Over the decades, many have commented on the narrative and visual modernity of the film, constructed on a series of bold time shifts, with its brief flashbacks, and sequence shots bordering on the virtuoso. […] The choice of this fragmented model is primarily geared to bringing us closer to the main character, giving us a glimpse of her time and her space, getting close to her thanks to the use of the zoom and looking directly at the camera. It serves, a couple of times, to introduce flashbacks of the past, but not only this. Her gaze briefly lingers, in passing, on the camera also at other times, such as when she is disappointed with the conduct of one of her lovers (the one who makes her call his girlfriend), and especially in the intense ‘suspended’ scene where Adriana is home alone, and looks out of the window while Sergio Endrigo’s Mani bucate plays on the record player. A three-minute sequence shot, one of the most powerful scenes in the film or, indeed, any Italian film at the time, which shows very well the synergy of modern film and dialogue with its cinema system. In this scene, Stefania Sandrelli looks into the camera like Anna Karina in Jean-Luc Godard’s Vivre sa vie (1962), and she is really looking at us, looking at the (male) audience of the commedia all’italiana.
In addition to the use of flashbacks and the sequence shot, the third key element in creating the perspective of this film (and certainly not the least important) is the use of songs. The film is almost always accompanied by music, sometimes the original Piero Piccioni score, but more often than not, Italian and foreign songs, mostly from on-screen sound sources: a juke- box, bands or radios. The central role of music must have been part of the original conception of the film (at one point the title of the storyline was II giradischi [The record player]), but the flashback structure and number of songs slowly grew in subsequent stages of drafting. There are several moments where there is total symbiosis between film and music. The songs are part of the world of the protagonist and her delusions; but they are also part of the body of the film.
Emiliano Morreale, Cinema d’autore degli anni Sessanta, II Castoro, Milan 2011
Cast and Credits
Sog., Scen.: Antonio Pietrangeli, Ruggero Maccari, Ettore Scola. F.: Armando Nannuzzi. M.: Franco Fraticelli. Scgf.: Maurizio Chiari. Mus.: Piero Piccioni. Int.: Stefania Sandrelli (Adriana Astarelli), Nino Manfredi (Cianfanna), Ugo Tognazzi (Gigi Baggini), Robert Hoffmann (Antonio), Jean-Claude Brialy (Dario Marchionni), Joachim Fuchsberger (Fausto), Mario Adorf (Emilio Ricci, ‘Bietolone’), Franco Fabrizi (Paganelli), Karin Dor (Barbara), Véronique Vendell (starlette). Prod.: Ultra Film – Sicilia Cinematografica, Les Films du Siècle, Roxy Film. DCP. D.: 114’. Bn.
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