Radiance Films continues its impressive run of must-have Limited Editions with Cosa Nostra: Franco Nero in Three Mafia Tales By Damiano Damiani – a stunning new collection featuring three outstanding films in the ultimate collaboration between two Italian greats – lauded Italian actor Franco Nero and respected director Damiano Damiani.
This stunning Blu-ray Box set features three 1970s classics in 2K restored editions: The Day of the Owl, The Case is Closed: Forget It and How to Kill a Judge. Presented in a rigid box with a removable OBI strip it comes complete with a 120-page book, featuring new and archival writing on the films by experts on the genre. The set contains a slew of outstanding special featuresthat see new interviews with Franco Nero, discussing each film, plus a new video essay on How to Kill a Judge and a visual essay on the career of Damiano Damiani. There’s a host of archive interviews, trailers and more, please see the full list below. It will be available on 19 June 2023 and available to pre-order now.
The Day of the Owl stars Franco Nero as a police chief who, while investigating the death of a construction worker, comes up against corrupt officials and a ruthless mafia boss (Lee J. Cobb). Adapted from the celebrated novel by Leonardo Sciascia (Illustrious Corpses), it was the first book to openly deal with organised crime in Sicily. A prestigious production, the film was nominated for best film at the Berlin Film Festival and garnered awards at the David di Donatello Awards for Claudia Cardinale, Nero, Damiani as well as the Best Production accolade .
The Case Is Closed: Forget It sees Nero portray a modest man who is thrown in jail for a misdemeanour. He must face the grim reality of life behind bars, where the mafia controls everything. Nero is on top form, alongside a strong cast including Riccardo Cucciolla (Rabid Dogs) and John Steiner (Tenebrae). With its intense, realistic take on life inside, Damiani’s film is up there with the finest prison dramas. Presented in Italian and for the first time with the original English dub.
How to Kill a Judge sees life imitate art, when filmmaker Giacomo Solaris(Nero) makes a feature about a judge who has been corrupted by the mafia and is later found murdered… but when the real judge, that the character is based on, seizes the footage, he too is killed. Feeling a sense of responsibility, Solaris starts to investigate, but as the death toll rises, he must dig deep to uncover the conspiracy before it’s too late. Full of twists and turns, this fascinating meta-commentary on cinema sees Damiani point the camera at himself and the genre, as he investigates the social impact of mafia violence. A fitting end to this study of Damiani’s Cosa Nostra.
Franco Nero is a legendary Italian actor, producer and director who has made a huge impact in film industry both in front of and behind the camera. Working alongside some of the most acclaimed directors in the world including Luis Buñuel and Rainer Werner Fassbinder, his acting has garnered many awards including Best Actor at David di Donatello Awards, 1967 and the Lifetime Achievement Award at Rome Film Festival, 2009. His directorial debut Jonathan degli orsi, won him critical acclaim and the Best Director Award at Montreal World Film Festival.
Making his acting debut in the early 1960s, Nero’s breakthrough role was in Sergio Corbucci’s Django (1966), that lead to further lauded films such as The Mercenary, Camelot and Tristana, and a successful Hollywood careerthat has seen him star Django Unchained, Die Hard 2, John Wick Chapter 2 to name a few and his acting work continues to this day.
Renowned Italian director Damiano Damiani’s career in film spanned several decades, starting in the 1950s, he worked as a screenwriter before making his directorial debut with Il Rossetto, in 1962. Best known for his socially and politically aware productions that tackle controversial and taboo subjects, his first film focused on prostitution and was both praised and criticised. This set the tone for his future films that include A Bullet for the General and Confessions of a Police Captain, as well as his stark look at the Mafia that can be seen in the films included in this Box set. He was also an accomplished painter and had his work exhibited in prestigious galleries.
See the dynamic pairing of two masters of Italian film in the Cosa Nostra Limited Edition – a must-buy for any film fan or collector of world cinema.
2K restoration of The Day of the Owl from the original negative presented in the original Italian version (109 mins) and the shorter export cut with English audio (103 mins)
2K restoration of The Case is Closed: Forget It from the original negative presented with Italian and, for the first time, English audio options• 2K restoration of How to Kill a Judge from the original negative presented in Italian and English audio options
• Original uncompressed mono PCM audio
• New interview with star Franco Nero, featuring archive footage of Damiano Damiani and Leonardo Sciascia discussing The Day of the Owl (2022, 17 mins)
• Archival interview with Franco Nero, writer Ugo Pirro and production manager Lucio Trentini discussing the making of The Day of the Owl (2006, 27 mins)
• Identity Crime-Sis: filmmaker and Italian crime cinema expert Mike Malloy discusses The Day of the Owl in the context of the formation of the Italian crime film genre (2022, 20 mins)
• Casting Cobb: A Tale of Two Continents: A video essay by filmmaker Howard S. Berger looking at actor Lee J. Cobb’s career transition from Hollywood to Italy and the archetypes he tended to play (2023, 33 mins)
• Archival interview with Claudia Cardinale from Belgian TV in which she discusses her long and storied career (2017, 22 mins)
• New interview with star Franco Nero discussing The Case is Closed: Forget It (2022, 14 mins)
• Archival documentary on the making of The Case is Closed: Forget It featuring actor Corrado Solari, assistant director Enrique Bergier and editor Antonio Siciliano (2015, 28 mins)
• Italy’s Cinematic Civil Conscience: An Examination of the Life and Works of Damiano Damiani: A visual essay on the career of Damiano Damiani by critic Rachael Nisbet (2023, 35 mins)
• New interview with star Franco Nero discussing How to Kill a Judge (2022, 13 mins)
• New interview with Alberto Pezzotta, author of Regia Damiano Damiani, who discusses Damiani’s contribution to the mafia and crime
genres and the reception of his films in Italy (2022, 34 mins)
• Lessons in Violence: A new video essay on How to Kill a Judge by filmmaker David Cairns (2023, 22 mins)
• Original trailers for each film
• New and improved optional English subtitles for Italian audio and English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for English audio for each film
• Reversible sleeve featuring designs based on original posters for each film
• Limited edition 120-page book featuring new and archival writing on the films by experts on the genre including Andrew Nette on Leonardo Sciascia’s The Day of the Owl; Piero Garofalo on The Case is Closed: Forget It; Paul A. J. Lewis on depictions of the mafia in each of the films within this set; Shelley O’Brien on each of the scores; a newly translated archival interview with Damiani; Nathaniel Thompson on Franco Nero; Marco Natoli on Damiani’s place within the cinema politico movement in Italian cinema; a critical overview for each the films by Cullen Gallagher and credits for each film
• Limited edition of 3000 copies (each for the UK and US), presented in a rigid box with removable OBI strip leaving packaging free of certificates and markings