Saturday 11 April 2009

Four Times That Night

Mario Bava's "Four Times That Night" is an odd beast. A broad and at times farcical account of a couple's first date from three different perspectives, it meanders down strange paths, spends too long in some scenes, makes light of certain serious items (even though the film was made in 1972, I can't imagine attempted rape was considered funny business back then) and makes absolutely no sense at several junctures.

And yet, it's still kinda fun and just looks amazing throughout.

The conceit of the film is that we all interpret reality in different ways just like we would a Rorschach test. Where you might see a butterfly and someone else a dead body, I might see a beautiful woman (these are all interpretations that come out in the animated title sequence). Since this is a comedy though, the different views of the first date aren't interpretations as much as they are completely different accounts for the characters own self-serving purposes.

Since I don't have much more to say about the story itself, I thought I'd try something along the lines of what Jeremy does over at Moon In The Gutter. In many of his Images From My All Time Favorite Films posts (please excuse his misspelling of the word favourite...), his screenshots of the film contain many shots of simple objects framed in very careful ways. Sometimes his posts completely ignore the fact that there may be humans in the film at all - and I love that approach. So I thought I'd stick to some of the lovely shots of things and environments found throughout the film.

The club at which the couple goes dancing could have filled an entire post of screenshots, but I love this sequence focusing on the lights.

A bit more of the environment:

How great does that club look?

Yes, as a matter of fact I do want that room...

Not one of my top Bava films, but it certainly gets across his amazing visual sense and his love of colour. It's also a grand example of his sense of humour - whether you like it or not.

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