Sunday, August 9, 2009

Boccacio '70 (1962)

Boccaccio '70 is anthology of 4 segments about love and morality in modern times, each directed by a great Italian director. Giovanni Boccaccio is a 14th century Italian writer and the stories in this movie is what he might have written. As for the year '70, the directors joked that with the censorship that time, the movie might would be released only in 1970.

1. Renzo e Luciana by Mario Monicelli
I have never seen Mario Monicelli work or Marisa Solinas before. What struck me at first, was the colour of this movie. Monicelli seemed to use limited colours (especially compared to the 3rd & 4th segments), but it looked wonderful. Luciana (Marisa Solinas), a book-keeping clerk, has signed a contract not to marry, so when she marries Renzo (Germano Gilioli), a courier in the same factory, they must hide the fact. There is also problems at home because in the small house, the new couple don't have their own private room. In the end, she realises that if they both are kicked out from the factory, with the bonus money, they can afford to have their own place.

2. Le tentazioni del dottor Antonio by Federico Fellini
Antonio (Peppino De Filippo) is a conservative who cannot stand the new billboard of Anita Ekberg in a sexy position selling milk. He complains everywhere but is ignored. In the end he starts seeing things. For me this segment is very scary - and I heard this was a comedy! There was a point when I couldn't stand it anymore (I was so frightened!) and moved forward to segment 3. Never knew that Anita Ekberg could be so menacing. Her face was so scary. I wonder what it would be like, if Fellini was to work on The Picture of Dorian Gray - perhaps it would be the scariest movie I have seen. The song "Drink More Milk" by Nino Rota is very catchy.

3. Il lavoro by Luchino Visconti
What would you do if a tabloid printed your affairs with call-girls on front page, which makes your father-in-law stops sending you money? Count Ottavio (Tomas Milian)'s source of money is his wife's father, a German capitalist. His lawyers advise him to talk to his wife Pupe (Romy Schneider). However, Pupe decides to be independent and finds a job. As she only can make love, she tells her husband that if he wants to make love to her, he must pay her the same amount as he gives to the call-girls - only since there is no pimp, he will spend less.

4. La riffa by Vittorio De Sica
To pay back taxes, Zoe (Sophia Loren), a shooting-booth manager in a carnival, offers herself for one night in a lottery. The men try to buy the winning number from a lucky sacristan, but he won't give up to prove himself to his mother and the town. On the same day, she is attracted to a handsome young man, who becomes jealous when he knows what she is about to do.

Each segment is very good and 4 the main actresses are outstanding, although in segment 2 the main character is a man.

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