12 November 1999 | oglet99
Surreal Italian Comedy-Drama
"H2S" was never released outside Italy. Rarely seen since its original Cinema release in 1968 this surreal futuristic comedy drama is directed by Roberto Faenza whose inspirations from his art college days are clearly displayed here. Student revolts in a futuristic scientific university see an unusual role for the American actor Lionel Stander,who had previously been cast as the barman in Sergio Leone's "Cera una volta il West"(1968) The story is a puzzling one- it begins in London,England where students are controlled by a dictatorship Government where sex is outlawed.The film was supposed to have been banned in Italy and destroyed,but do they really do that to films these days? Nonetheless,the set designs are truly stunning,especially the second half of the film where the runaway lovers end up living in the Italian mountains in a colourful 'funked-up' igloo! But the film is so slow and bemusing blending political statements with sci-fi which was to emerge as a popular genre in the US. The musical score by Ennio Morricone is superb. But why did he save his finest work for such a rarely seen film? With its wholesome mixture of classical send-ups,cajun compositions,"Red Tent"-style icy ghostly chorals and futuristic burps.The soundtrack has never been issued complete but a number of themes appear on compilations including the cue 'Luna Canadese'with an amazing Edda voice,beautiful choir and solo guitar - it is one of the composers best pieces of 60s music- and is completely wasted on this film. The main theme is a comical one and Morricone in fact does use this in some of his live concerts. But,for lovers of Italian 60s Cinema and particularly the Director who stunned us with great images in "Escalation"(1967) where an Italian Student comes to London England and enjoys hippy life, the film "H2S" Can still be classed as a hidden Italian masterpiece. Running Time:85 Minutes. Distributor: Paramount Pictures. Please note this film has never been shown on TV anywhere, the film was seen in an Italian Film Archive.