Cinema Italiano ǀ Barefoot Contessa

Has-been director Harry Dawes gets a new lease on his career when independently wealthy Kirk Edwards hires him to write and direct a film. They go to Madrid to find Maria Vargas (Ava Gardner), a dancer who will star in the film. Millionaire Alberto Bravano takes Maria from Kirk. Count Vincenzo Torlato-Favrini takes Maria from Alberto. Director: Joseph Mankiewicz. Starring Humphrey Bogart, Ava Gardner, and Edmond O’Brien. 1954, Color, DVD, 130 minutes.

In this Italian film series, Visconti’s Bellissima (Nov. 16) gives us a glimpse into the beginning of the post-war Italian film industry. Barefoot Contessa (Nov. 23) and La Amiche (Nov. 30) showcase costumes designed by the Fontana sisters—Zoe, Micol, and Giovanna—who opened their Rome atelier in 1943 and whose signature designs earned Rome the nickname “Hollywood on the Tiber.” Valentino: The Last Emperor (Nov. 28) is a behind-the-scenes view of Italian fashion today. Each film will be introduced by Nicole LaBouff, assistant curator of textiles in the MIA’s Department of Decorative Arts, Textiles & Sculpture.

For tickets, call (612) 870-6323 or reserve online.

Presented in partnership with The Italian Cultural Center.
Caption: 1954, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.