My second pick from Vogel’s “Assault on Montage” after the first Bach movie, and this one feels more assaultive – but it’s an assault on everything, not just montage, a big youthful 60s movie full of formal energy and manic-depressive characters. Not sensory overload though – plenty of plain backgrounds and scenes without music to keep you off guard.
Fabrizio’s blonde friend dies in an (accidental?) drowning. Aunt Gina tries to cheer him up at the funeral, not acting much like an aunt, he ditches the pretty age-appropriate girl meant as his fiancee to have a rocky affair with Gina. Halfway through we finally meet his academic commie idol Cesare, who he keeps mentioning, and she has her own older confidante who she calls Puck. Fabrizio wanders back to his own girl in the end.
A young cinephile movie, even with a scene discussing Godard and Rossellini and Nick Ray at a cafe. “I’m a bore who makes lists of films.” Has some character behaviors in common with giallo – Italians are emotionally unstable people. Does Italian music sound circusy because they invented the circus? More research is needed. Aunt Gina would later star in Phantom of Liberty and The Best of Youth. Fabrizio would direct and write The Perfume of the Lady in Black. The drowned Agostino was the only Bertolucci regular.