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San Sebastian honors Monicelli

Japanese film noir also given retrospective

MADRID — Italian directing great Mario Monicelli and Japanese film noir will both receive retrospectives at this September’s 56th San Sebastian Intl. Film Festival.

Fest runs Sept. 18-27.

The Monicelli tribute will be a retrothon: 41 films reflecting an eight-decade career, which takes in acclaimed masterpieces of 50s and 60s Italian comedy, such as “Big Deal on Madonna Street” (1958), a much-copied goofball heist, and, in a darker vein, the First World War buddy saga “The Great War” (1959).

Retro will also include the 92-year-old helmer’s latest pic, “The Roses of the Desert,” made in 2006.

Monicelli, whose “Big Deal” won a San Sebastian Silver Shell along with Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” back in 1958, made his first pic, the short “I ragazzi della Via Paal,” in 1935.

Japan in Black will encompass silent era movies, pics by Akira Kurosawa (“Stray Dog,” 1949) and Shohei Imamura (“Endless Desire,” 1958), 60s gangster pics, more realistic Yakuza pics, and the genre’s revival with film contributions by Takeshi Kitano, Takashi Miike and Kiyoshi Kurosawa.

“Japan skillfully endowed its detective stories with a ‘national touch´: the gangster’s sense of honor, the patient research work carried out by the police, the torment of the outcast criminal or the portrayal of a society badly hit by post-war chaos…,” the festival said in a statement Friday.

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