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Italian culture experiences a period of transition across the four short
narratives that comprise Boccaccio 70. Renzo and Luciana (directed by Mario
Monicelli) chronicles the plight of a loving couple who work in the same factory
but have to hide their marriage because of work regulations forbidding
interaction amongst factory employees. Its dramatic sincerity contrasts starkly
with the extravagance of The Temptation of Doctor Antonio. Federico Fellini's
first work in colour paints a phantasmagoric picture of the impact of mass-media
consumerism on traditional values. This conflict is played out by the censorious
Dr. Antonio (Peppino de Filippo) and his mighty opponent: a giant Anita Ekberg
(La Dolce Vita) who teases her observers while stretched across a wide
Luchino Visconti s The Job features Romy Schneider (Les Choses de la Vie) as an aristocratic housewife. Humiliated by a lurid sex scandal involving her husband (Tomás Milián), she threatens to renounce her life of privilege by taking up a job and start working for a living. Vittorio De Sica's The Raffle is a comedy set in the working class world of carnival workers. Zoe, played by Sophia Loren (who had won an Oscar for De Sica s Two Women), is driven by familial obligations and love for a bullfighter to literally offer herself as a prize to be won at a raffle.
Seen together, these four miniatures offer a unique portrait of Italy during its economic miracle. This undertaking by iconic producer Carlo Ponti (La Strada, Lola) is more than an unprecedented gathering of singular talents; it's one of the greatest depictions of the diversity of Italian society.
Sound: Dolby Digital
Running Time: 203 minutes
Production Year: 1962
Main Language: English