Cinema Egzotik: Enzo Castellari Night
‘And now, the end is near’, as Sid Vicious sang in his pastiche of Sinatra’s My Way. The same is also true for Cinema Egzotik, the monthly programme by Martin Koolhoven and Eye programmer Ronald Simons. After ten years of putting the spotlight on films that went where other films would not dare, Cinema Egzotik takes its leave with a tribute to Enzo G. Castellari, the man behind spaghetti westerns and hardcore Italian crime films. Cinema Egzotik first struck out with a Castellari special in 2009, ten years later the man himself will be present for the final show.
Cinema Egzotik opened its doors in OT 301, the site of the former Film Academy in Amsterdam, with a double bill featuring Castellari’s Inglorious Bastards (1978) and Street Law (1974) in January 2009. Ten years later, pioneering work has been done and there is now more attention than ever for the grubby, obscure and forgotten sides of cinema. More than enough reason to honour one of its leading figures, Enzo G. Castellari, who will be with us at Eye tonight.
Meanwhile, Koolhoven and Simons look back on a decade of zombies with an attitude, anaemic vampires, surrealistically morphed storylines and spaghetti shoot-outs in the feral Spanish sun, amidst flamboyantly coloured gialli, fantasy and dystopian science fiction.
Ronald Simons on the Castellari evening: ‘Genre cinema has its fair share of heroes and heroines, but versatile and prolific filmmakers like Castellari are thin on the ground. The Italian filmmaker, now eighty years old, directed westerns, adventure films, poliziotteschi and post-apocalyptic films with admirable panache, something Martin and I are mad about. Tonight a tough police film starring the coolest Italian actor ever: Franco Nero, followed by a special surprise film by Castellari.’
High Crime (La polizia incrimina la legge assolve) (Enzo G. Castellari, SP/IT 1973, English spoken, Dutch subtitles)
Franco Nero (Django) is Vice-Commisioner Belli; his stamping ground is the harbour of Genova where cocaine and heroin arrive thick and fast in the early seventies. Corruption undermines the police force and the boundaries between underworld and upperworld are diffuse. Belli sets things right, however, because: ‘The police presses charges, but the law acquits.’
+ Surprise film