Hopelessly stupid men like me consider a particular kind of women gorgeous geniuses. I am not sure if there’s a word to categorize them. In Antonio Pietrangeli’s I Knew Her Well (1965) the protagonist quintessentially exemplifies one of these ladies. One might consider her a femme fatale character but she is not. Femme fatales most of the time have bad intentions or are trying to get away with murder unrealistically. Adriana, the Italian protagonist, lives day by day and that is how this film if unfolded, in a series of days in her life.
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Luis Garcia Berlanga’s The Executioner (1963) deals with the personal issues of an undertaker in his young adult life, as he becomes the brand new executioner in Madrid. How does he get the job? He marries the daughter (Emma Penella) of the long-time executioner, Amadeo (Jose Isbert). The marriage comes out of nowhere when the young man is caught making love with the daughter and he uses the excuse of marriage to excuse himself as a decent man. We are not sure if they actually love each other or if they are together because no one one’s willing to marry the daughter of an executioner as well as no one will bother marrying an insecure undertaker. He gets her pregnant.
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The latest and long passion Martin Scorsese project, Silence, adheres to his work as the third religious film he’s made (the others being The Last Temptation of Christ and Kundun (some might start calling this a trilogy)). The film, gorgeously shot completely on 35mm and adapted from Shusaku Endo’s 1966 novel, takes us on a ride with both priests Sebastiao Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Francisco Garupe (Adam Driver) in the quest for the lost father Ferrara (Liam Neeson).
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