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
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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.

Stefan Andersson
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:02 am

Re: 801 I Knew Her Well

#29 Post by Stefan Andersson » Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:35 am

A comparison between German theatrical version and Italian version:
https://www.movie-censorship.com/report.php?ID=507388

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ellipsis7
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 1:56 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: 801 I Knew Her Well

#30 Post by ellipsis7 » Wed Jul 29, 2020 10:27 am

Fascinating - I'm assuming the Criterion is equivalent to the 'long version' mentioned here...

Looking a little further into this, there is a file in the Archivio Centrale dello Stato @ Roma on IO LA CONOSCEVO BENE, which I haven't had a chance to consult, but the inventory listing mentions the following..
Casa di produzione: Zebra film spa poi Ultra film/Sicilia cinematografica, Pathé consortium e Roxy film

Note: Coproduzione italo franco tedesca
So it is a three way coproduction with the German Co-Producer being Roxy Film GmbH, a German film production company established in 1951 by Luggi Waldleitner.

The German version is thus a true alternative cut, using at the various stages identified different shots, spare takes & out takes, probably supervised by Roxy & Waldleitner. To construct the title sequence at the head a separate set of shots are selected from the parts of the negative unused in the Italian version to marry with the German captions in the laboratory process.

I'm guessing also that the France release JE LA CONNAISSAIS BIEN with French Co-Producer Pathé consortium/Les Films du Siècle forms a third version - Amazon lists the German version on Pal DVD as 93 minutes while the French version clocks in at 97 minutes also on Pal DVD (with inherent Pal speedup on both)...

The Criterion Blu Ray runs 115 minutes (at true speed) representing I guess the Italian version, which was restored on film from the original negative by Giuseppe Rotunno as part of the Associazione Philip Morris Progetto Cinema in the late 90s, subsequently there being a 4K digital restoration following up on this...

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ellipsis7
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 1:56 pm
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Re: 801 I Knew Her Well

#31 Post by ellipsis7 » Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:09 am

Interesting Cine Censura Italian censorship documents for IO LA CONOSCEVO BENE , from initial release to later incarnations...

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