Gran Bollito (Blu-ray) Twilight Time
Writer-director Woody Allen’s tenderly nostalgic, joyously funny Radio Days (1987) is a vignette-packed memory piece about growing up in Brooklyn in the 1940s, obsessed with the music, entertainment, and news of the wide world brought into every household via the magic of radio. A young Allen surrogate (played by a teeny red-headed Seth Green) lives with his parents (the wonderful Julie Kavner and Michael Tucker) and extended family in the wind-swept Rockaway neighborhood, their daily routines spiced by the glamour, excitement, thrills, and even occasional doses of grim reality coming to them over the airwaves. Also starring Mia Farrow, Dianne Wiest, and Josh Mostel. Mauro Bolognini, that master of Italian costume and period dramas, gives us a peculiar slice of Grand Guignol with Gran Bollito (Black Journal, 1977). The film stars Shelley Winters as a mother so insanely over-protective of her grown son that she decides to make a deal with death by offering alternate victims, plucked from among her fellow tenants in a 1938 Italian apartment building; among these are several men playing women, including the one and only Max Von Sydow. Laura Antonelli and Rita Tushingham also star.
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