I Knew Her Well – Antonio Pietrangeli (1965)

1960s: Days of Rage

“If there’s anything as thrilling as discovering something new and good, it’s rediscovering something old and great. And the most exciting movie I’ve come across in the past few months—I Knew Her Well by Antonio Pietrangeli—was made in 1965. While the film is well-known in Italy, where it’s considered a classic, I’d never seen it until recently when Janus Films and the Criterion Collection decided to release a restored print. And wow, am I happy they did. Sharp and funny but tinged with fatality, this knockout of a movie—shot in gorgeous black and white—carries us inside Italy’s go-go years when decadence played hopscotch with glamour and the whole country was proclaiming, “I want, I want, I want.” As a friend of mine said, ‘It’s like La Dolce Vita—except about a woman.’ Her name is Adriana, and she’s played by the fresh-faced star Stefania Sandrelli, best known here for

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