Monday, September 26, 2011

5. The Episode Films part eleven


by Ernesto G. Laura - Compiled by A.N.I.C.A. (National Association of Motion Pictures and Affiliated Industries) Rome, Italy - Edited by CIES Soc. Coop. r.1 (Institute for the Promotion of Italian Motion Pictures Abroad) Rome, Italy under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment

For a number of years from 1963 on, episode films increased in a number. Some were shot in haste and reduced the initial narrative situations to superficial vaudeville sketches. In others, instead, the short footage of an episode made it possible to attain effects of concentration and hence results of greater dramatic intensity. Such is the case with L'AMORE DIFFICILE (DIFFICULT AMOURS: 1962), which consisted of the adaptation of four stories by contemporary Italian writers (Ercole Patti, Moravia, Italo Calvino, Mario Soldati) by four neophyte directors: Sergio Sollima, Luciano Lucignani, Alberto Bonucci and Nino Manfredi. The latter, with the help of Fabio Carpi, Giuseppe Orlandini and Ettore Scola on the script, comes up with a minor masterpiece of visual art. A soldier meets a beautiful woman (Fulvia Franco, a former Miss Italy) in a train, woos her and wins her, taking advantage of the well-timed darkness of a tunnel. At the next station the woman gets off and immediately disappears from sight. The little story wouldn't have offered much had it not been supported by an extraordinary "gimmick": the couple does not exchange a word and the beautiful stranger, with her obstinate silence and her polite indifference, doesn't seem to be aware of what the soldier is up to. Manfredi the actor and Manfredi the director merge perfectly in bringing off, ni the full season of "all-talking" films, a story of pure pantomine, coverted into visual rhythm, perfect in its timing and hence of sure comic effect.

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