801 I Knew Her Well

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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Cold Bishop
Joined: Tue May 30, 2006 9:45 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: 801 I Knew Her Well

#26 Post by Cold Bishop » Mon Mar 07, 2016 8:23 pm

The ending is also crucial to the design of the film. It is meant to be jarring and unexpected, ironically reflected in the title,

With that said, I'm still not sure that means it's successful.

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knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: 801 I Knew Her Well

#27 Post by knives » Thu Mar 31, 2016 2:18 pm

This is one of the best surprises, and films, to come out of the collection in a while.I think the La dolce vita comparisons are really missing the mark and if there is a comparison to be made to Fellini I think The White Sheik or Nights of Cabiria is more apt considering the milieu that the film centers on. This feeds really well into an impossible tone which Pietrangelli captures perfectly. It's sort of a fleeting working class escapism as if the high parties towards the end or the dancing by moonlight at the beginning is this slight barrier against remembering the embarrassments those very things lead into.
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As for the ending everyone is pondering over it makes sense to me as connected to what I said before. The acting, modeling, and all the rest throughout the film seems to have been motivated by a mixture of flightiness and discomfort with her past, which I suppose connects with the agrarian argument posed earlier. Even as early as the opening scenes her movements away from her past are connected to the image of the man in the stairway provoked by a messy accident. It makes me wonder, running with the metaphor conception, if the film is arguing any connection between the strive toward modernity and trying to put the fascist past out of memory. I haven't really seen any Italian film that discusses any sort of collective guilt with regards to WWII before with most depictions being based in the past and literal as compared with the the Germans who do more of what I'm talking about.

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Lemmy Caution
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:26 am
Location: East of Shanghai

Re: 801 I Knew Her Well

#28 Post by Lemmy Caution » Sun Oct 13, 2019 1:45 am

I was kind of divided on this film.
On one hand it looks great, the dresses and hairstyles are quite fashionable. But our heroine really is vapid and drifting. Which is interesting for a while, but then for me skipped over frustrating and went right into boring.

As for the ending,
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its abruptness makes it shocking and feel unearned. But it has been prepared for. Earlier we see her spraying water and the drop below to the entranceway. She has had an abortion, actually more than one it seems, yet she really likes the neighbors infant. She offers to watch the neighbor's baby to comfort her blues, but the woman and child are off to see relatives. I think in the context of the film, the lack of a viable family -- her visit home adds more distance -- and the abortion induce suicidal thoughts.

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