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Name: Dan Sallitt
Location: New York, New York, United States

Monday, July 9, 2007

Pietrangeli Revisited

Now that I've had a chance to refresh my memory of Antonio Pietrangeli's Io la conoscevo bene (I Knew Her Well) at BAM's Friday screening, I'd like to upgrade my formerly tentative recommendation and urge you to catch the director's equally rare La Visita (The Visitor) at BAM on July 26.

The subject matter of Io la conoscevo bene is a bit reminiscent of Chabrol's Les Bonnes Femmes, with the childlike, winsome Stefania Sandrelli bearing all the hardships that Chabrol distributed among his ensemble. Though the material is thoroughly pessimistic, Pietrangeli's filming is ecstatic: each moment of the protagonist's disoriented and disorienting life is a glittering mosaic tile, a graceful movement through a visually inviting space. While the script connects data points and comes up with a descending line, the direction harmonizes the gliding camera with the character's hopefulness and capacity for joy.

I do wish that Pietrangeli had been more willing to capitalize on the essential artiness of his style, that the film had been less overt in pointing us to themes and less determined to fit its heroine's Brownian motion to a story arc. Still, we need to make a place for Pietrangeli in the history of 60s European cinema.

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Blogger Dan Sallitt said...

Sadly, La Visita didn't appeal to me very much this time around. I posted a few words about it on Daniel Kazman's blog:

July 28, 2007 10:27 AM  

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