Le amiche (1955)
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Critic Reviews for Le amiche
Antonioni turns a glossy romantic melodrama of modern prosperity inside out to reveal the essence of modernity itself.
Antonioni's ability to use the screen's illusion of depth or the way he lends an eloquence to the space between characters is a marvel. How he has these people stand is so much more expressive than anything they say.
The expressive elegance of Antonioni's camera movements -- the way he glides around a scene, composing and recomposing the human figures within it to suggest psychological patterns and unacknowledged erotic connections -- still has the power to amaze.
Long before the he put Monica Vitti through the existentialist-ennui wringer, Michelangelo Antonioni gave the world this muted melodrama about urban females dealing with boorish men, banal modern life and the occasional suicide attempt.
Though seldom seen now, Antonioni's fourth feature is one of his greatest films, in which diverse plot strands, character psychology, and a masterful control of the camera are perfectly fused.
Audience Reviews for Le amiche
Like an Antonioni movie... yeah, I went there. It's actually one of his better ones. It's a character study that is compelling because it raises the stakes of material that in other hands would be just soap opera fodder. There is some of that here, but there's also really strong performances and writing that knocks it far away. And how Antonioni cuts or stages scenes is usually very interesting.
Based on Cesare Pavese's novella, this film examines the complex interplay and emotional intensity of relations between a bourgeois group of women. The pervasive cynicism within the novella is concentrated in Momina's character. The film also emphasizes the burgeoning and evolving role of the independent woman. This early work shows the development of Antonioni's unique framing and narration methods, particularly in the beach scene. It's rare to have an ensemble cast deliver such strong performances!
[center][img]http://img528.imageshack.us/img528/9552/amichebannerup7.jpg[/img][/center] (DVD) (First Viewing, 9th Antonioni film) It’s rather difficult to gage whether or not [b]Le Amíche[/b] (1955) would be of any real interest if the young Michelangelo Antonioni had not gone on to become [I]Michelangelo Antonioni[/I]… but for an early effort, it’s very, very good. It stands out among the director’s filmography simply because for once there’s much too much—too many characters, too many plotlines to follow, the art direction too cluttered—and it carries its emotions on its sleeve in a way not seen elsewhere in an Antonioni film. The best and most memorable sequence, which depicts a group of bright young things at the beach quickly sinking into a bog of collective boredom and indifference, clearly precedes the ennui of [I]L’Avventura[/I] that revolutionized cinema. One gets the very real sense of a great artist’s vision germinating and taking root, and the effect is exhilarating.
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