Eroticism in the Italian Cinema

Excerpt from Continental Film Review, September 1970

Despite trials, prison sentences (albeit suspended) and the holding up of films (as in the case of H2S), which creates a frustrating economic problem, the Italian cinema continues to embrace a lively erotic element, sometimes justifiably within the context of a serious work, as in the Pasolini-Citti Ostia or Bertolucci’s Il coformista.  Sometimes justifiably introduced but in a story that has perhaps too obviously been chosen for its erotic potential.

It’s interesting to note that the Italians have not widely adopted the sex-instructional film that is so popular in Germany and Scandanavia.  Eroticism for them is still a matter of living, not of pedagogy.

Some critics have suggested that the Italian cinema is becoming a voyeur’s cinema, but the Italian’s essential concern for people and people within their environment ensures a certain contact with life which the true voyeur film has not.

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