Quality film news, reviews and features
29th March 2006 20:54:00
Posted by Dave Foster

St. Francis and Padre Pio in May

News
NoShame Films have announced the Region 1 DVD release of St. Francis and Padre Pio – Miracle Man for 30th May 2006 priced at $19.95 SRP each. This May, NoShame Films is proud to present two of the finest of the most recent religious epics from Italian television starring two dynamic lead performers, each directed by a pair of visionary filmmakers. For believers and non-believers alike, these films provide all of the elements that make for great storytelling.

St. Francis - Raoul Bova (UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN) stars as Francesco Bernardone, the son of a cloth merchant in 12th Century Italy whose humility, piety and charitable works would see him canonized as the beloved St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals. A change of pace for thriller filmmaker Michele Soavi (CEMETERY MAN, UNO BIANCA), St. Francis retells the popular story of Francis’ youth as a soldier for Pope Innocent III who one day heard the voice of God and chose to forsake a life of material wealth to devote himself to God and all living things. Filmed in the very locations where history was made, St. Francis also stars Erica Blanc (aka Erika Blanc of THE DEVIL’S NIGHTMARE) and David Brandon (GOOD MORNING, BABYLON).

Even among saints, St. Francis would have to be considered a “superstar”. His story is one of the most inspiring to all Christians and has been told onscreen by such distinguished filmmakers as Franco Zeffirelli (BROTHER SUN, SISTER MOON), Michael Curtiz (FRANCIS OF ASSISI), and Roberto Rossellini (FRANCESCO, GIULLARE DI DIO). Now, acclaimed cult film and television director Michele Soavi with star Raoul Bova, called the “new Marcello Mastroianni” by many in the Italian press. A huge hit upon airing, NoShame’s DVD for St. Francis represents the U.S. debut of this remarkable adaptation of one of the most spiritually uplifting stories ever told.

DVD Special Features Include:
Backstage – Including interviews with director Michele Soavi and star Raoul Bova.

Collectible Booklet - Contains: Michele Soavi bio, Raoul Bova bio, Erica Blanc, Gianmarco Tognazzi bio. Essays from producer Pietro Valsecchi, director Michele Soavi and main actor Raoul Bova. St. Francis from Assisi in the movies.

Padro Pio – Miracle Man - "How lively was his sense of justice and mercy, his compassion for those who suffered, and how concretely he committed himself to helping them. I wish to thank the Lord with you for having given us dear Padre Pio, for having given him to our generation in this very tormented century. In his love for God and for his brethren, he is a sign of great hope." – Pope John Paul II on Padre Pio in 1987.

Sergio Castellitto (Luc Besson’s THE BIG BLUE, MOSTLY MARTHA) stars in this compelling religious biography of Francesco Forgione (1887-1968), better known to Catholic believers as the modern day saint Padre Pio. Directed by Carlo Carlei (THE FLIGHT OF THE INNOCENT), this made-for-TV film dramatizes the Franciscan priest’s intense devotion, which manifested itself in the appearance of the stigmata -- the wounds suffered by Christ at Calvary – for over fifty years. Based on the book by Renzo Allegri, the award-winning Padre Pio – Miracle Man deals with seeming religious miracles in a skeptical modern age and features Jürgen Prochnow (THE DA VINCI CODE, DAS BOOT) and Adolfo Lastretti (MASSACRE IN ROME) in supporting roles.

DVD Extras Include:
Collectible Booklet - Contains: Carlo Carlei bio, Sergio Castellitto bio, Jürgen Prochnow bio, Roberto Chevalier bio. The True Story of a Holy Man, Documents from the Day when Padre Pio was canonized

Both St. Francis and Padre Pio are presented in a 1.66:1 ratio as befitting their original airings.


About Dave Foster
Dave has been loitering the virtual halls of TDF for a decade now and the majority of that time has been spent as Editor of the Home Cinema section (formerly DVDTimes). He doesn't contribute reviews anywhere near as much as he once did (or indeed would like to) but when he does it will invariably be something in the anime or Asian film area.