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Mamma Roma (The Criterion Collection)
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As usual, Criterion has done an exemplary job of assembling a wealth of supplementary materials. Pasolini's films demand at least rudimentary understanding of his life and politics, and that background is provided through new interviews with former collaborators, a clip-laden 1995 documentary about Pasolini's career, and a 32-page booklet containing excerpts of interviews from the out-of-print book Pasolini on Pasolini, along with a mini-essay on Mamma Roma that further illuminates the film in the context of Pasolini's controversial career. For anyone interested in Pasolini's art, this two-disc set provides a suitable starting point, offering important films and scholarly study in the esteemed Criterion tradition. --Jeff Shannon
Top Customer Reviews
The tale begins with Mamma Roma (Anna Magnani) who has recently gotten rid of her pimp boyfriend as he has married another woman. Delighted Mamma Roma seeks out her 16-year-old son Ettore whom she has not seen since infancy as she struggles with her guilt of deserting Ettore when he was a baby. She is also ashamed of her past as a prostitute and wants to start over as a fruit vendor and be the mother she never was for Ettore. However, Mamma Roma has no skills in raising a child and is even less equipped to handle a teenager that has been neglected since childhood. This is in the backdrop of Mamma Roma's old boyfriend threatening to unveil her secret to her son, and her political thoughts of injustices in the 60s Italy.
Mamma Roma is an exploration of the symbiosis that exists between mother and son, but Pasolini removes this connection between the Mamma Roma and Ettore as she abandoned Ettore at infancy. The abandonment leaves the audience with the gap between Mamma Roma and Ettore. This gap is closely examined as Mamma Roma and Ettore initially reunite in order to later drift apart due to years of missing parental guidance.Read more ›
This was my first time watching a film by Pier Paulo Pasolini and I was extremely impressed. I plan to watch all of his films in the near future. As I stated before Mamma Roma is a story about a whore (Mamma Roma) and her son (Ettore). I won't write any more about the story than what I already have. A review that reveals too much about a film really doesn't serve as a review but rather as a boring synopsis.
I would like to say that Criterion has done an amazing job with this DVD. The special features on this 2 disc set are really good and contain some very rare documentaries and short films. The DVD also contains Pasolini's previously banned, short and shocking film "La Ricotta." It stars Orson Welles and is a gem worth buying all it's own. It's the best special feature I have ever seen on a Criterion disc. Die hard fans of Orson Welles should really pick this DVD up. Even if they don't like Mamma Roma that short film is worth it alone.
Not to mention the acting, some have said Magnani was the wrong choice (including Pasolini) - but I think she really lights up this film - and provides an emotion no other actress would have achieved.
5 stars without hesitation.
Things don't go as planned, though...
Anna Magnani was renowned for her earthy, passionate, "woman-of-the-soil" roles and she is one of the main reasons to see the film. She is Rome's flesh and soul, its spirit and symbol, its loud laugh and bitter tears.
But don't forget that Pasolini was a poet first. This film, so seemingly a tale of personal tragedy, is also a complex symbolist image of Italian society. Mamma Roma the woman is a synecdoche of the city Rome, the "eternal mother" of Western civilization. Rome is as much the title character as Magnani, and Rome is also a worn-out but enduring putana (the Italian word for 'prostitute'). The setting of the story in effect tells the story.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Five stars plus for this Pasolini masterpiece! Only praise for Magnani's performance and Criterion's presentation. Anna Magnani affects me unlike any other film artist. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Clarence W. Potter
Pasolini and Magnani. What else is there?
Scenes that will sear your heart.
Magnani's laugh, peddler cry and mother's forlorn expression out a window,
you will... Read more
This film was directed by Pier Paolo Passolini, not Jean Luc Godard. If amazon corrects their mistake after I write this and you are reading my “review” wondering what is wrong... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Ted Fred
Mamma Roma, 1962 film directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini. Cast: Anna Magnani, Franco Citti, Paolo Volponi, Silvana Corsini
Although Mamma Roma could be described as a cross... Read more
I find it astounding Pasolini criticized the star, Anna Magnani, for her performance. He claimed she overpowered the film, but what a lackluster affair it would have been had she... Read morePublished on July 3, 2013 by Clayton
the most important film about mother's love - the ideal combination of fluid cinema storytelling with sophisticated, tough intellectual proposition creates a cinematic masterpiece... Read morePublished on January 6, 2013 by vic
Mamma Roma is a film of great profundity and SEAMLESS development.
The work of Anna Magnani is one that has mostly escaped me, but I have always known of her revered status as... Read more
The plot of this early Pasolini is steeped in Italian neo-Realist conventions, but already his style is boldly formalistic. Read morePublished on November 4, 2011 by Charles D. Fulton
Mamma Roma is an Italian film about a mother and her son. The story starts out at a wedding, where Mamma Roma is there to haunt her ex-husband and his new bride. Read morePublished on October 23, 2011 by Richard Brzostek
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