Saturday Matinee: Le Orme (aka Footprints on the Moon)


“Le Orme” (a/k/a “Footprints on the Moon” and “Primal
Impulse”) has been described variously as an Italian giallo, a sci-fi film, a
mystery, or a psychological thriller. Ultimately, it defies pigeonholing.

It stars Florinda Bolkan as Alice Cespi, a professional
translator, who is tormented by a recurring nightmare; in it, a lunar-landing
team deliberately abandons a colleague on the moon’s surface as part of a scientific

Alice arrives for work one day and is summarily canned. The
reason? She’d walked out of an international astronomy conference and disappeared
for three days, incommunicado.

Those three days are a complete blank for her. Alice finds a
few vague clues — a torn postcard from Garma, a resort she’s never visited; an
earring, a unfamiliar bloody yellow dress that fits her perfectly — and sets out
to learn what has happened.

When she arrives in Garma, all of the strangers are
delighted to see her “again” — but claim that she’s another person entirely. And that’s
just the beginning…

Although the storytelling in “Le Orme” is fairly linear, it’s also disorienting — so you’ll
have to pay attention to it. There are blind alleys, red herrings and
(possibly) misleading implications throughout.

Cast includes Bolkan, Peter McEnery, Nicoletta Elmi, and a cameo by Klaus Kinski.

Titles and credits are in Italian, but all dialogue is in English.

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