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.


L'ECLISSE
ECLIPSE
1962, Janus Films, 126 min, Italy/France, Dir: Michelangelo Antonioni

The concluding chapter of Michelangelo Antonioni’s informal trilogy on contemporary malaise (following L'AVVENTURA and LA NOTTE) tells the story of a young woman (Monica Vitti) who leaves one lover (Francisco Rabal) and drifts into a relationship with another (Alain Delon). Using the architecture of Rome as a backdrop for the doomed affair, Antonioni achieves the apotheosis of his style in this return to the theme that preoccupied him the most: the difficulty of connection in an alienating modern world.


L'AVVENTURA
1960, Janus Films, 143 min, Italy/France, Dir: Michelangelo Antonioni

Michelangelo Antonioni invented new film grammar with this masterwork. An iconic and challenging piece of 1960s cinema, and a gripping narrative on its own terms, L'AVVENTURA concerns the enigmatic disappearance of a young woman during a yachting trip off the coast of Sicily, and the search taken up by her disaffected lover (Gabriele Ferzetti) and her best friend (Monica Vitti, in her breakout role). Antonioni’s controversial international sensation is a gorgeously shot tale of modern ennui and spiritual isolation. The audience during the film’s premiere at the Cannes Film Festival infamously shouted “CUT! CUT! CUT!” in multiple scenes; no one is shouting cut now.


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