La Notte (1961)

36075-lanotteposterHere is a film full of glitz reminiscent of La Dolce Vita, a cast starring the likes of Mastroianni, Moreau, and Vitti, with a meandering plot courtesy of Michelangelo Antonioni and gorgeous black and white visuals.

This film is certainly not for the action fanatic because we are given very little. In fact the story revolves around a couple who have trouble communicating so even the dialogue seems sparse at times. The marriage is slowly going down the tubes and neither partner is ready to acknowledge it until the end when the wife finally does.

Moreau definitely had stronger performances like Jules and Jim because here she hardly talks and is highly misanthropic. Monica Vitti is more interesting in her role simply because she has more energy infused into her.

One of my favorite moment in the film had to be at the party where Mastroianni first sees  Vitti playing a rudimentary shuffle board. We are watching just like he is except there is a strange sensation that something is doctored with the image. It turns out that we are only looking at the reflection and then the camera swivels to the right to actually show reality. It was one of the noticeable artistic shots that really stood out to me.

La Notte is a subdued film, more often than not, and so if you go expecting that type of pacing you start to enjoy the little pieces here in there that are given to you. By the end it is rather sad because the marriage not working. There is no huge fight, no bickering, just apathy and that is in many ways more painful to see.

4/5 Stars

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