My previous post concerned that odd television programme, Fuori Orario. It’s broadcast on Italian channel Rai Tre late at night. It’s shown nightly for a couple of minutes. Monday nights the show is longer and a documentary is shown. But the real stuff is broadcast during weekends. Fridays and Saturdays Fuori Orario kicks off between midnight and 2am and lasts until 7am. On Sunday nights it’s shown till 6am. What do they show? Movies. Sometimes extremely rare movies. And yes, that for nearly six hours. Every week.
Fuori Orario always starts with a clip montage of similar movies to that night’s theme. Then after a while the theme tune starts, a clip from L’Atalante set to the music of Patti Smith’s Because The Night, which looks a bit like this:
Maybe some more clips follow, it all depends on how packed the show is. Anyway, after a while the host appears. His name is Enrico Ghezzi and he has a peculiar way of hosting: we only hear him talk about the movies, but the image we get to see is an old video of him (two options: either him in white T-shirt and white background or him talking in an old radio booth). Which means audio and video are completely out of synch. It’s arthouse, baby! (If you’d like to see a sample of that, click here.) Luckily my Italian is rather poor, so I can just fast forward that bit. (To be honest, there’s still a third option: sometimes Ghezzi makes a new introduction. My favourite one is where he tried to stay out of the camera’s reach. And jumped. Or that one where we didn’t get to see him, but the camera moved from his chair to the wall and back again, for five minutes.)
But honestly, I don’t mind all that. And the reason is that the selected films are often brilliant and people who display such movie knowledge are allowed to do whatever they want, especially if their show lasts five to six hours. Name me one other movie programme which often shows movies by Koji Wakamatsu or a retrospective of Russian arthouse cinema from the fifties or a Samuel Fuller weekend.
This weekend Fuori Orario has but one theme: “De(u)tour”. Its opening montage on Friday contained footage of Gun Crazy (hmm!!!), They Live By Night, Bonnie and Clyde and a Takeshi Kitano movie I haven’t been able to identify. The movies themselves were so nice too, they get a special mention here. If you have no plans for next weekend, why don’t you try and rent all these movies and have a weekend of renegade couples on the road. You’ll enjoy yourselves.
Another Day in Paradise (Larry Clark, 1997)
In the hope of a big score, two junkie couples team up to commit various drug robberies which go disastrously wrong leading to dissent, violence and murder. James Woods and Melanie Griffith star.
Running in madness, dying in love (Koji Wakamatsu, 1969)
A student comes home after a manifestation and has a fight with his brother. He accidently kills him. He tries to make it look like suicide and flees to Hokkaido, accompanied by the wife of his brother.
Stesso Sangue (Cessa & Eronico, 1987)
Two orphans (brother and sister, aged 24 and 14) leave the city and rob banks. Impending doom awaits. A road movie of despair, love and violence played against a background of desolate post-industrial landscapes. Excellent photography. Believable performances.
98 Octanas (Fernando Lopes, 2006)
He and she don’t know each other but, both at loose ends, they meet at a gas station somewhere on the highway between Lisbon and Oporto. Almost without saying a word, they drive off in his car. What follows are the gas stations, the motels, the conversations and the silences, the revelations and the mysteries. She hopes he will take her to a primordial, almost mythical place: her grandmother’s home. In their solitude, each one of them can, simply, lose themselves or meet each other.
They Live By Night (Nicholas Ray, 1948)
The script involves a mail carrier (Farley Granger) who, worried about taking proper care of his pregnant wife (Cathy O’Donnell), impulsively swipes an envelope full of money. Hard upon that “one false step,” the family man finds himself caught up in a dark scheme involving blackmail and, several times over, murder.
The Honeymoon Killers (Leonard Kastle, 1970)
Based on the true story of Raymond Fernandez and Martha Beck, who met through a lonely-hearts correspondence club, Ray is weedy, feral, and untrustworthy; Martha is enormous, compulsive, and needy. Together, they play out a horrifying scheme in which he lures lonely women out on dates and proposes marriage to them, with she pretending to be his sister. They take the women’s savings and then murder them remorselessly. Dank, claustrophobic, and weirdly engrossing, this movie never quite gives in to the comforts of conventional narrative. Francois Truffaut named it as his favorite American film.
(followed by a conversation with director Kastle on the making of this, his only movie.)
SCARECROW (Jerry Schatzberg, 1973)
Max is an ex-con who’s been saving money to open a car wash in Pittsburgh. Lionel is a sailor who’s returning home to the midwest to see the child born while he was at sea. They form an unlikely pair as the brawling Max learns a little how Lionel copes with the world: Lionel believes that the scarecrow doesn’t scare birds, but instead amuses them – birds find scare-crows funny.
ZABRISKIE POINT (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1970)
An epic portrait of late Sixties America, as seen through the portrayal of two of its children: anthropology student Daria (who’s helping a property developer build a village in the Los Angeles desert) and dropout Mark (who’s wanted by the authorities for allegedly killing a policeman during a student riot).