Scen.: Alberto Moravia. Mus.: Teo Usuelli. Int.: Strelsa Brown (la donna), Giancarlo Sbragia (l’uomo), Clotilde Scarpitta (la donna uccisa). Prod.: Marco Ferreri. 35mm. Bn.
Ferreri’s cinema has distant and unexpected origins in one of the most uncertain periods of the great season of Italian cinema, in the full crisis of neorealism. The future filmmaker began not as a di- rector but as a technician, an alternative organiser of experiments that were more or less attributable to Cesare Zavattini and the thousands of utopias he produced during those years, across a variety of expressive forms. He worked on the production team of Documento mensile, the ill-fated ‘cinematic magazine’ he established together with Riccardo Ghione: it was blocked by the censor, despite the involvement of Alberto Moravia, Renato Guttuso, Carlo Levi and Luchino Visconti. A collection of short films, from which the cynical episode directed by Moravia stands out, Documento mensile was then followed by the even more ‘Zavattinian’ project of L’amore in città, which in many of its episodes, such as the one by Fellini, is really a paradoxical unmasking of the presuppositions of neorealism. Ferreri appears as an extra in the much celebrated episode by Alberto Lattuada, which follows the gaze of Italian man as they blatantly turn to stare at women on the street. It’s a sort of ‘comica finale’, staged by Lattuada as a cross between mockumentary and candid camera: actresses sway down the streets and the director, taking inspiration from a famous photographic reportage by Federico Patellani, captures and recounts the male gaze, which is also that of the viewer and the director himself.