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Author Topic: A Quiet Place In The Country (Elio Petri, 1969)  (Read 26692 times)

Paul

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There have been some other weird and wonderful Euro Cult films that defy categorisation on these boards – Maybe Jonny can start an art house section…

Of the Italian films I have seen, the work of Elio Petri has been different to anything else of the time in which it was made. For example, take A QUIET PLACE IN THE COUNTRY. This is a riveting character study of a man succumbing to madness. Franco Nero gives a towering performance and ably supported by his then partner, Vanessa Redgrave. Everything about this film oozes class.
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MarcMorris

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Re: A Quiet Place In The Country (Elio Petri, 1969)
« Reply #1 on: 08 Jul 2007 - 12:46 »

It's hard to believe that this even got a UK cinema release. Actually, no it isn't when you consider what else got UK cinema releases back in the day.  :D
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Paul

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Re: A Quiet Place In The Country (Elio Petri, 1969)
« Reply #2 on: 08 Jul 2007 - 15:16 »

It's hard to believe that this even got a UK cinema release. Actually, no it isn't when you consider what else got UK cinema releases back in the day.  :D

It never had a UK video release though, did it?
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MarcMorris

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Re: A Quiet Place In The Country (Elio Petri, 1969)
« Reply #3 on: 08 Jul 2007 - 16:51 »

No UK video release, but it did get a nice video release exclusively by amazon.com who did a deal with MGM. I picked it up when it first came out.
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Paul

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Re: A Quiet Place In The Country (Elio Petri, 1969)
« Reply #4 on: 08 Jul 2007 - 20:45 »

No UK video release, but it did get a nice video release exclusively by amazon.com who did a deal with MGM. I picked it up when it first came out.

I noticed that on Amazon a while a go - you'll have to show me that tape the next time I see you, mate.
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LANZETTA

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Re: A Quiet Place In The Country (Elio Petri, 1969)
« Reply #5 on: 10 Jul 2007 - 14:25 »

I saw this on Ebay recently as a free dvd addition (pan and scan and in Italian only-no subs) to AN INVESTIGATION OF A CITIZEN UNDER SUSPICIAN,and i'm half regreting not having "bought it now" ???

Both movies have Morricone scores i understand. :P
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Stephen Grimes

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Re: A Quiet Place In The Country (Elio Petri, 1969)
« Reply #6 on: 12 Oct 2007 - 12:51 »

I watched this earlier and loved it,very colourful and surreal with a cool swinging 60's vibe :'(
Great English language lbx transfer,thanks Mart.
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Paul

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Re: A Quiet Place In The Country (Elio Petri, 1969)
« Reply #7 on: 14 Oct 2007 - 16:19 »

I watched this earlier and loved it,very colourful and surreal with a cool swinging 60's vibe :'(
Great English language lbx transfer,thanks Mart.

Really good flick - Nero gives a memorable performance. I hope that this gets a nice DVD release somewhere - now that Nero and Redgrave are married, maybe they could do a commentary  ;)
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Stephen Grimes

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Re: A Quiet Place In The Country (Elio Petri, 1969)
« Reply #8 on: 14 Oct 2007 - 16:42 »

I hope that this gets a nice DVD release somewhere - now that Nero and Redgrave are married, maybe they could do a commentary  ;)
Now that would be cool :'(
I also noticed that Rita Calderoni from Nude for Satan and a load of Polselli favorites played the maid in this,didn't recognise her at all at first.
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ecc

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Re: A Quiet Place In The Country (Elio Petri, 1969)
« Reply #9 on: 17 Jan 2008 - 09:32 »

This film is another favorite of mine.  Here's the review I wrote a while ago:

Quote
Long overdue on DVD (then again, it is an MGM property), Elio Petri's ghost story based on Oliver Onions' "The Beckoning Fair One" is not your traditional Italian gothic horror. Franco Nero plays Leonardo, an artist who has hit a creative block and is under pressure from his girlfriend Flavia (Vanessa Redgrave) to produce more work for her clients. Seeking to get away from Milan, he is drawn to an isolated villa where a promiscuous young countess died and whose spirit seems to be haunting the place (though like the ghost in THE CHANGELING it did not seem to have previously made itself known until a receptive tenant happened upon the abandoned but not necessarily haunted location). Doors open and close, art supplies are strewn about, but the real danger does not occur until Flavia comes to visit whereupon more overt supernatural forces seem to be directed at her as if jealous of Leonardo's attentions to her (they've got this twisted sado-masochistic relationship going on so its hard to tell if he at any time really becomes possessed by anything). Leonardo prowls the town and makes a side trip to Venice (in a sequence that looks like it could've been inspired by Carlos Fuentes' novel AURA to which it also might partially owe a plot twist) learning about the countess' apparent nymphomania that is alternately romanticized and condemned. He finds out more from the groundskeeper who fancied himself even closer than any of her other suitors (more than one it seems thought they were more special than the others) and gets closer and closer to discovering the truth behind her death (the story is that she was struck by a hail of gunfire from a passing fighter plane during WWII). Leonardo gathers the "suspects" and Flavia (who endures more supernatural torment) at the scene of the crime for a creepy seance after which it seems that he himself is the real danger to Flavia either possessed by the spirit or wanting to please the ghost by getting rid of the competition just as the apparent killer may have done to one of the countess' suitors.



SPOILER:

Though Nero's flip-out towards the end more obviously anticipates Jack Nicholson's turn in THE SHINING, the crazed/possessed Nero also seems to anticipate the image of the possessed father in THE AMITYVILLE HORROR.

Also, given Redgrave's last line in the film "I almost envy him" as she regards Nero's new surroundings, one wonders if the QUIET PLACE IN THE COUNTRY where Leonardo can work was the villa or this new place where he's much more productive.

END OF SPOILER.


Petri's aggressive nonlinear editing style does not distract from the utterly creepy atmosphere of the film. It merges past and present and reality and fantasy within the same frames. Leonardo hallucinates variations on the sadomasochistic relationship he has with Redgrave, the characters relating in flashback their encounters with the countess step into them without getting younger and are sometimes replaced by Leonardo himself. In one flashback murder scene, Leonardo is alternately the killer and the victim (both lovers of the countess). There are also a couple now-obligatory jump-scares that are all the more effective because they've been surrounded by an actual atmosphere of dread which mixes jarringly yet effectively with the late sixties not-exactly-pop-art decor (and Antonioni-esque bare walls).

Luigi Kuveiller (DEEP RED, NEW YORK RIPPER) shot the film in Technicolor. Bava associate Ubaldo Terzano was the camera operator as he was on several other films shot by Kuveiller - I think Tim Lucas refers to him on more than one occasion as a camera assistant but he's credited as camera operator and judging from all of the revelatory info on Terzano in Lucas' Bava book, Terzano definitely should be associated with more than focus pulling and loading.

The score is, of course, composed by Ennio Morricone but it is an atypical work even in the context of his giallo scores as it was composed in association with an improv musical group. The score is largely made up of unsettling discordant strings with only one slightly playful giallo-like vocal. The score is available on CD in Italy.

The film has been released on DVD in Italy in an anamorphic widescreen transfer but with Italian audio only. MGM had an Amazon.com exclusive cropped videotape (along with an uncut THE BURNING and, less deservingly, THE CURSE II and DANCE MACABRE) - reviewed in Video Watchdog - which is extremely hard to come by these days.

This one needs an English-friendly DVD right away (hopefully MGM doesn't own it in the UK so a release there would be more likely).

The DVDR I had was a composite of the English audio with the Italian video.  I say had because it was sent to me by a friend who could not get it to work (I've fixed badly authored DVDRs in the past).  It played on my DVD player (After several bad disc errors) but my computer would not recognize the disc at all (saying "No Disc" when I selected the drive) which is symptomatic of unfinalized discs.  I made a tape dub for myself and the guy who sent it to me.  This is definitely a film I will upgrade to on DVDR (in a trade) or DVD if MGM ever puts it out.  It has enough pedigree for MGM to misrepresent it either as a bucolic psychodrama or an Amityville/Shining type horror film staring the stars of CAMELOT.

Jonny

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Re: A Quiet Place In The Country (Elio Petri, 1969)
« Reply #10 on: 18 Jan 2008 - 10:01 »

Here's some grabs from the fandub Martin made a while back using the Italian DVD from CDE/Videa. 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced) image is quite grainy but otherwise very good.







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Ben Cobb

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Re: A Quiet Place In The Country (Elio Petri, 1969)
« Reply #11 on: 18 Jan 2008 - 18:18 »

I really need to see this. Have always read and heard interesting things about it. The screen grabs look great. I'm a big fan of Petri's The 10th Victim.
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Delirium

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Re: A Quiet Place In The Country (Elio Petri, 1969)
« Reply #12 on: 24 Jan 2008 - 12:34 »

Yeh, I got this as a b-side to citizen above suspicion. Full frame, italian only - If anyone has an english dub, or audio they can upload, please let me know!
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K August

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Re: A Quiet Place In The Country (Elio Petri, 1969)
« Reply #13 on: 25 Jan 2008 - 00:44 »

My favorite Nero film: period. To me he has never topped this performance (High Crime comes in second).

I almost toyed with doing a site about it, but wrote a fan fiction and did a research paper on Leonardo Ferri for my Abnormal Psychology class (we had to choose a film). If anyone wants, I'll post the AP paper here. It was great fun to do.

Kicking myself for missing it on the big screen twice already.

Franco Cleef was kind enough to make me a dub of the Amazon video tape and I bought the italian dvd ages ago. 

The Morricone score for AQPITC is amazing, very discordant and reflective of the film.

This was released in the States in either 1971 or 1972, the NY Times absolutely loved it. (shocked the hell out of me when i read their review).

I fourth the desire of a commentary by Franco and Vanessa - they really had fun here, both of them very much into their roles.

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Ben Cobb

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Re: A Quiet Place In The Country (Elio Petri, 1969)
« Reply #14 on: 28 Jan 2008 - 19:57 »

Just finished watching this incredible film. Thanks Jonny for the superb fan dub! I haven't seen anything this affecting in a while. Nero and Redgrave were screen dynamite. God I want their place in Milan. The sound design was really jolting. Dazzling camerawork from Kuveiller - in particular, those jazzy lens-change edits. The atmosphere of claustrophobia and growing madness has obvious parallels with Polanski's Repulsion. The radical cutting and red paint splashes though reminded me of Godard's Stones-doc Sympathy for the Devil aka One plus One, released the previous year. I might be wrong but I have a feeling that Pupi Avati is a big fan of this film - moments felt like him directing a version of The Shining. Thanks to A Quiet Place in the Country and The 10th Victim, Elio Petri is fast climbing up my list of top directors. Now I'm desperate to revisit Investigation of a Citizen above Suspicion - thanks for that fan dub too Jonny!




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