directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini
Italy 1962

 

Anna Magnani is Mamma Roma, a middle-aged prostitute who attempts to extricate herself from her sordid past for the sake of her son. Filmed in the great tradition of Italian neorealism, Mamma Roma offers an unflinching look at the struggle for survival in postwar Italy, and highlights director Pier Paolo Pasolini’s lifelong fascination with the marginalized and dispossessed. Though banned upon its release in Italy for obscenity, today Mamma Roma remains a classic, featuring a powerhouse performance by one of cinema’s greatest actresses and offering a glimpse at a country’s most controversial director in the process of finding his style.

Posters

Theatrical Release: 31 August 1962 (Venice Film Festival) (premiere) 

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DVD Review: Criterion Collection (2 disc) -  Region 0 - NTSC

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Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 236
Runtime 1:46:24 
Video 1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.7 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Production Company: Home Vision Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
New high-definition digital transfer, with restored image and sound, enhanced for widescreen televisions 
Three new interviews about director Pier Paolo Pasolini, featuring Bernardo Bertolucci, an assistant director to Pasolini on Accattone; Tonino Delli Colli, cinematographer on eleven of Pasolini’s fourteen films; and Enzo Siciliano, author of Pasolini, a biography 
Pier Paolo Pasolini (1995), a 58-minute documentary by filmmaker Ivo Barnaḅ Micheli covering the career of the controversial artist 
La ricotta (1963), a 35-minute film by Pasolini starring Orson Welles as a director who sets out to make a film about the Passion of Jesus 
Original theatrical trailer 
Poster gallery 
New and improved English subtitle translation 
Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition 
Plus: A 32-page booklet featuring excerpted interviews with Pasolini on Mamma Roma and La ricotta, and essays by novelist and culture critic Gary Indiana and Pasolini biographer Enzo Siciliano 

DVD Release Date:
June 22, 2004
Keep Case
Chapters: 25

 

Comments:

I am reminded of Criterion DVDs such as I, Fidanzati and Il Posto, although I think Mamma Rosa may be a slight notch below in image quality. Contrast and subtitles are up to Criterion's legendary standards, although the variation from the extreme brightness and many interior dark scenes is quite a large gap. This appears to be dissimilar to Criterions softer palette DVDs. Hence, I don't see as much film grain as I usually do. I am only moderately keen on the menus, but the big bonus of this DVD are both the 3 interviews and La Ricotta a 35-minute film by Pasolini starring Orson Welles. There is also a 35 page booklet with excepted interviews of Pasolini. This makes for a wonderful package and only Criterion would go to these lengths. Magnificent work.  out of   

Gary W. Tooze





DVD Menus

 


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Screen Caps from La Ricotta (1963), a 35-minute film by Pasolini starring Orson Welles as a director who sets out to make a film about the Passion of Jesus 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 


DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 236

 

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Gary Tooze

Mississauga, Ontario,

   CANADA