Neo-Realism

Blue Velvet

Released in,1986, Blue Velvet is an American neo-noir mystery, written and directed by David Lynch.  Blending psychological horror with retro small town embellishments, the film stars Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper and Laura Dern.  The title is taken from the 1963 song made popular by Bobby Vinton.

The screenplay for Blue Velvet had been passed around multiple times in the late 70s and early 80s, with many studios taking a pass because of its strong sexual and violent content.  Upon its release, the film received a divided critical response, with many stating that its objectionable content served little artistic purpose.  Still, it earned Lynch his second Academy Award nomination for Best Director and came to achieve something of a cult status.  It was credited for re-launching Dennis Hopper’s career and for providing Rossellini with a dramatic outlet beyond her previous work as a fashion model.
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Neo-Realism

Rocco and His Brothers

When people speak of the Italian New Wave, at least as it relates to cinema, they are often discussing the piercing work of Luchino Visconti.  There are, of course, numerous other film makers who made a splash during this era (1955-1970), but none captured the ethos of what it meant to be starting out in life during a post-fascist world quite like Mr. Visconti.  His bold commentary on familial values, duties and the perks of being young, as seen in his epic tale, Rocco and His Brothers, stirs up many memories, lost opportunities and often a few regrets.
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