the red desert
Thinking about the Isetta and the 1960s and, despite its current reputation, the space and quiet of many things of the late 60s and early 70s. I once used to spend hours watching French and Italian films in London at inexpensive, near-empty matinee showings. The Red Desert is an existential classic: 1964, not much of a plot, just a troubled woman, her general anxiety in the world; the world pretty colourless but also surreal in its industrial, unforgiving, spare unbeauty. Long stretches without dialogue, most of it shot with a telephoto lens – God how I loved this stuff. It was my interior landscape, and often my exterior one as well.
This very small clip is completely typical:
I must say, despite all those endless classes in the urbane civic landscapes of a Europe we were taught to aspire to, these grey streets were more like what I found there. Even in the late 1980s, a train stop away from Barcelona landed you in streets like this: suspicious, empty, grudging.