09 20 Oct '24

Carlo Di Carlo

Per questa notte

Edition 1981
100' - 1977 - Drama - Dialogue: Italian
Director: Carlo Di Carlo Composer: Piero Piccioni With: Adalberto Maria Merli, Paolo Bonacelli, Olga Karlatos
Made only one feature film. Carlo di Carlo is best known as an assistant to Pier Paolo Pasolini, Miklos Jancso and especially Michelangelo Antonioni. Before that, he made both short documentaries and medium-length feature films (mainly within the framework of "Das Kleine Fernsehspiel" of the Z.D.F.). He is also active as a film critic for many magazines and radio programmes.

For his first feature film, Carlo chose to adapt the novel by Latin American author Juan Carlos Onetti, which was inspired by a true story of two anarchists - an Italian and a Spaniard - who survived the Spanish Civil War and found refuge in Uruguay after the Republican defeat of '39. "When the revolution has failed, and the mechanism of repression is already striking with blind fury, and this according to the law of every power that invokes power, and when violence collapses and the ideas of justice burst among the weak, when fear and the instinct for survival can destroy faith in yesterday's comrades, then courage and faith in ideas endure their greatest test" is how Carlo di Carlo describes his intentions. PER QUESTA NOTTE is pre-eminently the "film reflection" on man and betrayal, defeat and repression.

PER QUESTA NOTTE is the story of someone who cannot avoid defeat, nor resign himself to it. Because one can lose at the very moment one is sowing the seeds of victory. The film is an action film that presents violence in the form of a parabola, where, in its severity and harshness, the influence of Antonioni is inevitably conspicuous. Di Carlo was one of Antonioni's greatest defenders and one of his most loyal collaborators. Any reference to precise places and circumstances were omitted by Di Carlo. Only the story of a flight and a chase in some city where betrayal and moral derangement prevail, remains. The action remains there as if suspended in thin air, the silence and immobility are simply reflected in the distress or the determination of the characters. At the centre of the drama, there is Ossorio, the revolutionary leader who tries to escape his fate as a pursued man; Barcala, the chief of the defeated revolution, who awaits death as a liberation; Morasan, the head of the special department of the political police, a Kafkaesque inquisitor, but who feels himself threatened. With these characters caught in the wheel of inevitable defeat, one thinks of the familiar formula of "pessimism of the mind and optimism of the will". Ossorio wants to leave the country to continue the struggle abroad; Morasan commits suicide when he realises that the ruling powers want to get rid of him. PER QUESTA NOTTE shows not the slightest leniency towards pessimism or nihilism: a film of unmerciful clairvoyance.

The film takes place in one night: one night that proves decisive for each of the main characters. The darkness is of course allegorical, like the other parts of the film. This abstraction is reinforced by the choice of decors - geometric lines, neutral colours - which evoke the world of metaphysical painters such as de Chirico and Magritte. Carlo is also a great admirer of Samuel Beckett, from whom he seems to have adapted the practice of the absurd in its best forms here. As a result, he arrives at a very personal form of expression where the rigour in the directing fully functions with the mechanism of fate.

With PER QUESTA NOTTE we are faced with a film with such a magnificent aesthetic, with a refined style. A very beautiful photography, signed Luciano Tovoli (PROFESSION: REPORTER; LA DERNIERE FEMME; CIAO! MASCHIO), with predominant green tones. A word about the author of the book: Juan Carlos Onetti. He may be considered one of the most influential Latin American writers together with Carpentier and Borgès. He himself was strongly influenced by the work of Céline and Faulkner; he has placed particular emphasis on the vicissitudes of the "new man", who, from the 1930s onwards, left the grandiose vegetal realm of Latin America to settle in the big city centres, where he is forced to enter a chaotic and scary modern world.

Image gallery

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Carlo Di Carlo


Piero Piccioni


Adalberto Maria Merli, Paolo Bonacelli, Olga Karlatos


Carlo Di Carlo, Lucile Laks

Director of Photography

Luciano Tovoli


Roberto Perpignani

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