LA NUIT DE VARENNES (Ettore Scola, 1982)

Marcello Mastroianni’s aging, dissolute, debt-ridden, heavily powdered, exhausted, painfully thoughtful Casanova, Chevalier de Seingalt, is the principal reason for seeing Ettore Scola’s sadly mediocre La nuit de Varennes, a lavish exercise that takes us to the crossroads of history and what if . . . ? In June 1791 the French King and Queen, Louis […]

TODO MODO (Elio Petri, 1976)

From Leonardo Sciascia’s novel, Elio Petri’s penultimate film, Todo modo, is a deliriously funny satire—although spoilsports may carp, given that the principal target, Aldo Moro, here called M., was murdered for real, by Red Brigades members, two years hence. Moro was president of the Christian Democrats; goodness knows whether Petri’s incendiary film contributed to his […]