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Showing posts from September, 2015

Review: L'Avventura (1960)

Roundly and resoundingly booed halfway into the film, the director Antonioni and its star Vitti fled the theatre. Both could probably half-guess the audience’s hostility- being fed on films that abide by the dictates of consistency and logic, many could hardly brookL’Avventura’s general uneventfulness and the director’s irrepressible urge to detract the storyline from its central current; but none expected the film to win, days after the disastrous premiere, the Jury Prize, the third most prestigious prize of Cannes festival. And more awards followed up, as the film blazed through the Continent, incurring more ire and bemusement.
The hullabaloo was intense but short-lived. Counterculture that initiated by the discontented youngsters swept through the Western world like virus; the iconoclasts of the yore now found themselves ironically amongst the majority. It was considered “hip” to revolt against the established order, to denounce traditional values and to revel in moral depravity. Ar…

Review: Marnie (1964)

In the trailer of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1964 Marnie, the director describes his latest picture as one that is difficult to classify: “It (Marnie) is not psycho, nor do we have a horde of birds flapping about and pecking at people willy-nilly.” With his distinctive, devious drawl suggestive of sinister presentiment, Hitchcock refers to the two protagonists as two “very interesting human specimens,” one of which, the heroine, may be called a “sex mystery.”
In view of other mysterious femme fatales of Hitchcock’s former works, Marnie shares very little of their competence at keeping her cool and concealing her secret motives when in adverse conditions. Her role as a kleptomaniac and a pathological liar is disclosed at the outset. She flusters at the sight of red objects and at the sound of thunderbolts. Invariably recoiling from intimate contacts with humans of all kinds, she devotes a frustratingly unreciprocated love to her mother, whose bizarre lack of affection for her only daughter give…