Alberto Cavallone’s Blue Movie (1978)

July 16, 2014 | By

Alberto Cavallone, future shit-disturber and muck-racker, circa 1965.

Not related to Andy Warhol’s same-titled 1969 film, nor Terry Southern’s 1970 novel about Hollywood stars making a porno (which Stanley Kubrick had toyed with making at various times), Cavallone’s act of cinematic rebellion may be as provocative as an Alejandro Jodorowsky film with its trippy structure and use of nudity (upped with a mix of softcore and hardcore footage), but it’s also (still) an aggressive flipped bird at audiences, denying them story and combining titillating sex with ugly behaviour and dollops of bodily waste.

It’s not quite a Fuck You to the establishment, but if a filmmaker wanted to implode his career and render himself unemployable by a studio system, Blue Movie would be that strategic, except Cavallone’s work reportedly became one of his best-known films, even enjoying a theatrical run in Italy.

The hardcore material was shot using doubles, and there’s a sense his original edit contained more graphic sex before the censors demanded significant cuts, but as Raro’s special edition DVD testifies, hardcore versions did in fact make their way to Super 8mm film (which is kind of appropriate, if you think about it), and Raro’s surviving extracts reveal how far Cavallone was willing to go in combining art, rebellion, and sex in one film.

As I mention near the end of the review, even if Blue Movie is the only Cavallone film you’ll ever see, he’s neither hack nor maligned genius, but a genuine provocateur who chose  to slide into adult terrain rather than hover between art house and familiar exploitation.

Raro’s already given directors like Fernando Di Leo  a retrospective on DVD and Blu, so perhaps Cavallone is now in their sights, with his most infamous film a test for market interest (and tolerance of his peculiar vulgarities).

Coming next: restored westerns The Big Gundown (Grindhouse Releasing) and Major Dundee (Twilight Time), Peter Sasdy’s Countess Dracula (Synapse Films), Jess Franco’s Bloody Moon (Severin) + it’s kissing cousin Linda / Orgy of the Nymphomaniacs, the Cinerama epic Khartoum (Twilight Time), and Masters of Sex: Season 1 (Sony).




Mark R. Hasan, Editor

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