A Quiet Place in the Country

Aug 27 - Aug 28, 2016

(Elio Petri, Italy & France, 1968, 35mm, 105 min)

Director Elio Petri established himself as one of the most distinctive voices of Italian post-neo-realist cinema and contributed to the growing giallo genre of the 1960s - 70s. This film, starring off-screen couple Franco Nero (of Django fame) and Vanessa Redgrave, is arguably Petri at his most experimental. A psychological drama about an abstract painter Leonardo Ferri (Nero) who moves to a quiet country villa to escape the tempting distractions of city life and regain artistic inspiration only to find his idyllic retreat is haunted by a ghostly presence. As Ferri goes deeper and deeper into discovering the villa’s secret past, his mental state deteriorates and suffers maddening hallucinations. The film’s primary concerns revolve around sex, death and madness while providing a glaring critique of art and commerce. American pop artist Jim Dine provided Leonardo’s canvases with avant-garde improvisational ensemble Nuova Consonanza contributing musical pieces to the film’s soundtrack.
“But the play—the picture—is the thing. As the study of a disturbed mind inching into lunacy, it is often maddeningly oblique, unlike Roman Polanski's Repulsion. Don't expect the gentle precision of Alain Jessua's Life Upside Down. In his distinctly original way, (Elio) Petri has slipped us a dazzling, hypnotic knockout.” -- Howard Thompson, NY Times review, August 29, 1970

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