Malizia is another in a trend in Italian films from the early seventies to feature a sexy young woman arriving in the household of a supposedly bourgeois family and arousing all sorts of uncivilised passions (see also La nipote etc etc). It’s a kind of erotic melodrama with comic moments, but all done in a very artful, elegant fashion, with few of the more exploitative elements that characterised these kinds of productions.
The Italians seem to have a bit of a thing for football hooligan films at the moment, I guess in the same way that we do here in the UK with productions like The Firm and The Football Factory. Secondo tempo, by novice director Fabio Bastianello, very much falls into this grouping.
Dear oh dear. If you want to see the depths to which Italian genre cinema had sunk by the mid to late 1980s, you could do a lot worse than checking out Claudio Fragasso’s Zombie Flesheaters 3, a film so amateurish and imbecilic it makes the likes of Ratman and Patrick Lives Again look like veritable masterpieces.
More sad news, the hugely influential Italian scriptwriter Furio Scarpelli has died. Scarpelli was best known for his comedy films, mainly written in collaborationwith Agenore Incrocci, but he also had a hand in the script for the Good, the Bad and the Ugly as well.
Giuseppe Ferrara is one of those directors of whom I am aware, rather than familiar. After beginning his career as a journalist and as a documentary filmmaker, he directed his first full length feature, Il sasso in bocca, in 1969. Since then, though, his releases, although often controversial, have been relatively infrequent. There was Faccia di spia (Face of a Spy, 75), with its use of horrific, mondo-style footage, the Lando Ventura vehicle Cento giorni a Palermo (84) and the award winning Il caso Moro (86). In more recent years, he’s made respected but hardly money-spinning films such as Giovane Falcone (93), Segreto di stato (95), I banchieri di Dio (The Bankers of God: The Calvi Affair, 2002) and Guido che sfidò le Brigate Rosse (2007), his latest film to date. Narcos, his 1992 film, made after a six year absence from cinema, initially looks as though it might be something a little atypical, primarily because it’s set in Columbia rather than Italy. Before long, though, it becomes apparent that he’s using the Columbian settings to put across a message about Italian society: it’s a place that’s similarly ridden by political corruption, under the control of powerful crime-lords and full of young men who are sucked into lives of criminality because, quite frankly, there isn’t much else in the way of opportunity for them.
Bunch of new MYA DVDs has just come out…