Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Somewhere between life and death

"La corta notte delle bambole di vetro" (Short night of the glass dolls) is a unique giallo. In fact it's nearly not a giallo, according to the definition most people agree on when it comes to talking about this genre : no black-gloves-stabber is to be found here.

It opens on the apparently lifeless body of Gregory Moore, an American journalist, found in a Prague's park. He is actually in catalepsy, but no one seems to notice. As he's transferred to a morgue, he recalls the chain of events which led to his unfortunate situation.

Aldo Lado's great idea is that he applied Moore's condition to every element of the film. It is the whole film which is located somewhere between life and death. And this is what gives it its unique melancholic atmosphere.

One scene that struck me.
In one of the numerous flashbacks, Moore recalls the moments he spent with the beautiful Mira in Prague. They look madly in love with each other, and as they're taking a walk through the city, we follow them into a cimetery where they're playing between the graves, apparently not paying much attention to this sinister place.
Morricone's superb and haunting score, which sounds like being suspended between two worlds, is reinforcing the feeling of despair conveyed by this scene : we know that those two have already stepped on the land of the dead, and that their lives will be sucked away soon.

The score can be found at Movie Grooves, and the film is available from Anchor Bay entertainment.
Also read "Buried alive" on this blog.

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