Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Mattei Affair (1972)

WHO: Francesco Rosi directed this.

WHAT: Not only have I never seen The Mattei Affair, I've never (to my shame) seen any film directed by Rosi. Please don't tell him. Anyway, since I want to highlight this screening today, but am supremely unqualfied to say anything about it, let me quote from a Senses Of Cinema Rosi profile by Gino Moliterno:
Rosi employs a non-linear investigative mode which allows him to bring together, often paratactically or in juxtaposition, a range of disparate materials, both real and fictionally recreated, in an attempt to get closer to the truth.
WHERE/WHEN: Final San Francisco International Film Festival screening today at 1:30 PM at the Castro Theatre.

WHY: It's at that point in the festival when I'm too overextended to write much. But I just wanted to highlight this screening, which as I noted yesterday has been changed from a DCP to a 35mm film presentation at the last moment, and which starts a full day of unique and highly interesting programs. Following The Mattei Affair is No More Road Trips?, Rick Prelinger's interactive amateur-movie compliation that contemplates our history automotive travel at a time when it's becoming less and less affordable for the majority of Americans. (I wrote on it the other day.) The evening ends with the festival's annual Directing Award, this time going to Philip Kaufman, who made The Right Stuff, Henry & June, and perhaps most beloved among Frisco Bay movie fans, Invasion of the Body Snatchers- the latter will screen after an onstage conversation.

HOW: 35mm print.


  1. Brian: Wow! You have so much to look forward to. Rosi is my second favorite Italian auteur, after Rossellini. The first of his I saw was The Moment Of Truth, one of the best bullfight films, from 1965. I hope the print will be good and the screening will go off well.

  2. The print was pristine. The film was excellent. Brilliant to program two programs highlighting petroleum products one after the other at the Castro. Even Invasion of the Body Snatchers involves the theme of environmental collapse.

  3. Glad you liked. Il Caso Mattei didn't get much of a U.S. release at the time as I recall, because Paramount,the distributor,had been taken over (it was the early age of conglomerates) by a company with obvious oil interests, called Gulf and Western.

  4. Ah. Not surprising if that's the case. It's a pretty scathing indictment of that industry.