Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Footprints AKA Footprints On The Moon / La Orme

 In a terrible nightmare Alice (Florinda Bolkan), sees a space ship land on the moon surface where it drops off an unconscious astronaut and is left for dead as the space ship leaves. This vivid nightmare awakens Alice into another nightmare.  Having gone to sleep on Monday night Alice upon returning to work is troubled to discover that has woke on Thursday, Tuesday and Wednesday are completely missing.

Footprints (AKA Le Orme, Footprints On The Moon) is one of those unusual movies that has been for many years forgotten. This 1975 Italian thriller movie is without a doubt one of the most intriguing movies of its kind.

From the offset Footprints challenges the viewer with its fascinating jigsaw style of storytelling. No sooner have you come to grips with the fact that its main character Alice has lost several days of her life than you’re led down an even darker path. Heading for the town of Garma, a hunch Alice follows after finding a random postcard on her bedroom floor; she soon becomes aware that the island locations residents may hold the clue to what has happened to her missing days.

As Alice and you the viewer enter this incredibly dark world you’re confronted with dozens of questions, and a staggering few amount of answers as this fractured puzzle is slowly pieced together. As the story unfolds you get the impression that there is a great deal of unpleasantness to come. Recollections from Garma’s residents and guests describe the sinister behavior of a woman called Nicole, a bonfire, and a collection of bones in the ruins of an old building.

 Director Luigi Bazzoni intricately weaves this dark and claustrophobic thriller. Having also written the screenplay Bazzoni creates a terrible unease when telling his tale. From quite early on you get this rather vivid image that the movies finale is going to be something quite disturbing indeed. Through random actions, retold stories, and sinister relationships that surround Alice the movie seems much bigger in its scale than it actually is.

Every shot of the movie is perfectly framed, carefully thought out to provide a feeling of great beauty while at the same time also creating a feel of unpleasantness. This is without a doubt a movie to keep you on the end of your seat till the very end. Sadly it’s ending does leave you slightly underwhelmed and with a good many questions unanswered. While it’s ending is clear and understandable you do have to question many aspects of the movie. And while this conclusion is disappointing it also leaves you with a striking and haunting image that would haunt the minds of the viewer for some time to come. Whether you love or hate Footprints there is one thing that is perfectly clear, this is a movie that you will not forget, and furthermore will haunt you for years to come.

It’s difficult to comment on the acting of a dubbed movie, for the simple reason that even highly talented performers when dubbed seem a little wooden. But the calibre is high as well as leading lady Florinda Bolkan (Don’t Torture A Duckling, Flavia The Heretic) the cast includes Brit actor Peter McEnery who dominated most TV shows in the UK during the 70’s and 80’s, as well as Klaus Kinski as Blackmann a character that appears in haunting dream sequences.  Those a little more diehard in their approach to Italian classics will be very familiar with actress Nicoletta Elmi (Deep Red, Who Saw Her Die?) this striking redheaded girl is instant recognisable and very distinctive.

The films musical score is provided by Nicola Piovani a name I was not familiar with until a quick IMDB search produced a wealth of soundtrack information. The score for the movie is outstanding and hand in hand with the beautiful visuals creates an unforgettable blend. Leaning heavily in the classical end in the musical styling the score is instantly identified to the movie giving it a most unique quality.

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