Elio Petri’s tendency towards obfuscation stepped up yet another gear with Todo modo (76), which is one of the strangest films ever made. Set in the near future, it delineates an Italian society that is run by a coalition between powerful industries, the ‘party’ and – above all – the Catholic Church.
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.
After making two shorts, Nasce un campione (54) and I sette contadini (59), Petri made his full debut with The Assassin (L’assassino, 61), based on a script co-written with Tonino Guerra (with whom he would later collaborate on several films).
Ghosts of Rome is another excellent comedy from Antonio Pietrangeli, the well respected – but rather forgotten – director of classics such as Adua e le compagne and Io la conoscevo bene.