THE 10TH VICTIM
LA DECIMA VITTIMA
1965, Rialto Pictures, 92 min, Italy/France, Dir: Elio Petri

Decades before THE HUNGER GAMES or even THE RUNNING MAN, humans killed other humans for entertainment in THE 10TH VICTIM. This Carlo Ponti production is set in a world where war is virtually unknown, as violent people work out their aggression in the “Big Hunt.” Wealth and celebrity awaits anyone who can survive five rounds as a hunter and five as prey; original Bond girl Ursula Andress holds the shotgun here, with bleached-blond Marcello Mastroianni in her sights. As sharp as the leads look in this lively sci-fi satire, it’s Piero Poletto’s groovy-futuristic production design that truly dazzles.


IL GRIDO
1957, Compass Film, 116 min, Italy/USA, Dir: Michelangelo Antonioni

Commonly described as a link between the Italian neorealist movement and Antonioni’s most famous works of the following decade, IL GRIDO follows a disillusioned working-class man (Steve Cochran) who voluntarily detaches himself from all facets of society. Disappointed by everyone in his life, including his lover (Alida Valli), the man wanders the Po Valley, vainly searching for human connection. As in his best films, Antonioni sets a thoroughly bleak tone throughout by hermetically enclosing his characters in chilling landscapes and stark industrial environments. Winner of the Golden Leopard Award at the 1957 Locarno International Film Festival.


LE AMICHE
THE GIRLFRIENDS
1955, Janus Films, 104 min, Italy, Dir: Michelangelo Antonioni

This major early achievement by Michelangelo Antonioni bears the first signs of the cinema-changing style for which he would soon be world-famous. This brilliantly observed, fragmentary depiction of modern bourgeois life is conveyed from the perspective of five Turinese women. As four of the friends try to make sense of the suicide attempt of the fifth, they find themselves examining their own troubled romantic lives. With suggestions of the theme of modern alienation and the fastidious visual abstraction that would define such later masterpieces as L'AVVENTURA, Antonioni’s film is a devastating take on doomed love and fraught friendship.


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