Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Eleonora Rossi Drago, Gabriele Ferzetti, Franco Fabrizi, Valentina Cortese, Yvonne Furneaux, Madeleine Fischer, Anna Maria Pancani, Luciano Volpato, Maria Gambarelli, Ettore Manni
Written by: Michelangelo Antonioni, Suso Cecchi d'Amico, Alba De Cespedes, based on a novel by Cesare Pavese
Directed by: Michelangelo Antonioni
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Language: Italian, with English subtitles
Running Time: 104
Date: 09/07/1955
IMDB

Le amiche (1955)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Girl Talk

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Translated as "The Girlfriends," this is a very minor early work from Michelangelo Antonioni, shown in a new print at the San Francisco International Film Festival. Clelia (Eleonora Rossi Drago) travels to Turin to supervise the completion of a new fashion salon, and a young woman tries to commit suicide in the hotel room next door. She becomes involved in the girl's circle of socialite friends, who proceed to gather, talk about men, fall in and out of love, and talk some more. The film has none of the trademark tormented landscapes that distinguished Antonioni's later films. Indeed, it plays more like a 1950s version of The Women, with female characters forever stuck between careers and love, between what they want and what they have. (The latter facet would become a major Antonioni theme.) Despite all this, the film does have some effective melodramatic goop that sneaks up on you.