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Monday, March 10, 2014

Salvatore Giuliano (1961) d. Francesco Rosi

Savatore Giuliano

Salvatore Giuliano (1961)
d. Francesco Rosi
Criterion Collection #228

 I would say if you had to pin point two stylistic hallmarks of Italian Neo-Realism film, first would be "long shots" and using non-actors in acting roles.  Both techniques are in abundance in Salvator Giuliano, which is he story of a famous partisan fighter/outlaw in Sicily.  The movie begins with Giuliano's bullet ridden body being subjected to an official coroners inquiry and then tracks back and forth in time to reveal the way Giuliano is first used by advocates of Sicilian independence during the closing rounds of World War II, only to be abandoned after the reassertion of authority by the central Italian government in the 50s.

  Giuliano and his band stage an unprovoked massacre of democratic Communists and the last hour of the film is devoted to the reconstruction of the trial of his compatriots over responsibility for the massacre.  Salvator Giuliano seems to be an early example of the political rebellion biopic, but specific to the location of Sicily in the 1950s/early 1960s.

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