Le Amiche

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Le Amiche

Long before the he put Monica Vitti through the existentialist-ennui wringer, Michelangelo Antonioni gave the world this muted melodrama about urban females dealing with boorish men, banal modern life and the occasional suicide attempt. The odd coupling of bitchy banter and hand-wringing over society’s sick soul often makes Le Amiche feel like a production of The Women directed by Samuel Beckett, but you can see Antonioni woodshedding his signature move: set alienated characters adrift within expressionistically open spaces, rinse, repeat. It’s a trial run that puts many of his peers’ masterpieces to shame.—David Fear

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