Going alone into an abandoned, living city, a woman tries to cross a forbidden zone swarming with the Morning Patrol and traps. Meeting one of the last city guards, they attempt recall the past and penetrate the zone together.
An artist slowly goes insane while struggling to pay his bills, work on his paintings, and care for his two female roommates, which leads him taking to the streets of New York after dark and randomly killing derelicts with a power drill.
Stefano, a young journalist, buys a used typewriter and accidentally sees that some text is still readable on the ribbon. He manages to reconstruct the story of a scientist, Paolo Zeder, ... See full summary »
A young woman is invited by her girlfriend, who lives in an English country mansion, to stay there with her. The estate, however, isn't quite what it seems--and neither is the friend who issued the invitation.
José Ramón Larraz
The world after the nuclear apocalypse. Pale light lits the scenery of total destruction. The surviving humans vegetate in wet cellars under the nuclear winter. But somehow human spirit ... See full summary »
The girls were born into a post-apocalyptic world, but at least one of them has a vaccination scar. See more »
Why couldn't you've been born a blonde?
I saw this last night at the American Cinematheque as part of their tribute to screenwriter Pavel Juracek, and I have to say WOW. I was thoroughly impressed, completely engrossed from the first frame. The Cinematheque's schedule described this as "MAD MAX directed by Andrei Tarkovsky", which isn't far from the mark.
The actress who played the Old Lady, the leader of the amazons, has one of the most beautifully expressive faces I have ever seen onscreen, and this quality was only emphasized by the razor sharp black-&-white cinematography that brought out every tiny detail of emotional nuance. I found myself imagining that the Old Lady had been the teacher at an all-girl elementary school, and that after the Apocalypse she had merely extended her role of den mother into chief of the amazons' little tribe.
The actresses who play her young charges, nearly all apparently amateurs (only a few have any other film credits), are all attractive to a greater or lesser degree, but not in a slick, Hollywood way. They're like healthy, athletic peasant girls and farmer's daughters. Many appear to be expert equestrians - how to describe the thrill of seeing one of them mount a galloping horse sans saddle or stirrups? Of particular note is the young woman who played Barboura, the Old Lady's heir apparent, a statuesque red(?)head, a Balkan Sophia Loren. What a shame that she and nearly all of the other amazons made only this film and no others. They're all completely believable in their roles as young women transformed by the rigors and loneliness of their post-apocalyptic environment into hardened, even cruel near-barbarians (all without any male influence, mind you).
A word of caution for animal lovers: there all several scenes in which real animals - a snake, a cow - are actually killed onscreen, and very graphically. By today's standards this may seem callous, even evil, but in the context of the film I can understand how the filmmakers might have felt justified in doing so as these killings make the point of who these women are and what they've become (unlike, say, some of the egregious mondo thrills of onscreen animal slaughter in nearly every Italian cannibal film ever made). As for the dog mentioned by a previous reviewer, I'm uncertain whether or not it was killed. It may have been merely snared by one leg and pulled down to simulate its being shot, and it does appear to still be breathing after one of the amazons knocks its skull in just below the frameline; but it's hard for me to imagine an animal in such obvious distress being well-trained enough to suddenly go quiet after a 'pretend' blow to the head with a rifle butt. Besides, it's obviously a malnourished mutt and earlier in the film one of the actresses does connect with its head when she hurls a small log at it. Well, you can be the judge if you ever have a chance to see the film - which, if it does come up, I highly recommend you take.
20 of 24 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this