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David and I are back with another episode of The Eclipse Viewer, the podcast dedicated to the Criterion Collection’s Eclipse Series of DVDs.

In this episode, we talk about Eclipse Series 14: Rossellini’s History Films — Renaissance and Enlightenment.

Roberto Rossellini, an incredibly influential filmmaker in post-World War II Italy, called a press conference in 1960 where he announced that “cinema is dead.” He thus embarked on the final phase of his career, where he made a series of made-for-tv movies about historical figures.

The box contains three of these films: The Age of the Medici (1973); Cartesius (1974); and Blaise Pascal (1972). The three films portray their time and subjects in a droll, mundane manner. Yes, if approached with typical expectations, they will come off as incredibly boring. But David and I talk about how that is beside the point, and these films have a unique magic.

Please find the podcast, the shownotes, and plenty of links over at CriterionCast here.


In the next episode of The Eclipse Viewer, David and I will be discussing Eclipse Series 37: When Horror Came to Shochiku, featuring The X from Outer Space (1967), Goke, Body Snatcher from Hell (1968), The Living Skeleton (1968), and Genocide (1968).

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