Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Vitti on L'avventura

It being 50 years since the release of PSYCHO and L'AVVENTURA - those two landmark movies of 1960 both of which have never really gone away - and are being played on screens now as I type, as PSYCHO has been re-released and it and Antonioni's masterwork are both playing this afternoon on the London National Film Theatre's biggest screen - I have seen them both there in the past and contented myself today with looking at the special features on the dvds.

PSYCHO of course changed how people made, watched and thought about movies and its brilliance remains undimmed, set as it is in a recognisably contemporary America - even if 50 years ago! - of small towns, motels and freeways. Looking at it again now Janet Leigh is so startlingly brilliant as she delinates the curve of Marion's journey, with that great score, as she sleeps in her car and is disturbed by the policeman as she continues on her journey that leads her to Bates Motel and those scenes with the equally brilliant Perkins.

The Criterion L'AVVENTURA has an extra disk of material I had not got around to seeing before and it includes a wonderful long interview with Monica Vitti, in close up for about 5 minutes, discussing its making and reception at Cannes in 1960. With that striped dress and the wind blowing her hair and that husky voice she looks truly stunning and glamorous here. Its quite fascining to see at this remove and adds to one's appreciation of the film, also a real eclipse he shot in 1962 during L'ECLISSE. Fascinating stuff.

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