The Thinking Machine #71

Zurlini’s Double Scene

In their series The Thinking Machine, critics Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin create a new video essay for Filmkrant every month.

Valerio Zurlini (1926-1982) is an underrated master of Italian cinema, unusual for the way he renders melodramatic narrative in a highly restrained, classical style. La prima notte di quiete (1972), his penultimate work, reveals the workings of what French film critic Alain Bergala described as Zurlini’s characteristic ‘double scene’: a movement, often repeated, from a longing gaze to an impossible love.