Five short stories with contemporary settings. In New York, people are indifferent to derelicts sleeping on sidewalks, to a woman's assault in front of an apartment building, and to a ... See full summary »
Five short stories with contemporary settings. In New York, people are indifferent to derelicts sleeping on sidewalks, to a woman's assault in front of an apartment building, and to a couple injured in a car crash. A man, stripped of his identity, dies in bed with actors expressing his agony. A cheerful, innocent young man walking a city street in a time of war pays a price for this innocence. A couple talks about cinema while it watches another couple talk of love and truth on the eve of one character's return to Cuba. Striking students take over a university classroom; an argument follows about revolution or incremental change. Written by
Only if you're a major fan of one of these directors is this worth a look
The '60s at its most annoying, this has got to be the worst of all the European portmanteau films. There's very little of worth in these shorts even if you're a die hard fan of the directors. The one possible exception is Godard's segment, "Amore," which is kind of pretty, mostly due to the two gorgeous actresses who star in it (Christine Gueho and Catherine Jourdan). Kind of an amusing cinematic deconstruction, it gets a bit lost in the leftist politics of the rest of the film. The first segment, by Carlo Lizzani, starts interestingly enough, as a cinematic study of the psychological principle of diffusion of responsibility. A woman in New York City is being attacked, but no one will help her. Then there's an auto accident, and a gravely injured woman is forced into the car of an unwilling bystander. The plot gets really silly as the driver of that car turns out to be a wanted criminal. The short just randomly stops. Bertolucci's segment comes next and is little more than some stuff left on the cutting room floor from his most recent feature, Partner. It's somewhat cinematically interesting, but it doesn't go anywhere and it gets annoying long before it ends. Pasolini's segment is third. It's probably the least annoying of the shorts, but it's also completely forgettable. Ninetto Davoli, that afro-ed boy who appears in many of Pasolini's films, walks along a busy street, often carrying a giant flower. Images of the Vietnam War are superimposed over the street scenes. Godard's sequence, which I've described above, comes next. The final and worst short is by Marco Bellocchio and Elda Tattoli. A bunch of student protesters burst into a university lecture and spout Maoist slogans. The subtitles become an uninterpretable wall of text after around one minute. It immediately brings to mind one of my favorite Kent Brockman lines from The Simpsons, when describing the 1960s: "What a shrill and pointless decade."
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