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Sunday, June 10, 2012

I Vinti (aka The Vanquished) (1953)

In France, a group of aimless and thrill seeking teens plot to murder one of their crowd for his money. In Italy, a young smuggler (Franco Interlenghi, SHOE SHINE) murders a man who attempts to block his flight from the police. In England, a disturbed poet (Peter Reynolds) tries to profit from the murder of an aging prostitute (Fay Compton). Michelangelo Antonioni, this was only his third feature, directed these three stories united by a common theme: alienated youth with no sense of morality. While the film is certainly not without interest, you know the film is in trouble right from the beginning. There's a rather reactionary prologue in which the unseen narrator lectures us about the damaged youth of the post war period. Now, if a film has to explain it all to you at the beginning to make sure you don't miss the point, something's very wrong! Can you imagine, say, Nicholas Ray lecturing us at the beginning of REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE about what we're to see unfold? The French segment works the best and not unsurprisingly since Antonioni's English language films have always been his weakest, the English segment is the worst. With Anna Maria Ferrero, Etchika Choureau, Eduardo Ciannelli and Patrick Barr.

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