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Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Driver's Seat (aka Identikit) (1974)

A psychologically disturbed woman (Elizabeth Taylor) travels to Rome to meet someone, someone she doesn't know but hopes to find. Someone who will murder her. Based on the critically acclaimed novel by Muriel Spark (PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE), to call this movie bizarre is an understatement. I've not read the Spark novel but apparently it gave Taylor's character a backstory so that her shocking mission had some logic to it. The film gives no character history so she comes off as a wacko. The dialogue is almost impossible for the actors to say with any measure of believability, example: Ian Bannen "I have to have an orgasm a day for my macrobiotic diet" to which Taylor responds, "When I diet, I diet. When I orgasm, I orgasm. I don't mix the two". That being said, the film's horrendous reputation is unfair. The film remains a fascinating mess. One can see what the film makers were attempting, it just didn't come together. Taylor is is good though Bannen is too over the top to take seriously. Directed by Giuseppe Patroni Griffi. With Andy Warhol, Mona Washbourne, Maxence Malifort and Guido Mannari.

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