La commare secca
|La commare secca|
|Directed by||Bernardo Bertolucci|
|Produced by||Antonio Cervi|
|Written by||Bernardo Bertolucci
Pier Paolo Pasolini
Giancarlo De Rosa
|Music by||Piero Piccioni
|Edited by||Nino Baragli|
|September 19, 1962|
La commare secca (literally "The skinny gossip", English title The Grim Reaper) is the 1962 Italian film written and directed by Bernardo Bertolucci, based on a story by Pier Paolo Pasolini. It was Bertolucci's directorial debut at age 21.
The film begins with the brutal image of a prostitute's corpse on the bank of the Tiber in Rome. We then see a series of interrogations of suspects by the police, all of whom are known to have been in a nearby park at the time of the murder. Each suspect recounts his activities during the day and evening, and each narrative serves as a slice of life story. A young man tells the police that he was meeting with priests in order to get a job recommendation, though we see that he and his friends spent the time trying to rob lovers in the park. A gigolo treats both his girlfriends badly. A soldier fails in his attempts at picking up a number of women and falls asleep on a park bench. Two teenage boys share a pleasant afternoon in the company of two teenage girls but end up stealing from a homosexual man in the park.
The final flashback depicts the prostitute's murder by a man in clogs who had been interrogated previously and who is finally apprehended at a dance.
Each narrative is interrupted by a sudden thunderstorm, which in each case leads to an interlude at the prostitute's apartment as she prepares for her evening.
The film was hailed by international critics as a success by a major new talent. Many Italian critics thought it was very much a Pasolini film, although Bertolucci made a conscious effort to create a distinct individual style.
- La commare secca at the Internet Movie Database
- La commare secca at AllMovie
- La commare secca essay by David Thompson, Criterion Collection
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