Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion
Directed by Elio Petri. Starring Gian Maria Volonté, Florinda Bolkan, Gianni Santuccio , Orazio Orlando. Cineworld, 5.20pm ****
There was some small fuming when this fascinating Italian thriller beat Luis Buñuel’s Tristana to the best foreign language feature Oscar in 1971. It has never quite settled into the canon, but it remains a first-rate picture that fully deserves to be shown at this year’s festival. A beautifully, astringently cynical piece of work, the film follows a police officer as he kills his mistress and waits to see if his colleagues will dare to hunt him down. Elio Petri, the sharp-eyed director, began his career as a film critic for a communist paper and his best pictures cannily mesh social criticism with genre tropes. It hardly needs to be said (given country and era) that it features a top score by Ennio Morricone.