May Morning
Starring: Allessio Orano, John Steiner, Jane Birkin, Iain Sinclair
Director: Ugo Liberatore
Year of release: 1972
Country: Italy
Screen shots

(click to enlarge)
Plot summary
The movie, follows Valerio, an Italian student who turns up at Oxford but doesn't fit in with Oxford's rigid codes of behavior (i.e. he doesn't seem to like drinking himself into a stupor).

He starts off rowing for Rufus college but is soon invited to join OUBC (as their three man has a touch of appendicitis) but he is dropped from the crew after he starts messing around with Flora, the girlfriend of one of the other rowers (and daughter of their rather plummy coach).

Roderick, the irate boyfriend challenges him to sconce (drink a large amount of beer in one go) but he pours it on the floor instead, then is kicked off the crew because the others don't respect him anymore.

Valerio decides to hang around one last night for the annual "May Morning" celebration. Which shows the hip young things of the early 1970s, getting on down at a may ball, with much consumption of alcohol and pot, activities the universtity seems to condone.

Most of the film takes place on the day and evening before May Morning. It is during these festivities that Valerio takes his revenge against the university and his coach/ tutor, Professor Finlake by copping off with his wife - well he'd already had a roll with his daughter...

This is one that's definitely worth watching if you've ever been to Oxford, just to see the streets of the city lacking in no parking / one way signs, though the clothes that the male students wear are also a good lesson in why one really shouldn't go back to the fashions of the early 70's.

Rowing info
Quite a bit of rowing in the first half of the movie (up to the point that Valerio gets binned) with some nice shots of the old university boathouse and the college boathouses opposite - even a shot of Falcon RC though it was filmed before the CORC boathouse was built.

What struck me most was the good condition of the towpath, which Valerio is able to drive his sports car down - you wouldn't risk doing that these days...

There is some fairly standard college level rowing on show, the "OUBC" boat not being much better than the "Rufus" college crew (I can only assume that Cambridge won that year), though there's obviously something funny going on with the timeline, as they appear to be training to race a month after May morning.

We particularly liked the strategicly placed 8 in the changing room and the 1970's kit / coxing gear.

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