Castro Theatre hosts a daylong tribute to Lina Wertmuller

Sep 14, 2017 327

BY: Edward Guthmann

For a brief time in the 1970s, Italy’s Lina Wertmuller was one of the top names in international cinema. Explosive and provocative, her films were cultural events and lively conversation starters at countless dinner parties. Her most successful, “Seven Beauties,” brought Wertmuller an Oscar nomination in 1977 — an historic first for a woman director. Only one year later, when her first and only English-language film, “A Night Full of Rain,” opened to savage reviews, the American love affair with Lina Wertmuller quickly died.

The story of Wertmuller — her rise and decline, her quirks and gifts, the mixture of sex, politics and histrionic excess in her films — is told in “Behind the White Glasses.” A beautifully crafted but highly partisan documentary from Valerio Ruiz, it screens Saturday, Sept. 23, at the Castro Theatre, in a daylong homage to Wertmuller. Wertmuller’s films “The Seduction of Mimi,” “Love & Anarchy,” “Swept Away” and “Seven Beauties” will screen; and Ruiz will appear in person.

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