Ossessione, no passione (Italian Edition)
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Through Calamai, the state of the average Italian, and the new form of the Italian cinematic image, is revealed as one of quiet emergency. What drives an average woman to kill? Viscontian criminal epistemol- ogy places the blame on this state of ordinariness, making crime a logical product of the systemic difficulty of life under the fascist regime.
The car accident in which the fatal injury is inflicted happens as the lovers escape from the police, driving desperately towards a brighter future. When the car rolls down the embankment, such hopes are definitively dashed, as the film wages a judgment against escapist solutions to social problems. The for- merly disheveled diva suddenly becomes a disfigured, dead diva, and her elsewhere-sensuous limbs drag lifelessly on the ground as Gino hoists her up the bank to the middle of the road.
Marc Daly, an English jazz pianist who works in Italy, becomes the inadvertent eyewitness to a violent murder, and in self- defense begins an investigation into the killing. A number of potentially useful sources are violently dispatched in dramatic set-pieces, and Marc at last must kill the killer in order to save himself.
If in Ossessione crime is made necessary by a rotten social system, in Profondo rosso crime is within, a perversion of the extraordinary individual. Cast as the aging moth- er of a dissolute piano player, Carlo, the character proudly recalls her days of glory as an actress in the cinema: O meglio, ero attrice. Guardi quelle foto — che ne dice?
Ero brava o no? Or rather I was an actress. What do you think?
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Was I good or what? The photographs in question are a gallery of still shots from films that Calamai herself starred in; the pictures adorn the wall of her apartment, and the camera cuts to individual frames of the photo- graphs, invoked in close-up such that in several instances they entirely fill the frame, constituting, for the space of a few seconds, the entirety of Profondo rosso.
My Italian obsession
These frames form part of the family tree of the film: The stills from previous films become non- simultaneous mirrors that reflect the multiple sides of the diva, and that confuse the lines between character and actress. The scene is a moment in which the relationship be- tween present and past is complicated: Is this role a cameo?
Which of the multiple pasts in the photo gallery are we supposed to believe? Thus the fatal neck wound inflicted on Calamai, who is in fact decapi- tated, signals the defeat of the killer, but also leads us to acknowledge the sudden success of the actress who at that moment is revealed to be a diva, albeit of a different kind, after all. They are false clues, though, because just as Marta is not who she seems, Argento cannot be reductively dismissed as primarily taking part in a conversation on genre cinema.
Visual clues in this sequence tie her to her Viscontian avatar. And thus both mariticides, de- picted as unhappy prisoners of their domestic space, foreshadow their crimes by expressing their dissatisfaction violently using the very tools of their unwanted trade. As Calamai admires photos of herself and expresses nostal- gia for her cinematic past, she laments: By the same token, the film, produced by an intellectual collective, was seen as a reflection of the philosophy of the contributors to the Cinema journal — it was part of an alternative filmic structure, a corrective to the perceived bankruptcy of what came before.
Thus in the midst of its critique, Ossessione is also an act of faith, an expression of belief in the powers of such collectives to effect change. It was in a sense an approach that he had participated in: Argento spent a number of years in the mid s as a film critic writing for the newspaper Paese Sera, a publication tied to the PCI Partito Comunista Italiano.
VISCONT'S OSSESSIONE. - CZARABOX
In his own pref- ace to a book of collected writings on cinema, Argento remembers the time spent at Paese Sera with affection and embarrassment, citing in regards to this latter his necessary adherence to the party line: E se sbagliavi venivi ripreso. Dovevi stare sempre nel solco del giornale. E alcune recensioni mi fanno vergognare. And if you made a mistake, you were reprimanded. So today I blush reading some of my articles, so per- meated with exaggerated political zeal.
Even if Paese Sera was one of the most vibrant dailies in Italy, it was still a paper that came from a party, the PCI [Italian Communist Party], and one had to stay within the party line. And his resistance to what he perceives as the confines of political cinema is played out as he celebrates and then mutilates Clara Calamai.
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Extravagant color and disjunctive editing addi- tionally heighten the awareness that the film creates exceptions, rather than confirming rules. Earlier, in a hallway of the apartment where the first murder happened, he observed a gallery of paintings and recalled having seen something anomalous but fleeting in one of them.
Once again, Calamai is part of a gallery of images that crosses temporal boundaries, linking the beginning of the film to the end. Narratively speaking, the substance on the ground is the life-blood of the female protagonist, even though its strange viscosity and unnaturally brilliant hue belie its verisimilitude.
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And this experience emanated, literally, from the body of Clara Calamai. Gian Piero Brunetta recognizes Ossessione as a key moment in the formation of post-war Italian cinema: This attitude is reflected in his own understanding of his critical reception in Italy, an attitude that seems to contain equal measures of pride and re- sentment: Invece in Italia, se si esclude qualche giovane critico, la maggior parte non dice che i miei film sono brutti e fatti male ma che sono film ignobili.
Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Tu sei ossessione by Federico Moccia. Tu sei ossessione by Federico Moccia. I suoi romanzi piacciono molto: Una sera gli arriva un messaggio su Facebook che lo colpisce subito.
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La chat con questa donna misteriosa si trasforma prima in un gioco innocente, poi, giorno dopo giorno, in un'intrigante relazione virtuale e infine in un'ossessione vera e propria. Le emozioni e il turbamento per questa sconosciuta, l'attrazione per i suoi ragionamenti e le sue provocazioni, sempre confinate in quella chat, diventano un bisogno assoluto quotidiano.
Forse Giovanni, senza rendersene conto, ha commesso un errore in passato? Federico Moccia continua a scavare indagatorio alla radice dei sentimenti tra uomo e donna.
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