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Nice visuals in the bizarre story of a tortured artist
A Quiet Place in the Country is a rarely seen film, and that's probably owing to the fact that sourcing an English language copy is rather difficult. I was lucky enough to find one, and although I'm not going to rave about this film as some others have; it's certainly very interesting and was worth the trouble of tracking it down. The film is likely to divide opinion because it doesn't really follow any logical structure, and mostly relies on style and atmosphere to get its points across. Films like this have to work extra hard to get me to like them as I'm a fan of films that tell a story...and I'd say it just about manages it. The plot focuses on Leonardo Ferri; a tortured artist. He is haunted by strange visions and suffers from nightmares. Because of this, he feels he needs to get away to the countryside. He ends up staying in a country villa; but his tranquillity is soon interrupted when it emerges that the villa is haunted by the ghost of a girl. Leonardo then becomes obsessed by the idea of the haunting, and edges ever closer to losing his mind.
My main reason for wanting to see this film is the fact that it stars the great Franco Nero. It has to be said that this isn't really an actor's film as the focus is more on the visuals; but in spite of that, Nero still manages to impress with a performance that hits all the right notes. Nero leads the film and plays the only character of any sustained significance; but he does receive some decent support from Vanessa Redgrave. The plot is very fragmented in the way that it's structured and often trails off in directions you wouldn't expect. At times it's easier just to forget about what is going on and just watch the film itself without worrying about the plot. Director Elio Petri creates a surreal atmosphere, which compliments the plot nicely and helps to increase the potency of many of the visuals featured. The plot line about the haunting does not begin until half way through the film; although it is the film's only real attempt to tell a story. Even so, the film is a success rated purely on the quality of what we're seeing on screen...although viewers that appreciate a good story may be disappointed.
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