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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ianungstad
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801 I Knew Her Well

#1 Post by ianungstad » Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:59 pm

I Knew Her Well

Image Image

This prismatic portrait of the days and nights of a party girl in sixties Rome is a revelation. On the surface, I Knew Her Well, directed by Antonio Pietrangeli, plays like an inversion of La dolce vita with a woman at its center, following the gorgeous, seemingly liberated Adriana (Divorce Italian Style's Stefania Sandrelli) as she dallies with a wide variety of men, attends parties, goes to modeling gigs, and circulates among the rich and famous. Despite its often light tone, though, the film is a stealth portrait of a suffocating culture that regularly dehumanizes people, especially women. A seriocomic character study that never strays from its complicated central figure while keeping us at an emotional remove, I Knew Her Well is one of the most overlooked films of the sixties, by turns hilarious, tragic, and altogether jaw-dropping.

SPECIAL FEATURES

• New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• New interview with actor Stefania Sandrelli
• New interview with film scholar Luca Barattoni about the career of director Antonio Pietrangeli
• Trailer
• New English subtitle translation
• PLUS: An essay by journalist and author Alexander Stille

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Jeff
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Re: Forthcoming Lists Discussion and Random Speculation Vol.

#2 Post by Jeff » Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:32 pm

ianungstad wrote:
Meredith Brody wrote:I told Alexander Payne I was sad that they hadn’t scheduled an additional screening of the 1965 Italia film “I Knew Her Well” that he’d introduced night before last, which already seems so long ago, and he told me that Criterion had picked it up (but I don’t want to wait! And I want to see it on the big screen!) And maybe he was pulling my leg, but he said something about it being scheduled at some cinematheque in his home state of Nebraska, where he lives part-time.
I wonder if it might not be slated for an Antonio Pietrangeli Eclipse set.

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Gregory
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Re: Forthcoming Lists Discussion and Random Speculation Vol.

#3 Post by Gregory » Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:50 pm

Meredith Brody wrote:...And maybe he was pulling my leg, but he said something about it being scheduled at some cinematheque in his home state of Nebraska, where he lives part-time.
I don't know why exactly she thought he would have been pulling her leg about that. They have special screenings like that all the time at FilmStreams in Omaha, which is the one Payne helped establish. But I guess to some critics from th' big city, hearing something like that they'd picture the film projected onto the side of a barn for a small crowd of puzzled hayseeds covering their children's eyes.
I don't see it on the FilmStreams calendar yet (and there's a small chance he could have been referring to the Ross Film Theater in Lincoln, but more likely FilmStreams).

Arthur House
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Re: Forthcoming Lists Discussion and Random Speculation Vol.

#4 Post by Arthur House » Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:07 pm

Great news about I Knew Her Well! I caught a restored print almost exactly 3 years ago during a Cinecitta-backed rep series spotlighting legendary Italian starlets. An truly unforgettable film, easily the equal of any "New Wave" classic (Italian or otherwise) one would care to name. I did some research awhile back, discovering (via, er, a link on Sandrelli's Mr. Skin page 8-[ ) that the film was only available as an expensive import dvd of dubious origin.

On a related note, most of the titles in the series I saw were/are present and accounted for in R1 (Rome: Open City, Girl With A Suitcase, Juliet of The Spirits etc.), but the following have yet to surface:
  • Visconti's Sandra (In limbo with Columbia?)
    Scola's Drama of Jealousy (imdb says Warner Bros. distributed this in the US upon it's original release; don't think this ever hit video in the states)
    De Sica's Two Women (available in a pan & scan PD version, this was a restoration in proper OAR from original elements)

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TMDaines
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Re: Forthcoming Lists Discussion and Random Speculation Vol.

#5 Post by TMDaines » Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:02 pm

Arthur House wrote:Great news about I Knew Her Well! I caught a restored print almost exactly 3 years ago during a Cinecitta-backed rep series spotlighting legendary Italian starlets. An truly unforgettable film, easily the equal of any "New Wave" classic (Italian or otherwise) one would care to name. I did some research awhile back, discovering (via, er, a link on Sandrelli's Mr. Skin page 8-[ ) that the film was only available as an expensive import dvd of dubious origin.
Not sure what you linked but there's a very good proper DVD of Io la conoscevo bene out in Italy.
Last edited by TMDaines on Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

Arthur House
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Re: Forthcoming Lists Discussion and Random Speculation Vol.

#6 Post by Arthur House » Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:51 pm

^^It might be that version actually. I was just going on the lack of info provided by the site (libri.dvd.it), which is limited to the director, publisher (Lindau), their line (Grandi Film Restaurati), and--as I've now discovered with translate--that the disc in question is not currently for sale on their site. I'm not used to shopping for foreign dvds on native websites and perhaps let my ignorance get the better of me. #-o

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TMDaines
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Re: Forthcoming Lists Discussion and Random Speculation Vol.

#7 Post by TMDaines » Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:25 am

Arthur House wrote:^^It might be that version actually. I was just going on the lack of info provided by the site (libri.dvd.it), which is limited to the director, publisher (Lindau), their line (Grandi Film Restaurati), and--as I've now discovered with translate--that the disc in question is not currently for sale on their site. I'm not used to shopping for foreign dvds on native websites and perhaps let my ignorance get the better of me. #-o
You linked to a book of some sort. Here's the DVD: Amazon.it.

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TMDaines
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Re: Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#8 Post by TMDaines » Mon Nov 16, 2015 4:36 pm

Buttery Jeb wrote:Antonio Pietrangeli's I Knew Her Well also seems to be on the docket.
Just bought the Italian DVD in my last Amazon.it order...

Still very pleased to see Criterion introducing more bonafide Italian classics to English-speaking audiences.

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Dylan
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Re: Forthcoming: I Knew Her Well

#9 Post by Dylan » Mon Nov 16, 2015 5:30 pm

This is truly great news. I Knew Her Well is an amazing film and it has by a mile Stefania Sandrelli's greatest performance. One of the finest films ever made about party lifestyles and it's beautifully photographed by Armando Nannuzzi. Essential viewing, especially for those who love the Italian cinema of the period.
Last edited by Dylan on Mon Nov 16, 2015 11:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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rohmerin
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Re: 801 I Knew Her Well

#10 Post by rohmerin » Mon Nov 16, 2015 11:54 pm

Sadly Sandrelli is dubbed by other actress.
The Berlusconi's Italian DVD was quite good indeed.

The song Mani bucati, near the end is beautiful.

In Italy finally La parmigiana, with Catherine Spaak, has been released.

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Dylan
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Re: 801 I Knew Her Well

#11 Post by Dylan » Mon Nov 16, 2015 11:59 pm

In Italy finally La parmigiana, with Catherine Spaak, has been released.
Also great news! We need more classic Catherine Spaak films out there. I'm still waiting for a R1 of Alberto Lattuada's I Dolci Inganni, which is a brilliant film.

By the way, the cover art for I Knew Her Well has fast become one of my favorites in the entire collection. Brilliantly done, and it fits the film perfectly.

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TMDaines
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Re: 801 I Knew Her Well

#12 Post by TMDaines » Tue Nov 17, 2015 4:38 am

rohmerin wrote:Sadly Sandrelli is dubbed by other actress.
The Berlusconi's Italian DVD was quite good indeed.

The song Mani bucati, near the end is beautiful.

In Italy finally La parmigiana, with Catherine Spaak, has been released.
The Italian DVD market has been really good these last few years, even after Warner bought Medusa. Cristaldi Film have been releasing a lot of lesser known works and other companies have also been releasing previously unreleased works. As you say, La parmigiana is now coming out and so is Le soldatesse. We're getting to the stage now where more and more works are at least available, if only on a barebones DVD.

There's been a lot of restorations in recent years and Criterion has clearly been paying attention. There's a real wealth that they could choose to release. Personally, I'm hoping for La ragazza con la valigia as the Spanish BD is cut, I believe.

jojo
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Re: 801 I Knew Her Well

#13 Post by jojo » Sat Nov 21, 2015 4:21 am

Glad to see this out on BD. I first saw this at my local Cinematheque a few years back and I was riveted throughout. It is not, I suppose, that much different from most other "doomed heroine" films about the emptiness of fame, social popularity, and celebrity, but it's executed in such a stylish manner that it still feels quite fresh despite being a familiar story. It's the little details that stick out to me the most, though, like those shots of her legs and feet while she gives her record player a swift "kick" to start it up, and of course, beautifully shot scenes of Sandrelli lounging around doing nothing in classic Italian film fashion.

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britcom68
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Re: 801 I Knew Her Well

#14 Post by britcom68 » Sun Nov 29, 2015 12:52 pm

I cannot wait to see this film on a great-looking release, finally. I have never had the opportunity to watch it before. For those that have already seen this film, how does it compare to another 1965 release, John Schlessinger's "Darling?" I have to admit that Darling is a guilty pleasure for me, it is repetitive at times and underdeveloped in some aspects but it sounded similar to Pietrangeli's film I am curious how they might compare and contrast. Thoughts?

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Minkin
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Re: 801 I Knew Her Well

#15 Post by Minkin » Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:06 pm

There wasn't any "more" for this film, but they've added another extra:

Archival footage of Sandrelli’s audition

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Minkin
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Re: 801 I Knew Her Well

#16 Post by Minkin » Wed Jan 20, 2016 8:10 pm

Here is the Janus touring poster:
Image

(change the 250 to 1280 in the URL to make the image larger). I say they went with the better image for the DVD/Blu.

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domino harvey
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Re: 801 I Knew Her Well

#17 Post by domino harvey » Wed Jan 20, 2016 8:14 pm

Agreed, though usually it's the other way around!

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FrauBlucher
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Re: 801 I Knew Her Well

#18 Post by FrauBlucher » Mon Feb 01, 2016 9:27 pm


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Minkin
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Re: 801 I Knew Her Well

#19 Post by Minkin » Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:43 pm

blu-ray.com

In the interview with Luca Barattoni, I Knew Her Well is apparently compared to La Dolce Vita (Criterion does the same in their description). For those that have seen both films, how might this comparison hold up?

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Cold Bishop
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Re: 801 I Knew Her Well

#20 Post by Cold Bishop » Fri Feb 05, 2016 5:51 pm

There's definitely some shared millieu of the vapid Roman nightlife, but it strikes me as a lazy comparison. This film is squarely a character study, not a panorama.

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Minkin
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Re: 801 I Knew Her Well

#21 Post by Minkin » Fri Feb 05, 2016 7:55 pm

Here's Vogue's review
Cold Bishop wrote:There's definitely some shared millieu of the vapid Roman nightlife, but it strikes me as a lazy comparison. This film is squarely a character study, not a panorama.
I was thinking the same thing would likely apply. It seems that every Italian film somehow ends up getting compared to La Dolce Vita in one way or another - that its an easy and instantly recognizable comparison (plus you can throw in a joke about how the character is searching for "the sweet life"). Still excited to see this anyway, but just wondering how Svet's /Criterion's comparison holds up.

jojo
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Re: 801 I Knew Her Well

#22 Post by jojo » Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:56 pm

La Dolce Vita has never popped up in my mind even once after seeing I Knew Her Well for the first time several years ago. Frankly, this is the first time I've heard it compared to LDV.

For me, I Knew Her Well follows more in the tradition of all those
SpoilerShow
Pandora's Box type movies/stories featuring an innocent and lively young heroine going from man to man throughout the story, eventually leading to her ultimate destruction.
Last edited by jojo on Sun Feb 07, 2016 3:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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barryconvex
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Re: 801 I Knew Her Well

#23 Post by barryconvex » Sun Feb 28, 2016 12:17 am

one minor comparison i can think of to LDV is in the jaunty music ironically counter balancing the sometimes somber goings on the screen. i can't think of another cinema that used this technique as well as the italians did in the early-mid 60s with L'eclisse and Il Sorpasso springing immediately to mind but i'm sure there are others i'm forgetting. other than that any comparisons to LDV are strictly superficial. my only complaint withI knew her well as a movie is:
SpoilerShow
the ending. why have her commit suicide? this seemed unearned and tacked on tbh...

Jack Phillips
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Re: 801 I Knew Her Well

#24 Post by Jack Phillips » Sun Feb 28, 2016 11:45 am

barryconvex wrote: my only complaint withI knew her well as a movie is:
SpoilerShow
the ending. why have her commit suicide? this seemed unearned and tacked on tbh...
Amen.

ALLCAPSAREBASTARDS
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Re: 801 I Knew Her Well

#25 Post by ALLCAPSAREBASTARDS » Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:05 am

Re-watched "I Knew Her Well" this weekend and found it to be as profound as the first time I saw it.

I have a question, though: what's the significance of feet in this film? They're present in some of the more important scenes in the film, like
SpoilerShow
Adriana's first acting gig as a shoe model, Baggini's tap dancing, Adriana's embarrassment when her filmed interview shows her pantyhose has a hole in one foot
And I think the ending is fitting, since
SpoilerShow
Adriana works as an allegory of Italy's economic boom during the sixties, its change form an agricultural to a modern society. I like the fact that the film doesn't romanticize agricultural life, but it shows that it is needed to fit the country in a continuum. Adriana is understood to be someone without past or future (according to the writer), so as she rejects her past so does she reject her future, ending in suicide.

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