Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Footprints

Following the disappointment of Argento's Opera on Friday, I felt Italian Cult Cinema was in need of a champion to re-instate its good reputation, and this morning I found an unlikely one in the 1975 film Footprints, an enigmatic mystery about a woman trying to piece together her fractured memory. Director Luigi Bazzoni pitches his film somewhere between Last Year at Marienbad and L'Immortelle, and while it's not quite as accomplished as Resnais or Robbe-Grillet's films, Footprints is nonetheless remarkable for its compulsive interest in architecture and interior design. Throughout the film we see characters framed against, and sometimes dwarfed by large eye-catching buildings. In the film's first act we see a shot of Florinda Bolkan strategically filmed from a low-angle against two looming International Style towers, and later when the film relocates to Turkey there are numerous shots of Islamic and Ottoman buildings with their distinctive domes and spires. It's a pity that the transfer on the Shameless DVD is so underwhelming because Pier Luigi Pizzi's production design is quite marvelous, from Florinda Bolkan's Bauhaus flavoured apartment to the ornate splendor of the Garma hotel with its wide flowing staircases and lobby, and Art Nouveau stained glass panels (beautifully lit by Vitorio Storaro). For such an aesthetically adventurous film, a bump up to Blu-Ray would be most welcome...






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