Footprints on the Moon (Le Orme/Primal Impulse, 1975)

UK Shameless Screen Entertainment DVD with a turnable sleeve


Text below written 2015-05-04 and 2016-09-07


If this film could be defined as a giallo or not, can be discussed, but in the broad definition of the genre it could fit in
as an artmovie example. I just love the accomplished Brazilian actress Florinda Bolkan (i.a. in her power performance
in Lucio Fulci's Don't Torture a Duckling) with her controlled enigmatic face, that can crackle in fine porcelain pieces
any second and let an emotional chaos break through. WOW! What a face she had/has this awesome actress.
The film were one of the most unusual and challenging ones i've seen in some time and it really made me want to go
back in time to the 1970's, a place in time when the films, the thrillers- and the crime were more Arty and interesting,
and yes, even in Hollywood (let's just think of films like The Conversation and The Parallax View).
If these films had been made today there would be abominable CGI effects en masse and violated scripts, raped by
cretin producers that don't want any art to disturb their assumed viewers lobotomized by watching stupid Hobbit films.

Florinda Bolkan

Le Orme is an inspired, highly original and almost a hallucinatory psychological drama thriller with tons of atmosphere,
much due to the masterful cinematography/photo from the great cameraman Vittorio Storaro (who also i.a. made Luigi
Bazzoni's giallo The Fifth Cord as stylish as it was) and a Soundtrack from Nicola Piovani that measures up to the one's
made by genre celebrities as Bruno Nicolai, Ennio Morricone or Stelvio Cipriani.
The film uses the Turkish locations in a highly effective way, as the huge Hotel (in Istanbul?) and the beautiful Phaselis
with it's beaches and old ruins.

Shameless Screen Entertainment should be praised for it's efforts putting out Gialli on DVD and this 2009 edition may
be the first on a DVD of this obscure but essential cult movie. The film is a longer component version where the english

audio dub in some scens has italian audio (i did prefer the english dub before the italian one this time).

The film is made on a low budget and the space scenes has to be considered due to this, but i think Bazzoni solves this
in an ingenious way as these scenes are connected to the dreams and memories of Florinda Bolkan's Alice Cespi.
The movie starts with a zoom into the Moon, the landing of a space shuttle and the abandonment of an astronaut on the
surface of the moon, left to die. Then, we are in a black & white scene with Klaus Kinski as Dr. Blackman in a space
control center with a shabby B film look to it .... WTF? In the following scene we get to see a woman, Alice Cespi
(or Alice Campos according to the subs) played by Florinda Bolkan, in her bed. It was only a dream, or?
Wow! What a great and disorientating start to a film, and we soon realises that Alice feels the same way as we do, the
viewers, bewildered. Aaaaaaaah, i just love when a film makes you feel that way, makes you take notice.

Photo from Shameless Screen Entertainment - from the opening sequence. Buy this DVD!

Alice find a torned into pieces postcard on her kitchen floor. There's a picture of a hotel on it and from a place called
Garma in Turkey (in the film a turkish island, but it don't exist in the real world?) and she tells her friend that she has had
a dream about a man left on the moon to die. Something she vaguely remembers from an old movie, Footprints on the
Moon. She works as an interpreter at an international conference in Rome, but when she arrives at work she's told that
she has been missing for 3 whole days, that she left work hurriedly that monday and that's thursday today and that she's
fired. Alice don't remeber anything from these lost 3 days and she decides to investigate what she may have done these
days, and her only lead is the postcard from Turkey and a vague memory of a room with a peacock picture.
Off she goes, off to a Turkey seaside resort Off-Season (Phaselis in real life).

She meets That Creepy Girl, the rad-haired one seen in many a giallo film and the lizard killer in Deep Red, Nicoleta Elmi
and some other people that tell her they've seen a woman resembling her in tuesday but that her name was Nicole and was
a redhead. The girl tells Alice that this Nicole was chased by men that wanted to do bad things to her, and who's Harry?
The Mystery thickens.
With such an outstanding, genuinely inspired and unusual start to the film you wonder if the director could manage to finish
this film in a satisfactory way? Answer: Well, maybe not 100 %, but:

1. the astounding an almost mystical settings in Turkey and an atmosphere as thick you've to use a knife to cut through it

2. and, the loneliness and fear Florina Bolkan's fascinating face emits just makes you want to give her a big hug

- and this makes Footprints on the Moon/Le Orme on the top of my Art Movie Giallo film category list.
It's a pity that this obviously very talented director wasn't given the chance to make another film and that this film has been
so obscure and unseen. Many thanks to Shameless Screen Entertainment that gave us the chance to see it in fine condition.
Luigi Bazzoni (1929-2012) only made 5 films and this was his last, so unjust, and he was the cousin to film photographer
Vittorio Storaro

Anamorphic widescreen, english or italian audio with english subtitles. Extras a theatrical trailer, a US video teaser, an english
credits scene, a photo gallery, some Shameless trailers and a nice turnable sleeve (see pics at top)

 

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