Cinema: Specters of Neurosis

Elio Petri's A Quiet Place in the Country is a fine, unsettling ghost movie. But the spooks in this story are made of neuroses, not ectoplasm, and they haunt the mind, not the attic. Petri is crafty enough not to explain his spirits away, but clever enough at the same time to provide a rational explanation of all the freaky goings on.

His story concentrates on the mental disintegration of an Italian pop artist (Franco Nero). Tortured by paranoiac and frequently brutal sexual fantasies, the artist persuades his patron and mistress (Vanessa Redgrave) to...

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