Primal Impulse (1975)

aka Le orme
Article 3068 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-1-2009
Posting Date: 1-7-2010
Directed by Luigi Bazzoni and Mario Fanelli
Featuring Florinda Bolkan, Peter McEnery, Lila Kedrova
Country: Italy
What it is: Bizarre arty horror / science fiction movie

A woman discovers that she has lost two days of her life. She investigates the reasons for the memory loss, with her only clues being a torn-up postcard of a Hotel and recurring memories of a movie about a man left stranded on another planet.

The premise is certainly intriguing, and the movie seems to have a very good reputation (based on a good user rating and comments on IMDB). Based on these factors alone, it might well warrant a rewatching, as I suspect that there may be certain important plot details I have missed. However, on this, my first viewing of the movie, I find myself more frustrated than intrigued. For me, the ending, though truly eerie, still leaves me unsatisfied insofar as I don’t feel that what exactly is going on has been explained to my satisfaction. Even had this problem not occurred, I still would have some problems with the movie, as I think the sequences where she tries to discover the details of the missing two days go on for too long with too little payoff. There is one explanation that may make sense, but if so, I’m not particularly taken with that one, either. Still, the movie is incredibly stylish, though not in the usual Italian giallo sense (some of the user comments refer to this one as a giallo, but I think it’s something else altogether); rather, it’s more arty than anything. Klaus Kinski is given a prominent credit, but I think he may have less than a minute of screen time, and it sounds as if somebody else dubbed his voice. I may like it better upon re-viewing, but at this point of time, it doesn’t work for me.


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