FOOTPRINTS (1975) Review by Steve Kirkham

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    FOOTPRINTS (1975)

    3 stars
    Shameless. Blu Ray and digital 29th April
    FOOTPRINTS appears to be highly regarded, but, having now seen it twice I have to say I struggled to see why? For me it was a film I appreciated for it’s artistry rather than enjoyed, finding it drawn out and with a script that goes out of its way to be confusing and obfuscating.
    Florinda Bolkan plays Alice, a translator who is plagued by odd dreams of an astronaut who has been left on the moon (and which also features Klaus Kinski in a cameo as a Professor Blackman, enough to give anyone nightmares). This may have been from a film she saw some years previously called Blood on the Moon or Footprints on the Moon (which is also one of the several alternative titles of the movie under review).
    When she finds out she has lost several days, which she doesn’t remember, she is drawn to visit the deserted seaside town of Garma and a large hotel there, to try and solve the mystery of these missing parts to her life. She can recall small things like buildings and an image of a stained glass peacock.
    Staying at the grand old Hotel Garma, she begins to explore the area (which include some amazing locations like a massive mosque) and meets a young girl (Nicoletta Elmi, who appeared in several genre films around this time including WHO SAW HER DIE?, DEEP RED and FLESH FOR FRANKENSTEIN). Strangely, she seems to know Alice. Several other people she encounters infer that she has been there before – but this is her first visit… why does everyone seem to know her? Plus let’s not forget the continuing odd dreams with the spaceman and Kinski.
    What’s going on? Damned if I know as this infuriatingly obscure narrative plays out. Directed by Luigi Bazzoni (and an uncredited Mario Fanelli), from a script written by both of them based on a novel by Fanelli. They are certainly in no hurry to clear up the mystery at the heart of the story.
    Bolkan is fine in the lead and this is a gorgeous looking film with cinematography by the great Vittorio Storaro. Weird and often dreamlike in nature, this is also meandering and eventually culminates in a bonkers denouement.
    Also known as: Le Orme/Footprints on the Moon/Primal Impulse
    EXTRAS
    3 stars
    3 versions of the film: Director’s Integral Cut (96 mins); Director’s Integral Cut with Italian Credits (96 mins) USA Version (94 mins) – I watched the subbed Italian version
    Introduction by star Florinda Bolkan
    Interviews with Vittorio Storaro; Ida Galli aka Evelyn Stewart
    Audio commentary by Film-Critic Genre-Expert Rachael Nisbet
    Original Italian theatrical trailer

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