No, It Isn’t A Chick Flick, Girl Friend: Italy’s “Le Amiche”

Cover of "Le Amiche"

Cover of Le Amiche

I tried to read Cesare Pavese’s short novel, Among Women Only, but decided it was not for me.  The film adaptation by Michelangelo Antonioni, from 1955, however, is a very enjoyable human-condition piece.

Entitled Le Amiche (The Girl Friends), and expertly directed, it revolves around the attempted suicide of a woman called Rosetta (Madeleine Fischer) as well as the possible romance and fashion work of “girl friend”—and main character—Clelia (Eleanora Rossi Drago).  Other girl friends include Momina, Nene and Mariella.  Secondarily, the film is about unrequited love.  More importantly, it is about the absence of human support (for other humans) and the morality of Western sophisticates.

Antonioni’s Pavese-on-film turns out to be an earnest, intelligent, Chekhovian movie.  Savvily acted, too, by the likes of Drago and Yvonne Furneaux (Momina).  What’s more, it leaves the odd impression that it was made at a time in the West when women actually, healthily liked men; vice versa too.

(In Italian with English subtitles)


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