On Sunday afternoon and Wednesday evening, at Film Streams’ historic Dundee Theater in Omaha, Nebraska, Ettore Scola’s 1977 film A Special Day will show on the big screen. Anchored by against-type turns by screen icons Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni, the drama takes place in Rome on May 6, 1938—when Adolf Hitler traveled to the capital for a state visit with Benito Mussolini—but revolves around an intimate encounter that occurs far from the foreboding political pageantry. In Scola’s touching story, two inhabitants of the same sprawling apartment complex—one a conservative housewife (a resolutely unglamorous Loren) and the other a liberal radio broadcaster who’s been persecuted for his homosexuality (Mastroianni, who was Oscar-nominated for his intelligent and gentle performance)—find themselves developing an unexpected connection over the course of the day. “Affirming the need for human warmth and affection as an antidote to an inhuman society, A Special Day has lost none of its relevance or fascination over the years,” writes Deborah Young in her liner essay for our edition of the film. Among A Special Day’s other admirers is Film Streams board member Alexander Payne, who singled out the “extraordinary” movie in his visit to our closet last year.
Two Stark Visions of the American Underbelly Hit the Big Screen
A new restoration of the groundbreaking vérité documentary Streetwise joins its companion piece, Tiny: the Life of Eric Blackwell, at New York’s Metrograph theater this weekend.