Tredici Bacci, New York’s premier 15-piece soundtrack-pop orchestra, draws a great deal of inspiration from the grand tradition of Italian film, specifically the luxe, mondo B-movies made circa 1960-80. The Tredici Bacci Film Fest—curated by the group’s bandleader and composer, Simon Hanes—will celebrate this incredible era by showing some of the epoch’s greatest (if lesser known) films. Supplementing these screenings, the group will supply intermittent musical performance plus delicious Italian food and beverage.
DAY 1 – SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7TH
Dir. Pasquale Festa Campanile, 1969
99 min, Italy
With sausage/salami plate and beverage
Exactly how does one describe the indescribable? From the outside, “Check To The Queen” looks like a simple, classic, Italian psychosexual drama. It is only when we peek beneath the mantle that we find an extravagant, glorious, completely over the top film – A deranged composite of garish colors, speed zooms, jump cuts, and criminally thick mascara levels. Replete with sets and costumes that make Breakfast At Tiffany’s look like THX 1138, fevered pseudo-arabian dream sequences, and – for some reason – a terrifying mechanical horse that teeters on the edge of the uncanny valley, “Check To The Queen” is a rare example of style creating substance, of glitz and glamour generating genius. Keep an ear out for piccioni’s lurid score – at times psychedelic, at others almost horrifyingly bland – always just what the scene needs.
THE SEDUCERS/TOP SENSATION
Dir. Ottavia Alessi, 1969
99 min, Italy
With pasta with pesto, salad
A sex worker, a virgin pyromaniac, an opium-addicted, pan-sexual helicopter mom and a couple of good old fashioned swingers, all hanging out on a fancy boat, which happens to be well stocked with dynamite and sporting a state of the art closed-circuit camera system. What on earth could go wrong!? And more importantly, who ends up sleeping with who? The answers may, or may not, surprise you. Did I mention they stop on an island full of goats for awhile? This is one of those films that – by todays standards – should never have never been made, and yet it stands as an interesting and enlivening document, evidence of what filmmakers must have thought the general public wanted to see. To this day, it needs to be seen to be believed, if only for the scene of Edwidge Fenech in sailor’s garb, hand feeding a small goat.
DAY 2 – SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 8
Dir. Gualtiero Jacopetti & Franco Prosperi, 1975
107 min, Italy
With bruschetta and beverage
THE TREASURE OF SAN GENNARO
Dir. Dino Risi, 1966
104 min, Italy
THE 10TH VICTIM
Dir. Elio Petri
93 min, Italy
With … zeppole and… limoncello?!