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And God Created Jean-Louis Trintignant

Saturday, March 9, 2013
6:30 p.m. Violent Summer
Valerio Zurlini (Italy/France, 1959)

Imported 35mm Print!


(Estate violenta). Zurlini's frequent theme of love between a young man and an older woman is here set against a particular and pointed backdrop: the beach at Riccione, near Rimini, in 1943, the year that saw the fall of Mussolini and the start of the civil war between fascists and antifascists. None of this is foreseen by the young scions of the town's well-to-do fascists; having avoided the draft, they've settled in for another vitelloni summer (alla parmigiano). Jean-Louis Trintignant is one such fasco-brat who meets a patrician widow (Eleanora Rossi Drago) at exactly the moment he becomes aware there is a war out there. Love may be his coming of age, but in the event, war trumps love. "Violent Summer was one of the rare films to broach a long-standing taboo in Italian cinema: the depiction of the dramatic year of 1943. . . . (T)he film's most striking passages involve group scenes of gilded youth, lolling on the Adriatic beaches and dancing to American big-band music while the Allies have landed in Sicily and the regime is about to topple" (Elliott Stein).

• Written by Zurlini, Suso Cecchi D'Amico, Giorgio Prosperi, from a story by Zurlini. Photographed by Tino Santoni. With Eleonara Rossi Drago, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Jacqueline Sassard. (100 mins, In Italian with English subtitles, B&W, 35mm, From Cinecittà Luce S.p.A., permission Intramovies)