A randomly comprehensive survey of extraordinary movie experiences from the art house to the grindhouse, featuring the good, the bad, the ugly, but not the boring or the banal.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Damiano Damiani (1922-2013)
I'm indebted to Ben at Breakfast in the Ruins for calling my attention to the death earlier this month of the Italian director Damiano Damiani. He was the director of A Bullet for the General, possibly the greatest Italian western not directed by Sergio Leone. He made only one other western that I know of, the Leone-produced comedy A Genius, Two Partners and a Dupe, but proved himself in other genres, particularly the contemporary crime film. In Day of the Owl (aka Mafia) and The Most Beautiful Wife he shifts our attention from the glamor of violence to the impact of crime and corruption on presumably powerless women. The latter is the more radical film, and the superior one in general, for its portrayal of a woman defying a corrupt, sexist society. Those are the only Damiani films I've seen -- I don't remember seeing his Amityville Horror sequel -- but they're enough to impress me. I actually own copies of two more of his movies, and I hope now to watch at least one of them to review in his honor later this week. Until then, follow the links on the movie titles to get a sense of what Damiani was capable of.