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good 'art house' drama
Michelangelo Antonioni gave the world this muted melodrama about urban females dealing with boorish men, banal modern life and the occasional suicide attempt.
Antonioni's 1950's films adhere more consistently to narrative conventions than his films of the 60's; however, Le Amiche's plot still tends to wander. We are led to identify with Clelia, who is visiting Turin from Rome in order to set up a dressmaker's salon. In Turin, she falls in with a group of women after discovering a failed suicide in an adjacent hotel room. Antonioni then demonstrates, through a variety of social situations, just how bitchy and alienating this social circle is to those within it. Even the woman who attempted suicide readily betrays one of her friends by having an affair with her husband (later to appear as Sandro in L'Avventura, a film that builds on and extends the themes here). But the husband is too self-concerned to be able to see how his actions will affect either of the women (wife and friend) with whom he becomes involved. Antonioni's attention to the various characters fluctuates but none gain too much depth, apart from Clelia who seems sympathetic but ultimately ambivalent toward these new "friends" in Turin. As he would continue to do throughout his career, Antonioni depicts the idle rich as pursuing lives of meaninglessness and cruelty; as a film, Le Amiche represents one more step on the road toward the exciting levels of abstraction he would achieve later on to convey this theme.
Lesser Antonioni, but has some lovely sequences that hint at things to come later in his career.
Soapy early Antonioni film doesn't really go anywhere or say very much.
Hugely enjoyable account of gender politics in 1950s Italy. As the plot progresses its fascinating to see how the characters develop. The period detail is intoxicating. Antonioni gets you really involved by useing long takes and moving the camera all the time. Good as it was to see a one off cinema screening, the enjoyment was compromised by a widescreen projection of the 1.37 print , chopping heads etc. of the characters.
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.
Clelia, una ragazza di umili origini, diventata direttrice di una casa di moda, giunge a Torino per aprirvi una boutique. Qui incontra una ricca oziosa, Momina, la cui amica Rosetta ha tentato il suicidio. Clelia conosce così gli amici delle due donne: Cesare, il frivolo amante di Momina; Mariella, svampita e di facili costumi; Nene, ceramista di successo e il suo amante Lorenzo, un pittore fallito per il quale Rosetta aveva deciso di suicidarsi. Clelia e Lorenzo diventano amanti ma, in seguito all'ennesima lite davanti agli altri, lui la lascia per tornare da Nene, che è disposta a sacrificare il proprio successo pur di riavere Lorenzo per sé. Quando Rosetta si uccide, Clelia grida la sua indignazione e il suo disprezzo per quel cinico gruppo di cosiddetti amici e lascia Torino. Ma anche lei, per salvare la sua carriera, rinuncia senza esitare all'amore di un giovane che ritiene di troppo modesta estrazione sociale.
Sicherlich der Kunstvollste unter Antonionis frÃ¼hen Filmen, dennoch immer noch Ausdruck einer Suchbewegung. Zwar sucht er durch den Verzicht auf eine eindeutige Hauptfigur und die Aufsplitterung der Narration auf gleich 8 gleichberechtigte Protagonistinnen die Geradlinigkeit der ErzÃ¤hlung auÃer Kraft zu setzen, stellenweise fÃ¼hrt das aber gerade zu einem Zuviel an Plot statt zu dem unter Strom gestellten Insichruhen der Nullplots von Antonionis Meisterwerken. Zudem kann er das Melodramatische, das er spÃ¤ter so meisterhaft auf den Nullpunkt herunterkÃ¼hlt, hier noch nicht vollstÃ¤ndig hinter sich lassen. Diese Kritikpunkte bedeuten freilich lediglich, dass hier ein ganz groÃer Kinomeister noch nicht vÃ¶llig bei sich selbst angekommen ist - ansonsten ist LE AMICHE ein in jeder Hinsicht gelungener und wunderbarer Film.
Much better than its beginning or any trailer could suggest. Sort of like a bunch of caricatures running around, but can't deny that it's got some surprising heart to it.