The Grim Reaper (La comare seca)
Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci
Written by Pier Paolo Pasolini, Bernardo Bertolucci, and Sergio Citti
First viewing/Netflix rental
Bertolucci didn’t make his name for murder mysteries. This is an OK one with an interesting premise.
The police (never shown on camera) are investigating the murder of a prostitute found dead in a Roman park. They question many people who were in the park at the time of the murder. We get the version of events given by the witness accompanied by shots of what the witness was actually doing. Most of what anyone tells the police is a lie.
The film covers the same time period several times with a sudden rainstorm and the prostitute’s preparations for work tying the pieces together.
This didn’t rock my world or anything. It’s an ingenious way of storytelling and there are some beautiful shots. Bertolucci was only 20 years old when he shot this film so we can cut him some slack.
Ben Mankiewicz intro