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Heat of the Moment: I Knew Her Well (15*)

woman looking out of window

In 1960s summertime Rome, a wannabe starlet discovers la dolce vita is not so sweet.

Adriana (Stefania Sandrelli) is a hairdresser in a small, provincial seaside resort. A pretty girl, she dreams of making it in showbiz; upping sticks to Rome, she is reborn there as “Adri Astin”. 

Adriana picks up the odd bit of work – a fashion shoot, a small film part – zips around in convertibles, hangs out at glamorous open-air nightspots, has a string of liaisons. The clothes are wonderful and the sun’s always shining but as she makes her way on the fringes, it seems she may at any moment tumble into a sleazier world of glamour modelling or prostitution.

Shot in glossy black and white, and set to a fabulous soundtrack of lush 60s Italian pop, summer in Italy looks and sounds great, but with an undercurrent as icy as gelato.

Italy 1965 Dir Antonio Pietrangeli 99 min Digital Presentation

Screens with: Melting (US 1965 Dir Thom Andersen 6 min) a short film, from the director of Los Angeles Plays Itself, showing the disintegration of a strawberry sundae. 

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Barbican Cinema 3