Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fraternal Instincts: 10:30 P.M. Summer

10:30 P.M. Summer (1966) - Dassin
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Atmospheric, fast paced film starring Melina Mercurie(Dassin's Anna Karina) as an aging alcoholic Maria, on vacation with her husband Paul (Peter Finch) and young, radiant friend Claire (scrumptious Romy Schneider). Through the dialog we learn that it was suspicious Maria's idea to bring Claire along because she wants to witness her husband's affair with Claire first hand. They arrive in a rural town in Spain en route to Madrid. There is a terrible storm and the whole town is in uproar because there has been a double murder- the film starts in rain, where a young Spaniard witnesses his wife and her lover in the heat of the moment and he shoots them both. Maria feels strange fraternity with the young man. He is on the roof, hiding! She has to help the fugitive!

10:30's strength is in its visuals- with a lot of overhead tracking shots and zoom-ins, the striking color photography and the crazy tango bar scene are quite beautiful and energetic. Arid vista of rural Spain and streets are stunningly photographed and resemble Antonioni's work. Great first half, but with the Marguerite Duras's slight script on brittle relationship, suggesting the affair maybe be all in Maria's head(with an arty fantasy/dream sequence), the film starts to run out of steam. The Antonioni-esque ending is neither resonating nor fitting with the rest of the film.

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