Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
Italy, 1969. Pegaso Cinematografica, Ital-Noleggio Cinematografico. Story by Marco Ferreri, Screenplay by Marco Ferreri, Sergio Bazzini. Cinematography by Mario Vulpiani. Produced by Ever Haggiag, Alfred Levy. Music by Teo Usuelli. Production Design by Nicola Tamburo. Film Editing by Mirella Mercio.
Experimental film by Marco Ferreri that explores the psyche and culture of masculinity, contrasting it with the director’s equation of femininity with domesticity and inertia. Michel Piccoli is an industrial designer who comes home to find his wife (Anita Pallenberg) in bed with a headache. He makes himself some food, plays some home movies and finds old newspapers that detail the badass adventures of thirties gangster John Dillinger. Piccoli relives his memories of his younger self while contrasting his current life with the one he dreamed of via the icons of old movies. In theory, it’s an interesting conceit and very smart; in execution, it will only appeal to a small margin of its audience. The direction is sturdy and the performances impressive, but it never quite lifts itself beyond its premise.
The Criterion Collection: #506
Cannes Film Festival: In Competition