Jolly Cinema > 09:30


Dan Drasin/Luciano Emmer


Sunday 25/06/2017


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

Sunday, April 9, 1961. Just 18 at the time, Brooklynite Dan Drasin headed to Washington Square Park to film what was supposed to be a peaceful protest by folk musicians whose permit to play in the park had been turned down. The protestors clashed with New York City police, who ended up making several arrests.
Drasin was in charge of the equipment room for Richard Leacock, D.A. Pennebaker and Albert Maysles, and as an employee he was able to grab a 16mm camera for his own project. The film is often cited as a historical document of the countercultural revolution, but today it can also be seen as an early precursor to live news events filmed on mobile phones and posted on social media.

Neil McGlone

Cast and Credits

Int.: Frances Stillman, Howard Milkin, Gerald E. McDermott, Frank Simon. Mus.: Dave Cohen, Jan Dorfman. Prod.: Daniel Drasin 35mm. D.: 17’. Bn


Film Notes

Following a series of short films and art documentaries made with Enrico Gras between 1938 to 1948, Domenica d’agosto marked Emmer’s first foray into the features that would dominate his prolific output during the 1950s.
By 1949, at a time when the Italian neorealist movement was still very popular overseas, screenwriter Sergio Amidei managed to raise the finances to produce and co-write a feature that Emmer would direct. The simple, loose premise of the film is contained in the title itself – a Sunday in August. Emmer envisioned neither an omnibus film of different episodes nor a documentary, but, as he said, “a dramatic story of that particular day and those people whose lives suddenly became entangled by fate or coincidence”. He said he wanted the film to be “as sincere and unpretentious as possible” and for it to begin with “a minimal scenario which was later enriched as the work progressed by the inclusion of facts or characters that gradually presented themselves”. The screenplay was completed in just two weeks with contributions from Emmer, Amidei, Franco Brusati, Giulio Macchi, and the great Cesare Zavattini.
Domenica d’agosto is a marvelous film interweaving five stories of characters fleeing Rome on a sweltering summer Sunday to seek refuge at the beach at Ostia – a girl with her family, a traffic policeman and his girlfriend, a boy and his friends, a young man and his ex-girlfriend, a widower and his young daughter. While the film is undoubtedly a precursor to the popular commedia all’italiana, its aesthetic remains firmly within neorealism and documentary. The film was shot entirely on location, and there was an extensive casting process of non-professional and little-known actors to keep the narrative focus squarely on the lives of ordinary people. However, the film has often been termed as neorealismo rosa (pink neorealism), a short-lived sub-genre in which Italian films offered a lighter tone more in keeping with the improving conditions of the country.
The cast includes Mario Vitale, Ingrid Bergman’s husband in Stromboli;Franco Interlenghi from Sciuscià; Massimo Serato, who was briefly married to Anna Magnani; Emilio Cigoli from I bambini ci guardano; and an early appearance by Marcello Mastroianni, still not far along enough in his career to have the right to his own voice – he was dubbed by Alberto Sordi.

Neil McGlone

Cast and Credits

Sog.: Sergio Amidei. Scen.: Franco Brusati, Luciano Emmer, Giulio Macchi, Cesare Zavattini. F.: Domenico Scala, Leonida Barboni, Ubaldo Marelli. M.: Jolanda Benvenuti. Mus.: Roman Vlad. Int.: Anna Baldini (Marcella), Vera Carmi (Adriana), Emilio Cigoli (Alberto Mantovani), Andrea Compagnoni (Meloni), Anna Di Leo (Iolanda), Franco Interlenghi (Enrico), Marcello Mastroianni (Ercole Nardi), Mario Vitale (Renato), Massimo Serato (Roberto). Prod.: Sergio Amidei per Colonna Film 35mm. D.: 80’.Bn