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Free Projections of Rome Film Series Starts October 17

For Immediate Release

October 02, 2009

The “Projections of Rome” film series extends the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute’s fall focus on representations of Rome from still photography, featured in the exhibition Steps off the Beaten Path: Photographs of Nineteenth-Century Rome and Its Environs, to motion pictures. Screen two takes on ancient Rome, two romantic fantasies of Rome in the 1950s, and two excursions by the cinematic bard of Rome, Federico Fellini. Films, shown on Saturdays at 2 pm, are free and open to the public.

On October 17, catch Joseph Mankiewicz’s Julius Caesar (1953, 122 min.). This bracing and intelligent adaptation of the classic Shakespeare play features an all-star cast of Marlon Brando as Marc Antony, John Gielgud as Cassius, and James Mason as Brutus. Nominated for five Academy Awards, Julius Caesar took home the Oscar for Best Art Direction in Set Decoration.

The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964, 187 min.), shown on October 24, provides a feel for historical accuracy in the dynastic conflict around Marcus Aurelius, a story later retold in Gladiator. Directed by Anthony Mann, the film stars Sophia Loren and Stephen Boyd. The Fall of the Roman Empire received a Golden Globe for Best Original Score.

William Wyler’s Roman Holiday (1953, 118 min.), shown on November 7, ranks number four on the American Film Institute’s list of the ten greatest romantic comedies of all time. Audrey Hepburn stars in her breakout role as a princess who goes AWOL in Rome, with American reporter Gregory Peck showing her around and photographer Eddie Albert dogging their heels. The first American film to be made entirely in Italy, Roman Holiday was nominated for seven Academy Awards and received Oscars for Best Actress, Best Costume Design, and Best Writing.

Three Coins in the Fountain (1954, 102 min.), shown on November 14, is a silly 1950s romance about three American secretaries finding the continental men of their dreams. Nominated for an Academy Award, the film took home two Oscars. Directed by Jean Negulesco and starring Clifton Webb and Dorothy McGuire, it is the first motion picture outside of the United States to be filmed in CinemaScope.

On November 21, catch Fellini’s first film, The White Sheik (1951, 88 min., in Italian with subtitles). A newly-wed couple from the provinces makes their pilgrimage to Rome; the groom (Clifton Webb) is eager to visit the Pope, while the bride (Brunella Bovo) only wants to see the third-rate Valentino of the title (Alberto Sordi).

Finally, Fellini moves from outsiders to the in-crowd in La Dolce Vita (1960, 174 min., in Italian with subtitles), shown on November 28. The film, a tour of the “sweet life” of show-biz Rome, follows journalist and man-about-town Marcello Mastroianni as he struggles to find his place in the city’s elite social scene. Voted the sixth greatest film of all time by Entertainment Weekly, La Dolce Vita received the Golden Palm award at the Cannes Film Festival and an Oscar for Best Costume Design.

Much like the films in the “Projections of Rome” film series, turn of the century photographs provide interpretations of Roman life. On view beginning October 11, Steps off the Beaten Path encourages a “walking tour” through nineteenth-century Rome with recognizable sites among the out-of-the-way scenes.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, MA. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday 10 am to 5 pm (open Mondays in July and August). Admission June 1 through October 31 is $12.50 for adults, free for children 18 and younger, members, and students with valid ID. Admission is free November through May. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit clarkart.edu.
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