Tuesday, 5 November 2013
Travels With My Film-Life: Italy - The Grand Tour - Early Bertolucci in Rome
We have travelled from Bertolucci's most recent film, "Me & You", to his very first as a director.... "The Grim Reaper" released in 1962. We spend most of the time in the poor districts of Rome and from the opening shot we know that there is the body of a woman. But who killed her? Like Kurosawa's "Rashomon" we see the scene as told by different suspects.... the young men and boys who pass through the night-time park where she is last seen..... standing, waiting for a "customer". Each story gives us a flavour of their lives and each story is punctuated by the rain storm that sets the timing of their versions. Which is the truth?
Based on a story by Pasolini, there is a quality about the film that does conjure up Pasolini's own films. Again critics do dismiss the film as derivative... but hey! It's Bertolucci's first.
For me.... there is something vivid about the people, scenes and settings that gives the feel of the time. Blimey I do myself remember those frilly blouses and mohair jumpers.... and the cheesy cha-chas!