|THE LADY WITHOUT CAMELIAS (LA SIGNORA SENZA CAMELIE) (director/writer: Michelangelo Antonioni; screenwriters: story by Michelangelo Antonioni/ Suso Cecchi D'Amico/ Francesco Maselli/P.M. Pasinetti; cinematographer: Enzo Serafin ; editor: Eraldo Da Roma ; music: Giovanni Fusco; cast: Lucia Bosè (Clara Manni), Andrea Cecchi (Gianni Franchi), Gino Cervi (Ercole), Ivan Desny (Nardo Rusconi), Alain Cuny (Lodi), Monica Clay (Simonetta), Laura Tiberti (Renato), Anna Carena (Olga, Clara's mother); Runtime: 102; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Domenico Forges Davanzati; Eureka!/PAL format; 1953-Italy/France-in Italian with English subtitles)|
the better early films of Michelangelo
by Dennis Schwartz
of the better early films of Michelangelo Antonioni
("Red Desert"/"Beyond the Clouds"/"Zabriskie
Point") that has flown under the radar. It's based on
a story by Michelangelo Antonioni.
The writers are Antonioni,
Suso Cecchi D'Amico, Francesco
Maselli and P.M.
Pasinetti. This was Antonioni's
Manni (Lucia Bosè) is a beautiful young
shop clerk from Milan who becomes a popular movie star
in tacky commercial films at Rome's Cinecitti and
marries her pushy wealthy producer Gianni
Cecchi), even though she doesn't
love him. Franchi is partners with
the emotional Ercole (Gino
Cervi), who is fine with making
money on such shoddy non-artistic films. Hubby wants
his bride to run his new villa and to be either a
housewife or a serious actress. He produces on his own
a Joan of Arc classic film and she plays the saint
rather than appear as a prostitute in Ercole's The
Lady Without Camelias. But Clara is a pretty face with
no acting talent, and her serious role is a flop. This
causes Franchi a big financial set back.
director is interested in reflecting on how women in
modern society are perceived in movies and in society,
and how they psychologically handle the pressures put
on them from a male dominated world. Lucia
Bosè's sensitive performance allows us to
penetrate the deep emotional pain she feels when
facing loneliness and failure. It allows us to reflect
long after the film on coming to terms with alienation
and on being manipulated. Her part was originally
intended for Gina Lollobrigida.
enduring drama is gorgeously shot in black and white.
REVIEWED ON 7/16/2015 GRADE: B+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ