Volonté and Petri joined forces again for 1971’s The Working Class Goes to Heaven and, impressively, they managed to concoct something that was even more hysterical than Investigation of a Citizen above Suspicion.
Ostensibly a ghost story, A Quiet Place in the Country is, in fact, an atmospheric rumination upon the nature of art, pornography, insanity and – heck – life itself.
For 1969’s Investigation of a Citizen above Suspicion, Elio Petri turned his eye to the then nascent urban crime thriller, a genre that reflected – and some would say preyed upon – the political and economic uncertainties rife in Metropolitan Italy at the time.
After all the high-concept exuberance of The Tenth Victim, We Still Kill the Old Way saw Petri move from sci-fi to the crime genre and, stylistically, marked a return to a more subtle, low-key approach.
Based on a novel by Robert Sheckley, The Tenth Victim represented a marked sea change in Elio Petri’s oeuvre. Gone was the low key, wry approach of his former films: this is a brash, colorful production that exudes extravagance from it’s every pore.
Petri’s next film was The Teacher of Vigevano (Il maestro di Vigevano,63), another intimate, black and white chamber-piece, which plays rather like a retread – albeit an even more pessimistic retread – of I giorni contato.
Petri’s second film was I giorni contati (62), which again featured Salvo Randone. This time he plays Cesare, a plumber and widower who is riding home from work on the bus when it’s discovered that one of the passengers has died.