The Stranger (Lo straniero) (1967)

LUCHINO VISCONTI

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.  //, 1967.  , , , .  Screenplay by , , , script revisions by , based on the novel by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Golden Globe Awards 1967.

Luchino Visconti adapts Albert Camus’s novel of murder and alienation in French-controlled Algiers to the big screen with visually appealing and intellectually sobering results.   is excellent as the main character, a Frenchman who has just buried his mother and, unable to process his feelings about her death, immediately throws himself into sensual pleasures, going to the beach with his girlfriend (a wonderful ) before taking her to the movies.  Mastroianni’s neighbour and friend enlists his help clearing him from legal trouble over the Arab girlfirend he has been abusing, a situation that increases in intensity when the woman’s male relatives start following Geret around in search of revenge.  The heated atmosphere culminates in a bizarrely motivated crime on a brutally hot day on the beach, leading to Mastroianni finding himself in prison and facing ideas about death, life and morality.  Visconti’s literary adaptation isn’t as resonant as his cinematic translation of Death In Venice would be four years later, he hasn’t quite transformed Camus’ philosophical investigation into a visual language the way he did Mann’s, but the sumptuous photography, emphasizing a lot of burning browns and yellows, creates a strong sense of the heat that these characters constantly find themselves in and which prompts their actions.

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