Io la conoscevo bene

Sunday, 14 August, Year 8 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

Io la conoscevo benei tells the story of a ditz in 1960s Castellammare. You know, the place all the mobsters came from. The mobstermecca.

She has a dayjob - as an incompetent hairdresser, making piddly squat for jackshit effortii. The owner of the little hairshack is displeased with her performance as a hairdresser. He fucks her naturally, mechanically, as something you kinda have to do to your property, like trimming the hedges say. He's displeased with her performance as a cumrag, also - but that's okay, she's displeased with his, too!

She has a nightjob, too - showing patrons the way into a cinema, along with another ditz. And she's looking for more jobs, which is how some silver tin tongued mortodifame introduces her to an old man from whence she picks up a little job modelling boots - for which she shows up in all the get-up of a dutchess.

She has a boyfriend, of course, a nutty vagabond who asks the waiter to feel up his girlfriend, and takes her for a coito nel bosco along with a comrade and his capture - a foreign girl speaking remarkably good Italian (har har). She envies the foreign girl - for what she perceives her freedom and her better social standing. Somehow in her small brainbox hosting an even tinier brain this makes sense. She gives the boyfriend a hard time, of course, but that doesn't actually go all the way to not putting out. Besides, it's okay, he leaves her behind, stuck with the motel bill she can't pay.

And on, and on, and on in this manner. She's pretty, and she's young, and she's just smart enough to play a length of plywood. Which she does. At some point a man she meets purposefully holds up a mirror to her ; but she doesn't understand of the strange movement in the glass anymore than a cat understands of a calendar.

The end.

This film readily qualifies Pietrangeli among the masters of his craft, for so much tension generated out of so little pretense is rare enough a sight.

———
  1. 1962, by Antonio Pietrangeli, with Stefania Sandrelli []
  2. "But won't they make me seem older ?"
    "Are you kidding ? All the old hags get them to appear young. Err..." []
Category: Trilematograf
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8 Responses

  1. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    1
    Mircea Popescu 
    Sunday, 14 August 2016

    PS. This is a deeply catholic, profoundly antimodern film. Adriana's tragedy - because yes, Adriana is absolutely a tragic figure, notwithstanding I've yet to read a reviewer who noticed - is that technological progress has disappered her biological niche.

    Before the pill made it possible for men to fuck without raising children she would have been a perfectly happy mother, and a perfectly great wife. She is loving, on that superficial, pointless level that entirely satisfies a child for that short portion of his life he actually belongs with his mother ; she is vivacious, pleasant, entirely opposite to the nag that men most hated back when they actuallty had to bother.

    After progeny was cleaved from matrimony she is entirely lost, however. There's nothing left for her under the Sun. She doesn't have the werewithal to be a man in a woman's body - and for all the pretense and gold dusted cow dung gargled across the ocean neither do most of the fantasmagoric heroines of the "female liberation" agitprop. She hasn't the qualities that make a mistress, she's no Cristina. She's Adriana, a siren left behind by the tide, incapable of satisfying anyone with her fish-like half, incapable of walking... incapable of anything, really, other than falling. And so she falls.

    Once you see that scene where twenty year old is captive in an apartment which you know, you feel, you splendidly, perfectly and without remainder intuit will remain the same, forever, exactly, for as long as she lives ; when you observe that you couldn't in any way tell whether she's 20 or 70, her suicide becomes not merely reasonable - it becomes the ethically required move. There's absolutely nothing else for her. That she has the courage to do it, instead of the cowardice typical in other parts, entirely seals the deal.

    There lies Adriana. She was perfect at something that no longer exists. You'll never be that good at anything she left behind.

  1. [...] of this head, exact equivalent (over decades, and gender gaps, and culture chasms) of that fabled Adriana. It's like a sad game of tennis where no ball touches more than one raquet, [...]

  2. [...] you do realise that if Elliot were born Jennifer he'd have been very popular and entirely happy her entire life, yes ? No, don't talk of tits to me : the same parents that spent 50k to get him a BMW he couldn't [...]

  3. [...] been a very proper woman. Deeply serviable to men, sexually foremost, she spent her youth living the life and then eventually, fortunate enough to live in a time before contraception, found domestic peace [...]

  4. [...] been a very proper woman. Deeply serviable to men, sexually foremost, she spent her youth living the life and then eventually, fortunate enough to live in a time before contraception, found domestic peace [...]

  5. [...] guy's a Gypsy-looking lawyer who isn't particularily interested ; the gal's a very comme il faut ditz -- simple, loving in that simple manner, fully convinced to the marrow of her bone that all she has [...]

  6. [...] were always cast towards her miniature. Nellie had been beautiful, but, by God! she had lived out the full life of the splendid girl. How could he have spent his life with her? She was a fool, by God! not to marry that simpleton [...]

  7. [...] inadequate. The change, while utter and complete, did not do him the courtesy of killing him, as it evidently should haveiii. No, he's not worth the noose. He was simply, quietly left behind. Meaningless but still alive, [...]

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