A Passionate What? – Two Naughties from the Seventies

August 9, 2016 | By

When I last signed off before the move with “More nonsense to follow,” I didn’t realize the level of nonsense that would and continues to follow, due largely to a bungled attempt by Bell to move a land line to a new address – a simple maneuver that goes back decades to the pre-cellphone era.

A trio of CSR’s managed to make sense of the disaster that continues to be, but at present I’ve no phone, no internet, and my 27 year loyal relationship with the telco was quashed because of, well, I don’t know.

When I changed internet providers in 2009, it took 3 months to sort out the messy divorce, but this debacle’s made posting, uploading, and checking for updates challenging. Hopefully things will be resolved by the end of the week.

So in the meantime, here are two reviews tied to a pair of erotic films from the early seventies, recently released on Blu. Twilight Time’s Appassionata (1974) involves bad relations between a dentist and his teenage daughter’s best friend, and features a strong (and arguably film-saving) performance by Valentina Cortese.

Nevermind Ornella Muti – Cortese is what augurs the film’s sleaze and keeps it closer to director Gianluigi Calderone’s aspiration to make an erotic drama. Twilight Time’s Blu sports an isolated score by the great Piero Piccioni.

A more blatantly provocative work is Roman Polanski’s What?Che? (1972), made between the grimy Macbeth (1971) and the Oscar-winning neo-noir classic Chinatown (1974). Polanski needed some light subject matter between pictures, and this highly politically incorrect sex comedy remains a puzzling choice.

Severin’s Blu sports a gorgeous transfer and fine extras, including a great interview / profile of composer Claudio Gizzi (Blood for Dracula and Flesh for Frankenstein).

Both films aren’t smut per se, but they’re hardly the deep, satirical commentary the filmmakers may have aspired to realize.

More reviews to follow Thursday.



Mark R. Hasan, Editor

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