Ondata di calor (1970)

Based on Dana Moseley’s Dead of Summer, this movie fits into one of the many subcatagories of the giallo which I ineloquently refer to as women slowly going insane. Maybe F-giallo is a better term?

I thought that the gorgeous and doomed Jean Seberg only made one giallo, The Corruption of Chris Miller. She gives a truly once-in-a-career performance here as Joyce Grasse, a woman left all alone in a fabulous apartment in Morocco. As a sandstorm rages outside her windows and a man keeps staring into the windows, she listens to messages from her husband and gradually slides into depression, her only companion — before the maid arrives — is a blow up doll she finds in her husband’s room. Does it look a bit too much like her?

After watching her neighbors have sex, she decides that she should seduce a nieghbor boy, which ends awkwardly as he runs from her. As her sanity gets more fragile, a doctor (Luigi Pistilli, A Bay of BloodYour Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key) appears.

Director Neio Risi purposefully made this movie one that doesn’t tell you anything. Is Joyce insane? Is she trapped in a world of her own making? Has she killed her husband? Why are men both fascinated and frightened by her? Was her husband more interested in the young boys he met in this foreign country than her?

For some, this movie would be slow moving. I watched it as a hang out film, seeing Seberg fall apart over the running time, as she sits and stares into space and just lies there and listens to “Crimson and Clover.” The transfer I saw had massive audio issues, warping all of the dialogue and sound design, which somehow made this even more haunting, so as she searched for Tommy James and the Shondells to remind her of what love is, the voice came back as if from the void, vibrating and angry and maybe even afraid.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.