EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|A QUIET PLACE IN THE COUNTRY (UN TRANQUILLO POSTO DI CAMPAGNA) (director/writer: Elio Petri; screenwriter: Luciano Vincenzoni; cinematographer: Luigi Kuveiller; editor: Ruggero Mastroianni; music: Ennio Morricone; cast: Franco Nero (Leonardo Ferri), Vanessa Redgrave (Flavia), Georges Geret (Attilio), Gabriella Grimaldi (Wanda), Madeleine Damien (Wanda's Mother), Rita Calderoni (Egle), John Francis Lane (Asylum Attendant), Renato Menegotto (Egle's Friend), David Maunsell (Medium); Runtime: 105; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Alberto Grimaldi; TCM; 1969-France/Italy-in English and dubbed in English)|
startling images were chillingly effective."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A Special Jury Prize Berlin 1969 winning creepy experimental gothic horror film that's artistically directed by Italian filmmaker Elio Petri ("The Tenth Victim"/"Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion"/"We Still Kill the Old Way"), who cowrites the screenplay with Luciano Vincenzoni.
Successful but hyper abstract
painter Leonardo Ferri (Franco
Nero), bothered by nightmares,
wants to escape Milan city life and gets his married lover (who engage
in kinky and sadistic ritualized sex acts) and sales agent, Flavia (Vanessa Redgrave), to find him a quiet
place in the country outside of Venice. Leonardo is attracted to an
abandoned country villa and rents it. Once residing there, the artist
is plagued by strange disturbances that damage his new paintings and
learns it might be the work of the ghost of an 18-year-old beautiful
countess nymphomaniac, Wanda
(Gabriella Grimaldi), the
daughter of the former owner of the villa, who died there during a WW II U.S. bombing attack in 1944.
The artist becomes obsessed
with the vision of the girl, and becomes attracted to her. In his
desire to know her better, Leonardo questions the villagers; then he
questions the creepy caretaker (Georges
Geret), a love-stricken chap who
said his lover Wanda died in his arms; and the artist also has the
local medium try and contact her from the beyond in a seance held in
the villa with the locals who knew her. By this time the artist is
bonkers and in his madness thinks he killed Flavia and stuffed her body
in the refrigerator to gain favor with the ghost. It soon becomes
questionable if he killed Flavia (it was all in his mind), but he acts
so nutty he's carted off to the insane asylum where he still creates
pop-art that's greater than ever.
How well you like this freaky
tale, with an unsettling tone, depends on how much you fall in love
with the stunning kaleidoscope cinematography of Luigi Kuveiller and the director's bizarre
logic he brings to the creative process as something that borders on
the edge of sanity. For me it was a bit too pretentious, though its
startling images were chillingly effective.
REVIEWED ON 11/4/2010 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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