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.


WHITE NIGHTS
LE NOTTI BIANCHE
1957, Janus Films, 102 min, Dir: Luchino Visconti

Based on a Dostoevsky short story, Visconti’s tale of unrequited love stars Marcello Mastroianni as Mario, new to the city and quickly smitten with Natalia (Maria Schell), whom he meets on a bridge. Natalia has returned to that bridge every night for a year, waiting for a man (Jean Marais) who had promised to come back to her. Giuseppe Rotunno’s wonderful B&W cinematography gives the town of Livorno a dreamlike quality, an effect accentuated by Nino Rota’s score.


LA NOTTE
THE NIGHT
1961, Rialto Pictures, 122 min, United States , Dir: Michelangelo Antonioni

The middle film in director Michelangelo Antonioni’s acclaimed early-1960s trilogy of alienation puts an upper-class marriage under the microscope as it disintegrates. After successful author Marcello Mastroianni and his wife (Jeanne Moreau) visit a hospital to see a dying friend, they go to a party where each meets a flirtatious guest (Giorgio Negro and Monica Vitti) and is forced to confront the emptiness of their relationship. A Berlin Film Festival Golden Bear winner (and one of Stanley Kubrick’s favorite films).


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