Tag Archives: Monica Vitti

Joseph Losey – Modesty Blaise (1966)

Monica Vitti is Modesty Blaise, fabulous international spy-slash-jewel thief. She is hired by Sir Gerald Terrant (Harry Andrews) of the British government — I think, but I’m not sure, for reasons I’ll explain momentarily — to make sure £50 million in diamonds gets to the proper Middle Eastern sheik in exchange for oil reserves. Modesty warns them that if she is not told the full story about the diamonds and the plans to rob them en route, she will consider herself a free agent and steal the diamonds for herself. Thus begins a strange series of events that are part spy spoof, part random stream of consciousness events, and partly based on the long-running comic strip begun in 1963. Read More »

Mario Monicelli – La ragazza con la pistola AKA The Girl with a Pistol (1968)

Girl with a Pistol, directed in 1968 by Mario Monicelli and starring Monica Vitti, Stanley Baker and Carlo Giuffrè, is one of the most successful Italian comedies. Monica Vitti is Assunta, a Sicilian girl seduced and abandoned by Vincenzo (Carlo Giuffrè) who then escapes to London in order to avoid a shotgun wedding. Assunta’s only chance to restore her lost honour is to find and kill her seducer. Read More »

Miklós Jancsó – La pacifista – Smetti di piovere AKA The Pacifist (1970)

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This highly symbolic and enigmatic political drama by Hungarian director Miklos Jancso was produced by a consortium from Italy, France and West Germany. This film is considered to be an homage to Antonioni as it uses his favorite leading actress (Monica Vitti) and his cameraman Carlo di Palma. This film was made during a time when Jancso was not allowed to make films in his native Hungary. In the middle of the crowd, while covering an Italian political protest by leftists, The Journalist (Monica Vitti), a pacifist, finds herself surrounded by a quite different group of people who jostle her, remove her recording equipment from her and set her car on fire. She complains to the police about this. However, when the police bring one of the young men before her for her to identify him, she says he is not one of her attackers. This leads to her having a romantic relationship with the young man. The group, and the young man, are young Italian neo-fascists, and the young man has been given the job of assassinating a leftist. He is too gentle to do this, and his group kills him right before The Journalist’s eyes. She goes to the police again, but they begin to believe that she is insane, even when she is forced to kill her boyfriend’s assailants right there in the police station. Read More »

Michelangelo Antonioni – Il Mistero di Oberwald aka The Oberwald Mystery (1981)

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The Passenger (1975) marked the end of Antonioni’s three picture deal with MGM, and simultaneously the end of his mainstream acceptance. Although revered now as one of his finest works, The Passenger had lukewarm reception at best, with most of the American critics still bitter of Antonioni’s caricaturing of American capitalism in Zabriskie Point (1969). Since those two films had been costly flops, Antonioni found himself unable to secure investors for the arthouse pictures he’d become known for. Five years past, and still not a film, until finally Antonioni settled on The Oberwald Mystery. Read More »