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Baaria [Blu-ray] [Import]

Francesco Scianna , Margareth Madè , Giuseppe Tornatore    Unrated   Blu-ray
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 19.63 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Baaria [Blu-ray] [Import] + Cinema Paradiso [Blu-ray] [Import]
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From the director of Cinema Paradiso comes a stirring, unforgettable new epic of Italian life as you've never seen it before. The course of a lifetime reflects the evolution of a country as young Peppino takes work as a shepherd to support his family in the Sicilian town of Bagheria, nicknamed "Baarìa" by its residents. During the next five decades he experiences the passionate love of his life, undergoes a powerful political awakening, and discovers a destiny he could have never imagined. A visual feast featuring a powerful score by legendary Academy Award - winning composer Ennio Morricone, Baaria captures the past century with a mesmerizing beauty and rare cinematic power.

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Abounding in Passion and Ambition April 9 2012
By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
In this recent full-length Italian film, we have the passionate tale of a young urchin's journey through life as he grows up in the backwater Sicilian village in the 1930s. For Peppino it is all a gigantic adventure that includes a lot of rough-and-tumble, fly-by-the-seat antics as he continually tests the boundaries of local custom and propriety. For me, this movie dramatically captures his many brushes with the law, the bold encounters with destiny, and the rich vibrancy of cultural panache of village life. Peppino as an outcast struggles to establish himself in a very prejudiced society, where orphans, cowherds and Communists are viewed as pariahs. Though the storyline moves all over the place to cover those special moments when he challenges traditional authority - the local mafia, the fascist militia, and the townsfolk - it has enough momentum and pep to carry it through to a reasonable conclusion. By the end, Peppino has earned the right to stand shoulder to shoulder with others in the struggle for a better life. In so doing, he gets to retain and use his independent spirit, shape the future of his family, and gain the respect of his fellow citizens. If there is a weakness in the film, it is, perhaps, that there is too much collateral energy at work here for the viewer to remain focus on the thrust of Peppino's life. To capture the real essence of his precarious upbringing, the filmmaker has introduced a lot of side action which, while helpful in enriching the plot, may tend to drag it out. It is my experience with Italian movies that directors, because of their attachment to national culture, tend to pack their plots with all kinds of extra detail to create a special atmosphere.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of a kind movie! Great! April 22 2012
By carminaburana TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Tornatore is by far my favorite director. So I bought everything I could find, Malena, The Legend of 1900, The Star maker (L'Uomo delle Stelle), La Sconosciuta, and of course, Cinema Paradiso. All these are amazing movies. There is no connection to Hollywood cinema. These are all European gems. Baaria is no exception. I received the Italian version, as this is the only one available in N America. I wanted the original Sicilian one, with Italian/English subtitles, but that seem to be for sale only in Italy.
This movie is autobiographic. It tells the story of three generations, with the odyssey of his father life as the center of the other lives.
I loved it!
It is still an European movie, not suitable to everybody...
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5.0 out of 5 stars loved it April 7 2014
By donna
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I bought it for my mom and she loved it, loved it and loved it. I want to watch it next
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  21 reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'When you consider the Universe, you consider your town.' Oct. 23 2011
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
BAARIA is another masterwork form the consummate film artist Giuseppe Tornatore. Tornatore is so highly regarded in Italy and Sicily that famous actors fight for the opportunity to work in one of his luminous films, agreeing to take minute walk on roles just to be near the director: Monica Belluci, Ángela Molina, Beppe Fiorello, Raoul Bova etc. This film deserves close attention form the viewer - and in some ways it may be better to view the DVD's Interview with Giuseppe Tornatore BEFORE watching this film so that the writer/director's concept and technique is understood before the story unfolds.

Baarìa is Sicilian slang for Bagheria where Tornatore was born and this is an autobiographic epic of three generations in the Sicilian village where he was born. It begins in the 1920's where Giuseppe "Peppino" Torrenuova lives with his brother Nino and his parents in a hovel. They are so poor that Peppino's father advises him to become a shepherd in order to help support the family. Peppino progresses to taking a cow around the town to fill the milk buckets of the townspeople, struggles through school, progresses to young adulthood when he falls in love with Mannina and going against Mannina's family's dream of having their daughter marry money, the two elope - in the home of Mannina! - and it is here that the characters become the adults who carry the film. Of note, Tornatore elected to cast the main characters with little known Sicilian actors: Peppino is Francesco Scianna and Mannina is Margareth Madè - both brilliant in their roles. From this point the time passes through historical references to Il Duce, the mafia, WW II and the coming of the Americans, but more important is Peppino's idealistic concept that his future lies in politics. He becomes a Communist, rises in the ranks, eventually even visiting Moscow to meet with Stalin, and returns to Baaria to help the people struggle for land reform and socialism, all the while he continues to have children with Mannina and follow his dreams of being a successful politician, a dream that is as fragile as it is unattainable.

The film flashes back and forth in time and has no linear story line: Tornatore is more interested in taking snippets of his memories of his past life growing up in Baaria than he is in keeping the audience clear about the characters who flash in and out of the story. His use of children is magical - they seem more wise in their innocence that the adults. But take the movie for what it is - a mélange of remembered moments in the writer/director's life - and witness some of the most beautiful moments ever created for the screen, such as the eventual death of Peppino's father who passes his wisdom to his son, and Peppino's advice to this oldest son as the son takes the train to Rome: the son asks 'Why do people call us hotheaded?' to which Peppino answers 'Because we think we can embrace the Universe, but our arms are too short.' Peppino's wisdom he passes to his son is to follow his heart at all costs and there will he find satisfaction. This film is overflowing in such moments and watching it is like opening a treasure trunk full of dazzlingly memories. The musical score by the evergreen Ennio Morricone is absolutely one of his finest - a score the composer created in conjunction with Tornatore.

There is a problem with the DVD that hopefully someone will solve: the English subtitles (the film is in Italian and Sicilian) are very difficult to read - so bleached out are they over backgrounds of bright Sicilian light. It is a post-production flaw that needs to be corrected for non Italian speaking audiences, but even with that minor problem, this is one of the most touching and tender and emotionally satisfying films this viewer has ever seen. 10 stars! Grady Harp, October 11
34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Italian?? Nov. 13 2011
By A. Gandolfo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I have spent quite a lot of time trying to find the Sicilian version of this movie in the U.S. and when I finally watched the America release in "Italian" I found that the movie had a lot of Sicilian. Sicilian being my first language it was music to my ears. Sicilians are a unique and passionate people. Our language is so expressive and truly musical. I only wish there were more movies that were made in our native language. I'm guessing that this was released and marked as Italian because Americans will not notice the different languages...One scene in particular, when Peppino is running to school in the very beginning the teacher is yelling for him to hurry he shouts, "Sperugiate" (please excuse the spelling), but that is Sicilian. It happens many times in the film and appropriately (Sicilian being the conversational/familiar language used with friends and family, while Italian is spoken formal settings). Growing up in a Sicilian family we speak Sicilian at home and with our relations and neighbors, but with other Italians or when conducting serious business we speak in proper Italian. Anyway, I hope the people who watch this film experience the same satisfaction and feel the same nostalgia that I did when watching this film. Some of the nostalgia comes from my own experiences as my parents sent me Sicily as a child several times to spend summers there and some of the nostalgia stems from the verbal history my grandparents imparted on us.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How Do You Measure The Life Of A Man? An Ambitious, But Remote, Epic Oct. 26 2011
By K. Harris - Published on Amazon.com
With both a literal and a figurative nod to Federico Fellini, Italian auteur Giuseppe Tornatore has created "Baaria." A personal epic spanning five decades in the life of a typical Italian family, there is undeniable beauty and lyricism in Tornatore's vision. His beloved "Cinema Paradiso" was a striking blend of nostalgia, whimsy, fantasy and heartfelt drama that struck a chord with both viewers and critics. It won an Oscar, as well as a slew of other awards, and is widely considered a modern masterpiece. With "Baaria," he adheres closely to a similar formula but with decidedly mixed results. I had heard one of two things about "Baaria" prior to catching it on this presentation. Some said it was a masterpiece, some said it was an utter disaster. And in truth, I do believe the film to be divisive. I expected to fall in love with the movie, but I ended up admiring individual elements as opposed to embracing it in its entirety. Part of the film's unusual quality is that it seems both completely intimate to the filmmaker but more noticeably aloof to the viewer. In the film's construction, Tornatore advances through the years and presents some compelling moments without ever slowing down enough to let us actually become invested. This choice might be embraced by some, but the lack of emotional connection is what will create the film's strongest detractors.

As always, Tornatore's film is a beautiful physical specimen. The technical aspects of art direction and cinematography enhance the movie's appeal, and it really looks crisp and clean. Taking place in a small Sicilian hamlet called Bagheria (of which the title Baaria is a nickname), the bulk of the film deals with a small boy who advances through his life to old age within the narrative. Not only do we see his world and family, but we see the political structure of the country change around him. I enjoyed much of this perspective as there were subtle lessons in history sprinkled throughout the piece. Certain moments have a pleasant sweetness, some are more tough. It's as if we are catching random glimpses of the characters as time progresses. And in truth, I really liked the idea of the film. However, if I'm being completely honest--the device, while interesting, is also what caused me to disconnect from the story. Just when something of interest happens, you move on. Nothing has time to resonate. How can you watch someone's life story and still not particularly know them or care about them? That is ultimately how I felt with "Baaria."

And yet, I still can't completely discount Tornatore's conception. It's big, bold and adventurous. Sure, it veers to the fantastical once too often--but here is a filmmaker with a specific point of view. It wasn't wholly successful for me, but it didn't lack in ambition (which so many films do). The movie itself ranks at about 3 1/2 stars for my taste. But the DVD features are enough to make me round up and should be appreciated by Tornatore fans. He is front and center in a commentary track, in behind the scenes footage, in an interview, and at the film's premiere. In addition, some deleted scenes are also present. Clearly, this was a personal and important project for the director. I just wish that I had felt the same passion as he has for the work. KGHarris, 10/11.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Italian Film Feb. 12 2011
By Frequent Flyer - Published on Amazon.com
Saw this film on a return flight from Italy. Though I speak no italian, this film captured my attention. So expressive is the writing, I found it easy to follow the story even without subtitles. I await the North American release of this DVD with real anticipation.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Life in a blink! June 27 2011
By Hiram Gomez Pardo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
As a legitimate proud of a the most faithful tradition of the Neo Realism tradtion, Tornatore returns to Sicily to undertake the task of telling us the life and times of a fervent believer of the new hopes of a better tomorrow.

The man and his circumstances, disavenences through thirty years from his early youth until his early fifties. The film captivates and engages, and if it's true it lacks of the enraptured magic of Cinema Paradise, the movie will reward you, due its unforgettable and laughable vignettes all the way through, without loosing ends about the inner contradictions between the reformer politician and the old fashioned head of family.

The marvelous introduction reminds us so much to De Sica's Miracle in Milan, where the fantasy and surrealistic images allows us to be part of his narrative scheme.

Terrific cast, splendid script and amazing photography make of this movie a must-see. Don't miss it.
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