HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
We Summon the Darkness
Call Northside 777
Cup of Cheer
Lost at Christmas
Super Robot Mach Baron
Battle of Jangsari, The
Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan
Safe Spaces
Stanford Prison Experiment, The
Assassination in Rome
Castle Freak
Pinocchio
Brother Bear
Raiders of Buddhist Kung Fu
County Lines
Polytechnique
We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Covert Action
Strangler's Web
Host
Nimic
House of Bamboo
Murder Me, Monster
Hell and High Water
Possessor
Flint
Miserables, Les
Ritz, The
Patrick
Cemetery
Girls of the Sun
Princess and the Goblin, The
Skyfire
Upright
Incredible Kung Fu Mission
Dirty Cops
You Cannot Kill David Arquette
Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist
Son's Room, The
Evil Hits Evil
   
 
Newest Articles
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
   
 
  May Morning Oxford Blues
Year: 1970
Director: Ugo Liberatore
Stars: Jane Birkin, Alessio Orano, John Steiner, Rossella Falk, Micala Pignatelli, Edda Di Benedetto, Ian Sinclair, Bianca Maria Corbella, Carlo Spadoni, John Gayford, Susan Jones, Ben Etoria
Genre: DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Valerio Montelli (Alessio Orano) is an Italian student at the English University of Oxford who is having trouble fitting in with the upper crust who populate those hallowed halls of learning. He is as polite as he can be with his fellow students, but there's a hierarchy of which he is on the bottom rung, but he thinks he can get along with most people, even the rather snobbish top dog Roderick Stanton (John Steiner), with whose girlfriend Flora Finlake (Jane Birkin) Valerio is on friendly terms. Her father is one of the dons, though she appears to be trying to distance herself from him to escape her family's shadow, and Valerio could be part of that, only he is more interested in joining the rowing team for the celebratory May Morning contest...

To see ourselves as others see us, as Robert Burns said, you could do worse than to take a look at how the culture of other nations depicts your own, and here was a curiosity from the moment the wave of the Swinging Sixties broke on the shore of the seventies, filmed in 1969 but offering a cynical take on the young folks who were meant to be the future. Or the British version at least, as the students depicted here ascribed to a climate of bullying anyone who did not fit into their rigid beliefs of what was acceptable in terms of background, so if you were not part of that, according to director Ugo Liberatore anyway, you could find your life made a misery by the insufferable snobs surrounding you.

All of which suggested he was more familiar with a work such as Tom Brown's Schooldays rather than being in touch with the increasingly politicised and egalitarian (assuming you could get the grades to allow yourself entry) university campuses of the late sixties. The times they were a-changing, though not according to Liberatore whose take on college life was firmly placed in an earlier era when being a foreign student would mark you out as some kind of freak amidst the Brits, but was that ever the case? Late on at the party we can glimpse a black girl sitting alone and miserable, as if to point out that not only were these societies alienating, they were racist as well, given nobody was giving her the time of day.

But we're getting ahead of ourselves, and if you were sceptical as to how faithful to the university experience May Morning was, there was a method in its madness, though that turned out to be as mad as what had led up to it. It was a slow-burning drama that did not appear to be leaning heavily on exaggeration until you reached a certain point and twigged that this was one of those Italian movies where the consideration of the upper classes was informed by a revolutionary belief that these people were hopelessly corrupt and needed to be overthrown to create a better world. The trouble with that here was the film merely illustrated their bad behaviour, some would say evil, without presenting a solution: it was just a story to get you angry about the excessively privileged and pampered.

Whether it would or not was depending on how far you went along with that viewpoint, as it was difficult to marry up the movie's version of how things went down in Oxford and what the reality was, meaning this might as well have plunged straight into thriller territory and had a ball with it rather than keeping a certain reserve to the over the top finale which was landed on you out of nowhere. The rivalry between Valerio and Roderick was good to build the plot on, and the strikingly blue-eyed Orano played well off Steiner's suave nastiness, the latter about to embark on a successful career in Italy the go-to-guy for villainy, as meanwhile Birkin (then a big name in Britain after her saucy hit single with Serge Gainsbourg) started out seeming nice enough, but once she tried to seduce Valerio turned as unpleasant as her boyfriend. That sense of a hero under siege was also strong, but the way it was resolved was needlessly redundant in the setting that did not need to head straight into rape and death to wrap its story up. Still, its unreal, off-kilter, superficially subversive but actually reactionary tone was compelling. Music by The Tremeloes.

Aka: Alba Pagana
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1706 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: