La Biennale di Venezia

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Cinema

Marco Ferreri - La donna scimmia (The Ape Woman)

Venice Classics



Italy, France (1964) / 116’
language Italian
cast Ugo Tognazzi, Annie Girardot, Achille Majeroni, Filippo Pompa Marcelli, Ugo Rossi, Ermelinda De Felice, Antonio Cianci, Jacques Ruet
screenplay Rafael Azcona, Marco Ferreri
cinematographer Aldo Tonti
editor Mario Serandrei
production designer Mario Garbuglia
costume designers Piero Tosi, Vera Marzot
music Teo Usuelli
makeup Alberto De Rossi
restoration curated by Cineteca di Bologna TF1 Studioi
in collaboration with Surf Film
film laboratory L’Immagine Ritrovata (Paris, Bologna)

SYNOPSIS

The protagonist, a swindler who lives by his wits, discovers a young bearded woman in a religious institute run by nuns. Pretty, but bearded. This knight of industry, as they used to be called, persuades her to go with him; he leads her into a vulgar fiction, and makes money staging a show for fools. Obviously, the swindler has made a one-sided deal with his victim: she works hard on stage and at home, he collects the money.

DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT

At Cannes they booed and yelled, because the French didn’t like a hairy Annie Girardot. They thought she was in bad taste. [...] When it came out they said it was badly made. What does it mean that it was badly made? Is it a drama? Is it a comedy? No idea! I don’t make distinctions between the genres: you laugh when you laugh. There are dramas that turn into comedies, comedies that turn into dramas.

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