (1), who was married to pop diva, Madonna (2), whose second husband was British film director, Guy Ritchie (3), who directed Sherlock Holmes (2009), which was based on notable author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s (4), famed fictional sleuth, as was The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970), directed by Billy Wilder (5), and Wilder also directed the noir classic, Double Indemnity (1944), starring Barbara Stanwyck (6).

…Diego Luna – Ang Lee vice versa (vv)
Hirsch appeared in the bio-pic, Milk (2008), in which Diego Luna (1,6), co-starred as an insecure, unconfident, paranoid, vulnerable gay lover, of the lead political figure of this tragic movie, who commits suicide, and Luna has been best friends with Gael García Bernal (2,5) since childhood, and García Bernal starred in surreal fantasy flick, The Science of Sleep (2006), which co-starred Alain Chabat (3,4), who directed the French comedy, Astérix & Obélix: Mission Cléopâtre (2002), a fictional account of, cartoon characters, Astérix & Obélix’s meeting the famed Queen of the Nile, Cleopatra (4,3), who was portrayed by Italian actress Monica Bellucci (5,2), who starred in the Italian movie Malèna (2000), which was nominated for two Oscars, in 2001, in the ‘Best Cinematography’ and ‘Best Original Musical Score’ categories, but lost out to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), in both categories, along with two more Oscar wins, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was directed by Ang Lee (6,1), with whom Emile Hirsch had worked with, in, Taking Woodstock (2009).

…Norma Crane
Hirsch appeared in, the waste of time, film, The Darkest Hour (2011), which co-starred Olivia Thirlby (1), who appeared in the excellent comedy Juno (2007), for which Diablo Cody (2) took home the Oscar statuette for ‘Best Original Screenplay’, and Cody also wrote the screenplay for the teenage horror flick, Jennifer’s Body (2009), which also starred Johnny Simmons (3), who is currently working on the project Frank and Cindy, to be released next year, which also stars Rene Russo (4), who came in the re-make art heist flick, The Thomas Crown Affair (1999), and original 1968 version, was directed by Norman Jewison (5), who also directed the musical, Fiddler on the Roof (1971), starring Norma Crane (6).

…Yoko Ono
Hirsch appeared alongside Penélope Cruz (1) in Venuto al Mondo (2012), and Cruz starred along with Rebecca Hall (2) in Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008), and Hall acted in Frost/Nixon (2008), a feature film focusing on the, post-Watergate scandal, television interview by the illustrious British talk-show host, David Frost (3), of former president, Richard Nixon (4); the only president of the United States till date to resign from office; and the well-known Beatle, John Lennon’s (5), song ‘Give Peace a Chance’; written during the famous ‘Bed-In’ of May/June 1969, and which soon became an anti Vietnam-war anthem, and was sung by half a million demonstrators in Washington, D.C. at the ‘Vietnam Moratorium Day’, on the 15th of October, 1969; shook the Nixon government, and Lennon staged the famous ‘Bed-In’s’, for peace; which gave birth to this song; along with his newly married bride, Japanese artist and peace activist, Yoko Ono (6); whom he married, in March the same year, 1969, and they staged their first ‘Bed-In’ on their honeymoon, in March 1969 itself.

…Gloria Swanson
Hirsch in his teens, played a sensitive, effeminate, lonely, farm-boy; who seeks companionship with a chicken, he associates with his dead mother; in The Mudge Boy (2003), directed by Michael Burke (1), which was a feature length re-make of Burke’s own earlier short film, Fishbelly White (1998), which starred Jason Hayes (2), who appeared in Andrew Jackson (2007), a television movie about the seventh President of the United States, Andrew Jackson (3), who was portrayed by Charlton Heston (4) in the re-make of The Buccaneer (1958), and the original 1938 version was directed by the luminary Cecil B. DeMille (5), who had a cameo, playing himself, in Sunset Boulevard (1950), where screen goddess of silent era, Gloria Swanson (6), played a faded, ageing, silent movie star recluse; whose disintegration into nothingness, unable to accept the loss her stardom since the invention of sound in cinema, talking pictures, is inevitable.

…Madeleine Carroll
Hirsch played the younger version of the eminent, Hungarian-American, illusionist, Harry Houdini (1), in the television movie, Houdini (1998), and in the past, Tony Curtis (2), was the first actor to portray Houdini, on the screen, in Houdini (1953), and Curtis starred with Marilyn Monroe (3) in the sizzling comedy, Some Like it Hot (1959), and Monroe, appeared alongside Cary Grant (4) in another hilarious comedy Monkey Business (1952), and Grant starred in the classic Film-Noir, Notorious (1946), which was directed by Alfred Hitchcock (5), who had earlier directed Madeleine Carroll (6), in The 39 Steps (1935).

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense ()
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Six Degrees of Separation: from James Franco to

James Franco 6°

…Hilarie Burton
Franco portrayed legendary method actor James Dean (1), in the television movie, James Dean (2001), and Dean starred alongside Elizabeth Taylor (2) in Giant (1956), and Taylor was married to Conrad Hilton jr (3); son of the founder of the Hilton Hotel chain, who was Taylor’s first husband, who was  a gambler, alcoholic and was very abusive towards Taylor, and his abusive behaviour towards her resulted in a miscarriage, Taylor’s parents were horrified, and soon Taylor’s first marriage ended after suffering, and surviving through, nine months of a miserable marriage to Hilton jr; and Conrad Hilton jr happens to be the great uncle of Paris Hilton (4), who appeared in the remake of a B-movie, horror classic, House of Wax (2005), which co-starred Chad Michael Murray (5), who starred alongside Hilarie Burton (6) in the television soap, One Tree Hill (2003-2012).

…Hattie McDaniel  
Franco starred in the bio-pic Milk (2008), which co-starred Emile Hirsh (1), who starred in an adventure flick, based on a real life story, called Into The Wild (2007), which saw, a yet unknown, young, Kristen Stewart (2) who gained fame through the series of five Twilight movies (from 2008 to 2012), which co-starred Robert Pattinson (3); as a kind-hearted vampire who falls in love with a human and is in constant loggerheads with a werewolf, who too has the hots for the same person; and Pattinson appeared in the tragic drama, Remember Me (2010), where Pierce Brosnan (4) played his father, and Brosnan starred alongside Halle Berry (5) in Die Another Day (2002), who was the first African American actress (black actress) to bag the Best Actress trophy at the Oscars, in 2002, for Monster’s Ball (2001), and the very first black celebrity, to ever win an Oscar, was Hattie McDaniel (6), for Best Supporting Actress, in 1940, for Gone with the Wind (1939).

…Laurence Olivier
Franco directed and acted in, the one hour long, short film, Interior. Leather Bar. (2013), a re-imagining of the lost 40 minutes, of the film-within-the-film, of Cruising (1980), which starred Al Pacino (1), who played the lead mafia boss, in The Godfather: Part – III (1990), which also starred Austrian actor Helmut Berger (2), and Berger came in the movie, The Damned (1969), which co-starred Charlotte Rampling (3), who had a cameo in Deception (2008) starring Ewan McGregor (4), who shares a close friendship with fellow actor Jude Law (5); who was at one time his roommate; and Law starred in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004), in which CGI manipulated archive footage of the late actor, Sir Laurence Olivier (6), is used as the villain of the movie, in a hologram form; the villain of the movie too is discovered to have been dead for quite sometime towards the end of the film.

Jamesing Sixes

…Sergio Fascetti
Franco carried an entire movie on his shoulders, when he played the lead, in the biographical adventure film, 127 Hours (2010), which was directed by Danny Boyle (1), who also directed the zombie flick, 28 Days Later … (2002), starring Cillian Murphy (2), who worked with director Ken Loach (3) in The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006); about the Irish anti-British rebellion for independence in the 1920’s; and Loach also directed Poor Cow (1967), which starred Terence Stamp (4), who played a visitor that seduces a whole family in Pier Paolo Pasolini’s (5) Teorema (1968), an Italian classic, and  Pasolini also directed the very controversial Salò o le 120 Giornate di Sodoma (1975); set in a Nazi-controlled northern Italian state during the second world war, where four dignitaries round up sixteen perfect specimens of youth, and subject them to 120 days of physical, mental and sexual torture; in which Sergio Fascetti (6) played one of the victims.

…Tena Desae
Franco played the famed ‘Wizard’ in, Oz the Great and Powerful (2013), which happens to be a sequel/prequel to the children’s classic musical The Wizard of Oz (1939), which starred a teenaged Judy Garland (1), mother of Liza Minnelli (2), and Minnelli starred in the 70’s, somewhat campy, musical, Cabaret (1972), which was based on Christopher Isherwood’s (3) semiautobiographical novel, Goodbye to Berlin, and Isherwood’s novella, A Single Man, was the basis for the movie with same name, released in 2009, starring Nicholas Hoult (4), who appeared in the British television show, Skins (2007 till date), which co-starred Dev Patel (5) who starred in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011), which also starred Tena Desae (6).

…Audrey Hepburn
Franco starred alongside Tobey Maguire (1) in Spider-Man (2002), and Maguire appeared in Ang Lee’s (2) The Ice Storm (1997), and Lee won his second Best Director Oscar, earlier this year, for Life of Pi (2012), in which Bollywood actress Tabu (3) played the lead character’s mother, and Tabu’s aunt, 70’s feminist actress, and social activist, Shabana Azmi (4) starred in the British movie Madame Sousatzka (1988), in which the titular character was played by Shirley MacLaine (5), who starred along with Audrey Hepburn (6) in the, very bold for that period, movie, The Children’s Hour (1961), where two school teachers are accused by a student of being lesbians.

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense ()
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Six Degrees of Separation: Kate Winslet to ….

Kate Winslet Silver 6°

…Franco Zeffirelli
Winslet starred in Little Children (2006) along with Patrick Wilson (1), who previously appeared in the TV mini series, Angels of America (2003), which co-starred Al Pacino (2), who played the lead in Serpico (1973), which was based on a true story and directed by Sidney Lumet (3), who also directed Equus (1977), which was based on a play by Peter Shaffer (4), whose play The Royal Hunt of the sun was adapted into a movie, released in 1969, which also starred Leonard Whiting (5), whose most famous performance, is that of, ‘Romeo’ in Romeo and Juliet (1968), the finest cinematic version of this famed tragic love story, which was directed by, Tuscan born, Franco Zeffirelli (6).

…Louis Garrel
Winslet gained international fame when she played the fictional character of ‘Rose’ in Titanic (1997), which was based on a real incident, where Kathy Bates (1), played a real life survivor of the Titanic disaster, Molly Brown (2), and Brown was portrayed by Debbie Reynolds (3) in The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964); a biographical film on Brown, which includes her Titanic voyage and survival; and Reynolds starred in the musical, Singin’ in the Rain (1952), alongside Gene Kelly (4), who appeared in the French musical Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (1967), which also starred Catherine Deneuve (5), who recently came in another French musical, Les Bien-Aimés (2011), which co-starred actor Louis Garrel (6).

…Jennifer O’Neill  
Winslet bagged the ‘Best Actress Oscar’, for her role of ‘Hanna Schmitz’, in The Reader (2008), which was based on German novel by Bernhard Schlink (1), another novel of whose was the basis for the movie, Der Tod Kam als Freund (1991), which also starred Sebastian Koch (2), who played the lead in the Dutch film, Zwartboek (2006), which was directed by Paul Verhoeven (3), who also directed Starship Troopers (1997), which starred Casper Van Dien (4), who appeared in the forgettable Sanctimony (2000), which also had Catherine Oxenberg (5), who appeared in the pilot episode of the television series, Cover-Up (1984-1985), of which the lead star was Jennifer O’Neill (6).

… Bárbara Mori
Winslet starred alongside Leonardo DiCaprio (1) in Revolutionary Road (2008), and DiCaprio starred in The Great Gatsby (2013), in which Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan (2) had a small role, and Bachchan (a.k.a. Big B) was paired alongside Hema Malini (3) in a lot of films in the 70’s and 80’s, and Malini; who had held the no.1 position for two decades, a rarity in a male oriented film fraternity; was one actress that the Big B was never paired with, off screen, by gossip columnist; and Malini’s daughter, Esha Deol (4), appeared in Na Tum Jaano Na Hum (2002), which co-starred current superstar, Hrithik Roshan (5); known not just for his good looks and vanity driven muscular physique, but also for his outstanding dancing and acting abilities; and Roshan starred alongside Mexican actress Bárbara Mori (6) in Kites (2010).

… Henry Fonda
Winslet appeared in The Holiday (2006), a Christmas romance, where fellow British actor Jude Law (1) played her elder brother, and Law gained popularity worldwide; when he was nominated for an Oscar in 2000, for his role of ‘Dickie’; in The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), which was based on an acclaimed novel, of the same name, by Patricia Highsmith (2), and this very novel was the basis for the French classic, Plein Soleil (1959/60), starring Alain Delon (3), who appeared in the Italian film, Il Gattopardo (1963), a film directed by Italy’s famed, Luchino Visconti (4), who also directed the German language film, The Damned (1969), with Helmut Berger (5), who starred in Hollywood’s, Ash Wednesday (1973); a controversial film at the time for showcasing actual plastic surgery (facelift) in progress; in which Henry Fonda (6) had a cameo.

… Roberto Rossellini
Winslet starred in Titanic (1997), a film directed by James Cameron (1), who also directed the cheesy, sci-fi flick, The Terminator (1984), which starred Michael Biehn (2), who played a stalker in The Fan (1981), where Lauren Bacall (3); played, the stage and screen siren, who’s been stalked; and Bacall was married to actor Humphrey Bogart (4), who is most famous for appearing in the much loved classic love story, Casablanca (1942) alongside, Swedish born, Ingrid Bergman (5), who was married to Italian director, Roberto Rossellini (6).

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense ()

6° with Lauren Bacall

Six Degrees of Separation: from Lauren Bacall to
(Lauren Bacall celebrated her 89th Birthday last month, on the 16th of September, 2013)
Lauren Bacall 6°
… Rupert Penry-Jones
Bacall starred alongside husband, Humphrey Bogart (1), in many a movies until his sudden death; and Bogart starred alongside Ingrid Bergman (2) in one most loved love stories till date, Casablanca (1942), and Bergman later appeared in the impressively splendid comedy, Cactus Flower (1969), which marked the debut performance of comedienne Goldie Hawn (3); the only movie for which she has won Oscar till date (for Best Supporting actress), out the two films she has been nominated, in two different categories, for; the other being (a nomination for Best Actress) in Private Benjamin (1980), which was directed Howard Zieff (4), as was Unfaithfully Yours (1984), which starred Nastassja Kinski (5), who later appeared in the television movie, The Ring (1996); a story about a German family that gets separated whilst secretly helping Jewish families during the Nazi occupation; where Rupert Penry-Jones (6), played brother to Kinski.

Franco Citti
Bacall gained fame; for the sequence, where she teaches future real life husband, to whistle on reel life, in her debut performance; in To Have and Have Not (1944), which was based on Ernest Hemingway’s (1) forgettable novel of the same name, and Hemingway was portrayed by Clive Owen (2) in the television movie, Hemingway and Gellhorn (2012), directed by Philip Kaufman (3), who directed Quills (2000), which was based on the real life 18th century (and early 19th century) French aristocrat, Marquis de Sade (4); who was a great philosopher, politician and a revolutionary poet and playwright, and was incarcerated in various insane asylums and prisons for majority of his young adult life (from his 20’s to middle age), where he kept on writing, including his magnum opus, Les 120 Journées de Sodome ou l’école du libertinage; and this controversial work of his was the basis of the Italian art film, Salò o le 120 Giornate di Sodoma (1975), a contemporary adaptation, directed by famed intellectual, philosopher, poet, novelist, film director, Pier Paolo Pasolini (5), who also directed Il Decameron (1971), which starred Italian actor Franco Citti (6).

… Ioan Gruffudd
Bacall starred alongside Gregory Peck (1), as a fashion designer wife of a sports writer, in the comedy, Designing Woman (1957), and Peck appeared in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), which was based on a novel by Harper Lee (2), who was portrayed by Sandra Bullock (3) in Infamous (2006),which was directed by Douglas McGrath (4), who also directed Nicholas Nickleby (2002), which starred Romola Garai (5), who starred opposite Ioan Gruffudd (6) in Amazing Grace (2006).

Bacall 6° connections

… Harold Abrahams
Bacall played mother to Barbra Streisand (1), in The Mirror has Two Faces (1996), which also starred 90’s Bond, Pierce Brosnan (2) who appeared in The Deceivers (1988) with Shashi Kapoor (3), who produced 36 Chowringhee Lane (1981), starring his real life wife, Jennifer Kendal (4), who appeared in the television mini-series The Far Pavilions (1984), in which the lead was played by Ben Cross (5), who, in Chariots of Fire (1981) played famed British athlete, Olympian champion of 1924, Harold Abrahams (6).

… Brad Davis
Bacall starred in Birth (2004); in which, Cameron Bright (1), played a child trying to convince a woman that he is the reincarnation of her dead husband; and Bright came in the satirical comedy Thank You for Smoking (2005), which was directed by Jason Reitman (2), who recently made Labor Day (2013), starring Kate Winslet (3), who came in Revolutionary Road (2008), which was based on a novel by Richard Yates (4), who co-wrote the screenplay for The Bridge at Remagen (1969), which starred Bo Hopkins (5), who appeared in Midnight Express (1978), where the lead was played by actor Brad Davis (6).

… Paul Mercurio  
Bacall appeared with Marilyn Monroe (1) in How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), who was portrayed by Michelle Williams (2) in My Week with Marilyn (2011), which co-starred Dominic Cooper (3), who came in An Education (2009) with Carey Mulligan (4), who appeared in The Great Gatsby (2013), which was directed by Baz Luhrmann (5), who made his directorial debut, with the Australian film, Strictly Ballroom (1992), which was the debut movie for Australian actor Paul Mercurio (6) as well.

Nuwan Sens Film Sense ()
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Six Degrees of Separation: from Will Smith to…

Smith 6°

… Bette Davis
Smith co- starred opposite Thandie Newton (1) in The Pursuit of Happyness (2006); a movie based on a real life account, with ‘Happiness’ purposely misspelled on the title; and Newton earlier appeared in Besieged (1998), a film directed by the famed, controversial auteur, Bernardo Bertolucci (2), who made the great bio-pic, The Last Emperor (1987), which starred Peter O’Toole (3), whose most acclaimed performance is his portrayal of T.E. Lawrence (4) in the bio-pic, Lawrence of Arabia (1962), which co-starred Claude Rains (5), who appeared in Now, Voyager (1942), along side Bette Davis (6).

… Giulietta Masina
Smith played a very good hearted, yet suicidal and depressive, character, in the movie, Seven Pounds (2008), which was directed by Gabriele Muccino (1), who also directed the Italian movie Ricordati Di Me (2003), which starred Monica Bellucci (2), who starred in the Oscar nominated, Malèna (2000), a film directed by Giuseppe Tornatore (3), who also made Stanno Tutti Bene (1990), which starred Marcello Mastroianni (4), who earlier worked with the maestro of surrealistic Italian cinema, Federico Fellini (5), in La Dolce Vita (1960), and Fellini directed Giulietta Degli Spiriti (1965), in which the lead role was played by Giulietta Masina (6).

… Suchitra Krishnamurthy
Smith played a gay con man in Six Degrees of Separation (1993), which co-starred Stockard Channing (1), who appeared in The Venice Project (1999), which also starred Linus Roache (2), who played an Englishman living in South India towards the end of the British Raj; where he lets a local man take the blame for a crime he committed; in Before The Rains (2007), and the local man was played by actor Rahul Bose (3), who starred in English, August (1994), along with Tanvi Azmi (4), who played sister-in-law to actress Juhi Chawla (5) in Darr (1993), and Chawla did a special appearance in Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa (1994), in which the female lead was played by singer Suchitra Krishnamurthy (6).

Smith 6° (Pics)
… Jean Simmons
Smith played a con man who pretends to be Sidney Poitier’s (1) son in Six Degrees of Separation (1993), and Sidney Poitier starred in To Sir, with Love (1967); a movie about a black teacher who ends up teaching a group of unruly white kids in a school situated in the slums of London’s East End; which also starred singer Lulu (2); who also performed the title song in the film; and she performed the song ‘This Time’ for the movie Hot Millions (1968), which starred Peter Ustinov (3) who played the Roman General, Nero (4) in Quo Vadis (1951), which co-starred actress Deborah Kerr (5), who starred in Black Narcissus (1947), in which Jean Simmons (6) played an Indian girl.

… Ali MacGraw
Smith’s son Jaden Smith (1) appeared in The Karate Kid (2010), which was a remake of The Karate Kid (1984), where Ralph Macchio (2) played the original ‘Karate Kid’, and Macchio guest starred as himself in an episode of the television sit-com, How I Met Your Mother (2005- till date); in which the character played by Neil Patrick Harris (3), has his own opinion of who the real ‘Karate Kid’ of the original movie was; and Harris appeared in the television movie, The Man in the Attic (1995), which was based on a true story, opposite Anne Archer (4), who starred in Green Ice (1981) with Ryan O’Neal (5), who starred in heart breaking, tragic, Love Story (1970), along with Ali MacGraw (6).

… Desiree Matthews
Smith played boxer Muhammad Ali (1), in the bio-pic, Ali (2001), previously David Ramsey (2) played the famed boxer in a television bio-pic, Ali: An All American Hero (2000), and Ramsey guest starred in the television crime series, Dexter (2006 – till date), where the lead, titular, character is played by Michael C. Hall (3), who stars in the new biographical film, Kill your Darlings (2013) where Daniel Radcliffe (4) plays the famed poet Allen Ginsberg (5) of the Beat Generation, and in Howl (2010); a movie based on Ginsberg obscenity trial, Desiree Matthews (6) has a guest role.

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense ()

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Six Degrees of Separation: from Marlon Brando to

Marlon Brando 6°

Diablo Cody  
Marlon Brando played one of the most famously/notoriously loved fictional underworld mafia heads of the big screen, Don Vito Corleone, in The Godfather (1972), where Al Pacino (1) played his youngest son who carries on the family legacy, in the latter two sequels of the Godfather films, and Pacino later played a cocky blind man in Scent of a Woman (1992), where Chris O’Donnell (2) played a paid companion to Pacino, and O’Donnell appeared in School Ties (1992), which saw Matt Damon (3) in a villainous mode, who along with best friend Ben Affleck (4) created Good Will Hunting (1997), by working on the screenplay together, for which they won an Oscar in the ‘Best Original Screenplay’ category; and Affleck is married to actress Jennifer Garner (5), whom we saw in a sophisticated motherly mould, keen on adopting a child, in Juno (2007), which was a farcical entertainment with a fresh take on teen-pregnancy, written by a stripper Diablo Cody (6), who just wrote a brilliant script/screenplay after she completed her memoir on being a stripper, the result being a great movie and well deserved Oscar win for Cody.

James Dean
Marlon Brando starred opposite Vivien Leigh (1), in a movie based on a Tennessee Williams’ (2) play, A Streetcar named Desire (1951), as did the violet eyed Hollywood starlet, Elizabeth Taylor (3), in another film based on another Williams’ play, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), and Taylor, alongside Rock Hudson (4) starred in Giant (1956), which was loosely based on the real-life Texan oil-giant, Glenn McCarthy (5), who struck oil 38 times, between 1931 & 1942, and it was young actor James Dean (6) who portrayed this oil-tycoon, in this movie; and Dean died soon after he completed this film from a car crash, aged 23.

… Halle Berry
Marlon Brando played famed Roman General, Mark Antony (1), in the movie Julius Caesar (1953), and Antony was the lover of Queen Cleopatra (2), who was portrayed by Claudette Colbert (3), in Cleopatra (1934), and Colbert appeared alongside Clark Gable (4), in the light hearted romantic comedy, It Happened One Night (1934), and Gable starred in the one of the greatest Hollywood epics ever, Gone With the Wind (1939), for which Hattie McDaniel (5), won an Oscar for ‘Best Supporting Actress’ in 1940, for her portrayal of the likable, strong willed house servant/slave ‘Mammy’, being the first black/Afro-American actress to win a trophy, and the first (and only till date) Afro-American actress to bag the ‘Best Actress’ trophy, at the Oscars, was Halle Berry (6), in 2002, for Monsters Ball (2001).

MB 6°

Oscar Wilde
Marlon Brando acted in one of the most controversial films to come out in the 70’s, Bernardo Bertolucci’s (1) Ultimo tango a Parigi – Last Tango in Paris (1972), which brought about a fifteen year rift between Brando and Bertolucci, and three decades later Bertolucci, directed The Dreamers (2003), one of best films made about film buffs, where one of the film buffs was played by French actor Louis Garrel (2), who appeared in the controversial, Ma Mère (2004), about incestuous relationship between a mother and a son, and the mother was played by Isabelle Huppert (3), who starred in the existentialist comedy, I Heart Huckabees (2004), which also starred British actor Jude Law (4), and Law played Sir Alfred ‘Bosie’ Douglas (5), in the Bio-pic Wilde (1997), and Bosie was the lover of playwright/novelist/poet Oscar Wilde (6), on whose love story and subsequent trial, this movie is based on.

Michelle Monaghan
Marlon Brando appeared in the Charles Chaplin (1) directed comedy A Countess from Hong Kong (1967), an entire film set in the confines of a cruise ship, which co-starred Sophia Loren (2), who appeared in Get Rita (1975), a story about an Italian mafia leader obsessed with Hollywood starlet Rita Hayworth (3), and Hayworth was featured in, and was relevant to the plot of, The Shawshank Redemption (1994), which starred Tim Robbins (4), who appeared in Mystic River (2003), which was based on a novel by Dennis Lehane (5), as was Gone Baby Gone (2007), in which the female lead was played by Michelle Monaghan (6).

… Imran Khan
Marlon Brando starred in the first instalment of the epic Godfather trilogy, The Godfather (1972), directed by the renowned film director, Francis Ford Coppola (1), who directed actress Bridget Fonda (2), in a miniscule role as a newspaper reporter, in the last instalment of the series of films based on this fictional mafia family, The Godfather III (1990), and Fonda starred in Camilla (1994), which was directed by Deepa Mehta (3), who also directed the ‘elemental’ trilogy, of whose the second instalment, 1947-Earth (1998), was based on a novel by Bapsi Sidhwa (4), entitled The Ice Candy Man, and the ‘Ice Candy Man’ was portrayed by Aamir Khan (5) in the film, whose nephew happens to be Bollywoods young blood, Imran Khan (6), whose not much of an actor yet, and whose popularity is solely for his good looks; but considering the fact that he’s been in the film Industry for only six years or so, there’s still scope for improvement.

The Godfather NSFS  Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense ()

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