12th Jameson Cinefest, Miskolc
Cardinale Fever as senior Italian Diva visits Rural Hungarian filmfest

By Alex Deleon



Claudia Cardinale with Life Achievement award at Cinefest Miskolc.


Claudia at her peak in Visconti’s LEOPARD, 1963
Claudia Cardinale, 77, was the trophy guest of the 12th Miskolc Film Festival here to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award while adding a touch of old-time glamour to this modest outback event. The Tunisian born actress was often called the most beautiful woman in the world and starred in classic films of the best Italian and international directors of the mid XX. Century:
Fellini, 8 1/2; Visconti, Rocco and his Brothers, The Leopard 1963; Herzog, Fitzcarraldo; Sergio Leone, Once upon a time in the West ~ plus a number of American movies such as The Pink Panther, and Hathaway’s “Circus World”, in which she played Rita Hayworth’s daughter opposite John Wayne. Her masculine costars comprise an inventory of the most famous actors of the century, Belmondo, Mastroianni, Delon, Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Klaus Kinski, Peter Sellers, Henry Fonda, on and on …

In sum Cardinale was one of the most glamorous international stars of the sixties and beyond, but she never attained quite the notoriety of fellow Italian sex godesses, Gina Lollobrigida and Sofia Loren, probably because her beauty was more classic and she was more interested in being respected as an actress, than in becoming fodder for the gossip columns and cheap flesh magazines.
Her presence here was a news event not only in the local paper but in all major Budapest dailies as well, which carried full page interviews with the now elderly but but still legendary star.
The opening film of the week was, naturally, a Cardinale classic; DeLeone’s sprawling spaghetti western, “Once a Time in the West”, which was also part of a quartet of restored western classics, to wit; Peckinpah’s “The Wild Bunch”, Ford’s “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance”‘ and another Leone, “The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly”, the spaghetti western that launched Clint Eastwood into international stardom.


Cardinale, Twin Peaks, “Once upon a time in the West”, 1968 – Wow!
Other films of interest in the as usual highly eclectic Cinefest program include;
“Mediterranea”, a most timely film about the flood of refugees now giving Europe gigantic headaches. This one follows a group of French speaking refugees from Central Africa (Burkino Faso) braving the waters of the Mediterrean between Libya and Italy in flimsy rubber boats. Once settled in Italy they received with more hostility than sympathy. African actor Koudrous Seihon, handsome in the Belafonte mold with charisma to burn may well be the next Big Thing in black movie stars if he learns English.
“Pawn Sacrifice” by Hollywood veteran Edward Zwicki starring Tobey Maguire as Bobby Fischer, the mad American chess prodigy who faced down Russian Grand Master Boris Spassky in “the game of the century” then later became an international Nut Case and a thorn in the side of the American State Department. Could put Maguire back on Oscar track.
The French entry “Deux Amis” (Two buddies) is mainly of interest because it is the first star vehicle for stunning exiled Iranian actress Golshifte Farahani, who appeared in a smaller role last year in “Exodus Gods and Kings”. She was a top star in Iran before becomming persona non grata in the Islamic Republic for refusing to wear a head scar at Cannes, then meven worse, appearing partially nude in a French magazine. Directed by Louis Garrel who is himself a popular screen heart throb in France and the ‘significant other’ of Golshifte in Paris.
Finally, the curiosity item of the week will be LOVE, the latest offering from French-Argentine director Gaspar Noé, world cinema’s major Gadfly and taboo buster. This succulent hors d’oeuvre features unbridled frontal nudity by both sexes and nearly non-stop unsimulated copulation in various forms and combinations. Fasten your seat belts ….
Golshifte Farahani in “Deux Amis”


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