The Empty Canvas
is a 1963 Italian drama film
directed by Damiano Damiani
. The screenplay
by Damiani, Tonino Guerra
, and Ugo Liberatore is based on the best-selling novel La Noia
by Alberto Moravia
Mediocre artist Dino is obsessed
with young model Cecilia and distraught that she shares her sexual favors not only with him but with actor
Luciani as well. In an effort to derail her plan to vacation in Capri
with his rival, Dino proposes marriage, and when she rejects his offer he invites Cecilia to join him at the Rome
estate of his domineering mother, a wealthy American
, in the hope he can seduce her with his glamorous lifestyle. Despairing that he will never have a monogamous
relationship with her, he crashes his sportscar into a wall. While recovering in the hospital
, he realizes his feelings will never be reciprocated. When Cecilia returns from her trip assuming their liaison
will continue, Dino announces the affair is over.
The film was released in Italy as La noia
) and in France
as L'ennui et sa diversion, l'érotisme
(Boredom and its Diversion, Eroticism
A dubbed English language version of the film was released in the United States by Embassy Pictures in 1964.
Principal production credits
In his review in the New York Times
, Howard Thompson
observed, "under Damiano Damiani's studied direction, the incidents move in stilted, crabwise fashion...Miss Davis...is truly a sight, looking like a Pekingese
under a blonde bob and growling an atrocious Southern
accent...At times, especially under-scored by Miss Davis's withering expression and lava lingo, the picture's overripe sexuality is downright funny."
Time said it "is one of those "international" movie projects that appears to have been dreamed up by its principals...in a spirit of reckless unity...It is chiefly notable for the fun of watching Davis breast the New Wave plot with bitchy authority...Stretched too far to be believable, Canvas is the kind of overdrawn foolishness that frequently proves diverting."