Friday, July 6, 2012
|7:00 p.m.||Le amiche|
Michelangelo Antonioni (Italy, 1955)
Restored 35mm Print!
We were unable to secure a print of the originally scheduled film, Two Women, but we are happy to present instead a restored 35mm print of Antonioni's Le amiche.
The international breakthrough of Michelangelo Antonioni in the 1960s, which made him the world’s most notorious cult filmmaker, also largely overshadowed his earlier films, including this gem, which has rarely been shown in this country. Yet in this tale of desperate upper-class Italian housewives are to be found all of the concerns embodied in the great artist’s later, better-known works. Antonioni explores the inner lives of female characters with a story that centers around Clelia (Eleonora Rossi Drago), who comes from a working-class background but now holds an important position in a fashion salon. While Clelia is on a business trip to Turin, a young woman attempts suicide in the hotel room next door. Clelia befriends her, thus becoming introduced to the circle of her socialite girlfriends, including the cynical Momina (Yvonne Furneaux) and the more sympathetic Nene (Valentina Cortese), with their serial affairs and charming but distanced take on life. Nowhere else in Antonioni’s films has an ensemble of characters woven a more complex web of relationships. Antonioni’s genius for visual storytelling is in evidence here too, especially in the famous scene involving all the characters at the seashore, their complex relationships echoed in the camera movements, composition, and positioning of the actors, the techniques that have set Antonioni apart as a peerless cinematic craftsman.
• Written by Antonioni, Suso Cecchi d’Amico, Alba de Cespedes. Photographed by Gianni di Venanzo. With Eleonora Rossi Drago, Gabriele Ferzetti, Franco Fabrizi, Valentina Cortese. (104 mins, In Italian with English subtitles, B&W, 35mm, From The Film Desk)