Watch "Mafioso" and "Alexandra"­ at David's House

I know that this is very last minute, but I just got a new super nice 60 inch plasma TV, great for showing movies, and wanted to inaugurate it right away for a movie Meetup activity.

So here are the two movies, from two different European countries, one of them a classic comedy done almost 50 years ago, the other a newer drama, named one of the very best films in the last 10 years by one movie critic:

"Mafioso", a 1964 Italian film directed by Alberto Lattudo and starring Alberto Sordi and Ugo Attanasio, is a mob comedy. Antonio (Sordi), a Sicilian auto worker now enjoying the good life as a happily married auto worker in northern Italy with a wonderful family, thanks to Sicilian crime boss Don Vicenzo (Attanasio), is asked by Vicenzo to visit Sicily along with his family.

Everything that Antonio has is a result of Vicenzo, and now Vicenzo wants a favor from Antonio as a gesture of gratitude. Vicenzo finds out that Antonio is a crack shot with the gun, and, you can probably guess the rest: Antonio ends up flying, to New Jersey, hidden in a crate, to do the "job", and then to return in the same crate!

This long-forgotten film was restored and re-released by Rialto in 1997, to glowing reviews.

"Alexandra", a 2007 Russian film directed by Alexander Sokurov and starring Galina Vishnevskaya and Vasily Shevtsov, is a thoughtful, meditative drama about the life of soldiers, and of the everyday people who they are fighting against. Aleksandra Nikolaevna (Vishnevskaya) is a grandmother who is invited by her grandson Denis (Shevtsov), a Lieutenant in the Russian Army, to visit him in his camp in Chechnya. While there, Aleksandra interacts with the soldiers in the camp and even goes to a local house where she befriends a Chechen family, the very people who her grandson and the army are fighting against.

This one is highly acclaimed. It was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. It was named the 3rd best film of 2008 by Manohla Dargis of the New York Times, the 6th best by Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune, and the 8th best by Bill White of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Japanese critic Shigehiko Hasumi listed it as one of the best films of 2000-2009.

There will be plenty of yummy snacks and lots of opportunities for talking about the films, meeting new people, and just being with others who love great movies. So come join us!

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