IL TUNNEL SOTTO IL MONDO (1969)
aka Tunnel Under the World
Article 4938 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Luigi Cozzi
Featuring Alberto Moro, Bruno Salviero, Anna Mantovani
What it is: Art film science fiction
A man finds himself living the same day three days in a row and finds the world oddly changed.
I was a little bit surprised to see a well-known science fiction author credited as the source of the original story of this one, and I wondered if the story was as strange and fractured as this movie was. A quick check at Wikipedia gave me the impression that Frederik Pohl’s original story was more or less coherent, and therefore the arty disconnected feel of the movie was more the result of director Luigi Cozzi than a part of the original story. This in itself was a surprise; I was familiar with Cozzi from such movies as STARCRASH and CONTAMINATION, and those movies are light-years away from the art-film approach of this movie. From what I can tell, the script takes key scenes from the story and presents them in a disconnected, hard-to-follow fashion; plot points and clear revelations are hidden if they’re there at all. Actually, I found myself considering the similarity of this movie to those old silent shorts that would take well-known novels and fairy tales and present selected scenes as tableaux, only I’m not sure if all of the scenes in this movie have any relation to the story. Certain individual moments of the movie work well enough; I particularly liked the opening sequences which loop back to the same events only with minor variations, and a scene involving a man having a conversation with a computer that is trying to learn about God. Most of the rest of the movie was baffling; though I can see how some of the scenes fit in with the plot description I read of the original story, others just left me scratching my head, such as the scenes involving a couple of murderous men in Santa suits. As with other movies of this sort, my evaluation is based more on feel than what I was able to understand, and at this point it appears to be a very mixed bag to me. However, it did intrigue me more than Cozzi’s other movies have.