deSlang presents | Blue Rascal Cinema | SEVEN BEAUTIES

SEVEN BEAUTIES 1975
(Pasqualino Settebellezze)
Directed by Lina Wertmüller
116 minutes
In Italian with English subtitles

This film is set during WWII, and opens with its main character Pasqualino (Giancarlo Giannini) trudging through a dark and muddy forest in the middle of nowhere. He and his friend approach a clearing, where they witness a scene of mass murder executed by German soldiers. The debate that follows between these two characters is whether or not it was a moral imperative to intervene or better to run away and remain silent. Thus this film’s theme is set up right from the beginning- the horrors of war and the terrible decisions which have to be made to save one’s own skin becomes the major thrust of this film.

Partly anti-war film and part black comedy, this film was one of the greatest films made in Europe in the 70s, and somehow it seems to have been almost totally forgotten about. Not only was the director Lina Wertmüller the first woman ever to have a film nominated for an academy award, but this film was actually nominated for four academy awards!

Hell, SEVEN BEAUTIES is a film that you might even actually learn something from… in other words, you just might carry something precious away from the cinema with you that could maybe even change the way you think about life… and that’s rare these days! Indeed this film was made in a time when cinema and books had the power to change the course of people’s lives, and wasn’t just there solely for entertainment.

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One viewer’s comment:
I must confess that I consider Giancarlo Giannini to be one of the greatest actors ever to appear on film in any language. With Giannini what always blows me away is what he can do with his eyes and simple facial gestures. I was just dumbfounded. Who acts this way anymore? Just about no one. Ultimately this film satisfies as a monumental drama on so many levels. The concentration camp scenes are harrowing but what is incredible in this film is that despite the utterly bleak reality, we can laugh just a little bit. It is a macabre humor, very black and teetering on a dream-like quality.

And one critic:
Arguably Wertmüller’s masterpiece, this remarkably intense and beautiful drama dabbles in comedy, satire and the most inhuman tragedy of recent history, the Holocaust. But instead of some bumbling bullshit like Roberto Benigni’s Life is Beautiful (a crime against cinema) Wertmüller uses the horror of the Final Solution as a perfect mirror for the soul of her characters. We don’t get cartoon capering or stupid misplaced slapstick. Instead, Wertmüller mixes misery with mystery to have us questioning our own motives when it comes to saving our skins.

BLUE RASCAL CINEMA @ De Slang
Spuistraat 199
(not the small door to the houses upstairs but the large garage door to the left)
Doors open at 20.30, film starts at 21:00
Entrance: Free

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