THE LUCA ZINGARETTI COLLECTION, Various directors/Odyssey Having consolidated a solid fan base for his performances as Andrea Camilleri’s Inspector Montalbano in the hit TV Series, other work by the award-winning Italian actor Luca Zingaretti is clearly of interest to a wide audience. His filmic CV spans 30 years across film, TV and theatre, and courtesy of Odyssey DVD, five of his Italian films make their UK debut in this collection. The quality of achievement is variable, but there are excellent things here. Cefalonia tells of the real events surrounding the fate of Italian soldiers stationed on the Greek Isles during one of the most notorious atrocities of World War II, while Perlasca: Courage of a Just Man concerns the Oskar Schindler-like, Georgio Perlasca, a lesser-known Italian hero who saved the lives of several thousand Jews during the Holocaust. The set also features Calling Inspector Marotta: St Peter’s Treasure Zingaretti about the robbery of St Peter’s Treasure from The Vatican, but the key films here are By the Light of Day, retelling of the real-life story of Don Pino Puglisi, a Catholic priest who tried to get kids off the street in a Mafia-infested neighbourhood in Sicily. Compelling if at times a touch roseate and unpersuasive in its outlook, with none of the other actors matching Zingaretti’s impressive performance. Borsellino: The 57 Days is the story of famed anti-Mafia judge Paolo Borsellino, following the 57 days between the assassination of his friend and fellow judge Giovanni Falcone, to his own murder at the hands of the Mafia.
THE NAKED CITY Jules Dasin, director/Arrow Blu-Ray Jules Dassin’s classic film noir The Naked City makes its Blu-ray debut, joining other celebrated Dassin titles in Arrow’s reissue series including Rififi and Brute Force. The Naked City, shot partially in documentary style, was filmed on location on the streets of New York City and its visual style was inspired by New York photographer Weegee, who published a book of photographs of New York life entitled Naked City (1945). Weegee was hired as a visual consultant on the film, and is credited with helping to craft its imagery. Both Screenwriter Albert Maltz and Dassin were to subsequently fall foul of the notorious House Un-American Activities and Dassin, himself, was forced to leave the US. It’s ironic that having so clearly proved himself capable of telling us of the eight million stories of his American home, he was forced to leave that very place having only told one. This deluxe edition features an all-new high definition transfer of the film, alongside a wealth of extras including New York and The Naked City a newly-filmed look at New York’s relationship with the moving image by Amy Taubin, a 40-minute interview with Jules Dassin at LACMA with Bruce Goldstein in which the director discusses his career and The Hollywood Ten and also the 1950 documentary short on the ten filmmakers blacklisted from Hollywood for their refusal to name names before the House of Un-American Activities, including The Naked City’s screenwriter, Albert Maltz.