This long-lost film by Luigi Bazzoni is something of an oddity for Shameless whose 19 previous releases have comprised gialli and other thrillers or films with copious sex and/or nudity. Footprints is a very moody, atmospheric and tense mystery thriller about a woman, Alice, who wakes up late one Tuesday, finishes a translation and gets to the office in time for the twelve o’clock deadline. There she is asked if she knew when it had to be in and, replying ‘midday’, is asked which day? She is surprised to learn that it is, in fact Thursday, and she has lost two days. Hooked on sedatives and haunted by dreams of a film that may or may not be real, her fragile mental state is completely rocked by this news.
Her apartment had a torn up post card of a big house and something that led her to believe that she should go to the small town of Garma. She’s been having strange dreams about an astronaut being abandoned on the moon as part of some experiments led by the mysterious Blackmann (played by Klaus Kinski in a small role which gave him top billing on the US release over Florinda Bolkan, who plays Alice) and sleeping for increasing amounts of time.
Once in Garma, some people in the town recognise her as Nicole, saying how nice it is to see her again after her visit on Tuesday and a young girl, Paola, sees her as familiar but doesn’t trust her because she looks different without her red hair and darker makeup. Furthermore, a boutique owner is preparing a handbag with Nicole engraved and shoes that fit properly. Investigating further, Alice uncovers evidence that she burnt something and even purchased scissors, though she doesn’t know for what purpose. Eventually, she learns that some people are after her but she is unsure who or why, and whether they want Alice or Nicole, only knowing that she may be in danger.
Released in 1975 as Le orme, this is a terrific example of the ‘missing memory’ film where the protagonist has lost time and has to discover what they did even though the answer may be more frightening than they anticipated. Florinda Bolkan is great in the lead role, perfectly capturing the lost and frightened nature of Alice but also her fierce determination to find out what happened in Garma on Tuesday.
There aren’t many films that cause me to get to the end and immediately watch the last few chapters again to see if I can figure out exactly what happened, but this is one of them. The whole dreamlike quality of Footprints sets up the puzzling and ambiguous ending really well and I’m still not sure that I fully understand it so another viewing is necessary. I have my own interpretation of what happened but itis the sort of film where three different people will have three different views, each as valid as the others and can lead to long online discussions.
2.40GB | 1h 36mn | 1024×552 | mkv