I VINTI
1953, Minerva Pictures, 113 min, Italy/France, Dir: Michelangelo Antonioni

Antonioni’s second feature is a key precursor to such famous later works as BLOW UP, THE PASSENGER and ZABRISKE POINT. Comprising three self-contained shorts, I VINTI dramatizes and alters true stories of murder and rebellious youth in France, Italy and England. For years the film (particularly the Italian segment) was banned or heavily censored around the world due to its politics and depictions of violence, but today it is celebrated for its frank portrayal of juvenile delinquency and crime. If the interference of anxious producers and distributors can still be felt, Antonioni’s singular vision of the isolation of Western youth culture is largely intact, making the film an essential part of his oeuvre.


ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS
ASCENSEUR POUR L’ECHAFAUD
1958, Rialto Pictures, 91 min, France, Dir: Louis Malle

“I knew I loved you, but I thought only of myself,” murmurs gorgeous Jeanne Moreau - after setting in motion a murderous plot involving her fat-cat husband, a young intelligence officer (Maurice Ronet) and some of the darkest twists and turns in French cinema. Made when Malle was only 25 years old, ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS helped jump-start the French New Wave as one of the first films to represent the new young voice in French cinema. The dazzling cinematography is by Henri Decaë (who also shot THE 400 BLOWS) and the sublime jazz score is by Miles Davis.


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