Double-Trouble from Tinto Brass

November 23, 2013 | By

Part Brass, part gangster western, part Blade Runner, but all bum-bums.

Slight delay in posting new reviews because I was figuring out the degree of trippy visuals in the post-credit sequence of BSV 1172, which leads into a more complicated montage.

You can’t be discouraged when intended ideas don’t work, and a series of attempts keep yielding highly unsatisfactory results, but somewhere along the way something inevitably clicks, and that small stroke of luck allows you to move on.

There’s a reason films have alternate scenes and early special effects renderings –  they’re the trial versions which either got axed, were whittled down to their simplest ideas, or became key aspects extrapolated to other sequences. Editing is tremendous fun, but it’s funny how the same level of frustration can apply to situations where you have either too much or too little footage.

I should have a few stills from some of the rendered scenes later next week, so let’s move on to the latest set of reviews.

Having turned 80 this past March, Tinto Brass is probably the last of Italy’s great erotic filmmakers still working – if his announced plans to direct the 3-D film Who Killed Caligula? / Chi ha ucciso Caligola are still on the go.

Besides a pair of short films – Kick the Cock (2009), available as a bonus item on Cult Epics’ Monamour [M] Blu-ray and DVD Special Editions; and the still unavailable Hotel Courbet (2009) – Brass has been rather quiet on the filmmaking front, although he enjoyed a retrospective (with selective audience Q&As) at the 2012 Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival where restored versions of several short and feature-length films were screened. (Check out the following Vimeo link for a short teaser trailer.)

Cult Epics has been at the forefront in keeping his work in circulation, but perhaps his least-seen material are his early short films – Temp Libero and Tempo Lavorativo (both 1965) – and a couplet of features starring Vanessa Redgrave and Franco Nero – Dropout (1970) and La Vacanza (1971). None are available on video in North America, making this quartet of rare material ripe for a boxed set, ideally with input (commentaries or extended interview) by Brass himself.

Cult Epics recently released Private [M] (2003) on Blu-ray, and Mya Communications released the oddly titled Snack Bar Budapest [M] (1988) on DVD (albeit in a non-anamorphic transfer). I’ve uploaded reviews of the pair which are perhaps the only releases timed for the director’s 80th birthday (unless something cheeky is slated for a late Xmas offering).

Istintobrass, a new documentary on his career by Massimiliano Zanin, premiered at the 70th Venice Film Festival this summer, but there’s no word on a North American theatrical nor home video release so far.

Coming shortly: soundtrack reviews.

And soon: reviews of Paul Schrader’s The Canyons (Mongrel), Nikos Papatakis’ In Hell / Gloria Mundi / Tortura (One 7 Movies).





Mark R. Hasan, Editor ( Main Site / Mobile Site )

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