A Quiet Place In The Country
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A popular painter, plagued by nightmares that he and his lover/sales agent are engaging in bizarre, ritualistic, sadistic sexual acts, seeks to escape the city and rent a house in the country.
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SPOILER ALERT________ The movie is very reminiscent of late Kubrick's "The Shining" (1980).
Franco Nero stars as a prominent painter who is currently plagued by nightmarish dreams that are both violent and sexually bizarre, involving his lover and press agent, Vanessa Redgrave, and she's convinced it would do him good to get away for a while. He chooses to rent a villa in the country as a means of escape, but instead of the stately places Redgrave shows him, he opts for a quiet, dilapidated place in dire need of repair. He won't let Redgrave talk him out of it, and immediately begins the necessary repairs when he's not working on his paintings.
Redgrave drags several art patrons out to see Nero and his new work, as the costs he's incurring are steep and he needs to sell some artwork in order to continue to support himself, and keep her well-commissioned too. Unfortunately, the nightmares don't cease; in fact, they take on added imagery in the form of a ghostly female presence from the past that has a history tied to the house he's renting. This becomes his new fixation, as he attempts to pry information from the locals about the woman, learning that everyone knew who she was, but no one is willing to divulge all the details from her past. His obsession now all-consuming, he spirals deeper into a compulsive abyss that threatens to consume him.
Redgrave's concerned that he's teetering on madness, and elects to have a séance with some locals and a few patrons to get to the bottom of things once and for all, and this act elicits more mysterious events that push all parties into places none would voluntarily go, and not all will return from intact.
Although Redgrave was the better known of the two, this is Nero's film from start to finish, and I've never seen him better, literally chewing up scenes of the film with captivating relish and panache. The chemistry between them is obvious, as they were living together at this time, and Redgrave slyly gets her moments chalked up as well. The ending is a great one I wouldn't dare divulge here, you need to check this out for yourself, and won't be sorry you did. Nero, Redgrave, Petri, 60's film and giallo fans will all benefit from this viewing experience.
The film transfer is a solid one although it hasn't been remastered, and though it's listed on Amazon and on the box cover that it's in Italian w/ optional English subs, it's actually available in English and, after watching it in both, realized that it was obviously filmed in English, so that's the preferential way to go. Either way, it's a highly enjoyable film that doesn't disappoint. After watching 'A Quiet Place in the Country', you'll welcome the noisy bustle of city life for a while. 4 ½ stars.
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