2 February 2012 5:49 AM, PST | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

Hotels are cinematic. First of all, they are perfect microcosms, whether of a nation or of the world. Also, they work as a metaphor for cinema itself: a space where individuals, couples and families check in briefly, abandoning their regular life to be somewhere else. In La donna del lago (The Woman in the Lake, 1965) writer-directors Luigi Bazzoni and Franco Rossellini set their mystery in a hotel by a lake, where the writer protagonist soon finds himself lost in a narrative labyrinth, unable to tell fantasy from reality. Here, the hotel is like a projector (a dark box full of dreams) with the lake as its screen, upon which crazy lies and imaginings are projected.

In other words, this film is a prototype both for the whole giallo genre, and for Antonioni's Blow-Up and its descendants. Yet Rossellini, nephew of the more famous Roberto, and Bazzoni, brother of the less famous Camillo, »

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