Reviews written by registered user
|5 reviews in total|
I actually feel almost pretty much like the last reviewer, with the peculiar exception, that, after saying himself that the movie was tedious and very tiresome, only to end up talking mainly about the great cult cast, he does then give to this film a much higher rating than mine! Well, i don't know: i was looking forward myself to see this one, but was disappointed throughout! Yes, the visionary images and a classy, stylized cinematography,do help the ladies to come across pretty incisive, but that, does not make a good movie! Not even close! I am myself a huge nostalgic of the Giallo's and all Euro, but, mostly Italian greater films from the glorious 1960's, 1970's and 1980's! But we are only feeling an awareness of a telephoned script, often calling for a sense of discomfort, mainly over the contrived plot, re-arranged poor dialog, and a pretty damn unimaginative direction! Besides lacking climax, the movie lacks also any insightful resources, or groundbreaking twist's! Was expecting a luminous, enigmatic experience, or even a darker, lurid one, but, let me tell you, and i am sorry to have to say this,however, i often found myself thinking about other stuff, i had to do, or personal memories.. during the 82 minutes that felt more like 180! Not good, uh? No, especially for a film, that promises to be a thriller and it is instead only a very "mental trip", with no real heartfelt moments! Forgive me, i wish i could have just said something a lot more positive, but, here we are again, in front of those projects, wanting so badly to remind you of the fabulous classic Giallo's of the past, or even of the Horrors, who were then truly a fist in the stomach, instead, all you got here, is an inspired, and, truly never surprising product, featuring a great cast of females, all ex great B Horrors stars, who are so seriously left without much mystery to work with or suggestions. And, by the way, let me tell you, that, if at least, the ladies casting seem appropriate and a very appreciated effort to remember how much underused talent there is, forgotten for no reason, at the contrary, the casting of the men is truly terrible! Even some of the smaller roles, for God's sake! Just completely uninteresting, miscast guys, who don't have any ability to project dramatic tension and certainly incapable of some enigmatic quality! While, Mr. Zarantonello's interest, in this shabby effort, shows only an obvious interest for the ladies, which is, again, a greater intent,indeed, by using, on the opposite side, just some rather anti climatic, down dreary, simply very dull male actors, not even a real face, at once, or, at least, some glance of mystery, or of a more masculine anger, this movie does, ultimately, not even help those stars to shine a little more, but, actually, in some sort of very bizarre way, it makes them all feel like they were all too over the top, in order to be watchable! Again,if very professionally created, and crafted,while, certainly greatly lit images are often on display, it is pretty painfully clear that takes a lot more, to make a decent thriller, delivering some kind of a grip of sort, worth watching! And, if there's a nostalgic feeling for the reminiscences of the old Euro genre filmmaking, at its very ending, this movie leaves you only with the desire to go back home, just to enter one of the favorite DVD's of your private collection, to be able to truly enjoy those old movies, where those same ladies used to appear in, so gloriously! Those were truly a work of genius, for the most part, and, in fact they still bewitch us,making us discuss, and dream on, but, i am afraid, and, truly sorry to bring the bad news, i don't think you'll be talking for very long, if any at all, about this latter one! Next!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
OK I must say that my review is great, also in part, because i am one of the Fans of Italian and Spanish Giallo's, a real commercial Euro Genre throughout the 1960's and 1970's,until the early 1980's. These movies were called Giallo's since they were based very often on low cost publications whose covers were always yellow (giallo, in Italian!0 and were considered extremely popular and amusing read's that people would buy often, while on their way to the beach, or to an airport, or to simply read something kinky and suspenseful on a train, or during a long holiday! They would generally deal with an intricate, at times, delightfully convoluted and contrived murder mystery plot, filled with lurid indiscretions, primarily over the upper class,or often involving wealthy characters, dealing with a World of betrayals, deceits, revenges, sexual addictions and dark habits.And, of course, they were loaded with highly nail biting chapters loaded with threads,perversions,fear and ultimately filled with exploitative descriptions of sex and gore: true guilty pleasure, and best sellers,indeed, that the Italians, and since the mid/late 1960's were increasingly making available in book stores,and especially on news stands or even in groceries stores/markets, always highlighted by the famed yellow (giallo) covers! Immediately after, some clever film producers were already purchasing for cheap the rights to translate these new hot sellers, generally forbidden to minors, into glossy,or at least stylish, well crafted Genre productions that for a while became ultimately very famous as well, also thanks to the help of some great directors,just having fun with the pulp material, and trying to make it a little less campy or shocking, by generally filming them with the well known, personal and elegant style, that eventually became such a cult classic: great looking sets (of course depending on budget restrictions), colorful costumes, great editing, beautiful naked women (some of them famous international actresses generally looking either for a re-launch or a quick and fat pay check or greedy upcoming starlets, not shying out of long scenes requesting at times even full frontal nudity), but most of all, what made these films so deeply interesting and yet so modern and clever even today, was normally a rather outstanding filmmaking virtuoso, rich of very eclectic camera movements,odd or visionary angles, creative and over sensational cinematography, and especially considering the times, some of these pictures introduced generally very innovative techniques both visually and esthetically. And outstanding on set F/X's that still today are way more effective for many than the use of CGI, which sort of make look everything like a dumb cartoon, lacking the way more realistic dreadful effect of such a traditional art, invented by people like Carlo Rambaldi, who ended up, leaving his Country to come to America, requested by very famous directors like Spielberg, for example! That is why we consider some of those films almost like 'classics' today! This particular one, Intimate Crimes ( not a very good choice in my opinion for the way more suggestive and inviting Italian original title) was one of those made in a moment where the Genre, was only a reminiscent of movies made a couple of decades earlier, but whose international cult, was becoming internationally well known, and that even more today is apparently generating some sort of return of this much more intriguing Genre productions. All together, Intimate Crimes has all the right elements of a classic giallo, and sometimes it is esthetically very beautiful, with its dark cinematography, almost reminding somewhat of a Technicolor's film noir (those were rare ones! But think Hathaway's splendid,little masterpiece "Niagara" launching a young and gorgeous Monroe, or Gene Tierney's superb vehicle "Leave Her to Heaven"). The plot is not very traditional, but well developed and while the ladies are all watchable, and have some satisfying nude moments, the male antagonists are two actors of cult, Domiziano Arcangeli, in a role that showcases him, almost like a younger,prettier Brad Pitt, and ex model, Rodney Harvey, in a role that actually required some serious acting skills, and it would be unfair to say they were not delivered, just because of at times halting dialogs. I truly recommend this film to every Giallo's fan, and this is a Title that definitely needs to be rediscovered, and appreciated and enjoyed like the morbid and mysterious guilty pleasure that actually it is!
It's been the talk of all Cult films lovers and Artsploitation's fans, for over a year,thanks to a very controversial Film Festivals run,that made many -apparently- walking out of the screenings horrified and,others love this film, like crazy: like a new "Manifesto"of a certain re-birth of the greater Euro exploitation/Genre's Cinema of 1960's/1970's. I just loved this film, despite its (few) flaws,and I do agree with whomever Awarded it,along with his incredible lead actor! I cannot hide to be a fan of that type of Films, especially of the Euro's from 30/40 years ago: they had just a different class,and were exceptionally 'visionary' and 'inventive'. People like Argento(in his first films),Fulci,Lenzi,Martino really knew how to mix mystery and pulp,sex and decadence with a narration rich of resources,like sophisticated angles,cinematography,editing and soundtracks! And I always believed some of the greatest Directors must have examined those films carefully to work on their most innovative styles. In fact those flicks were completely ahead of their Time,not because of the very often lurid content,wild storytelling or nudity, but mostly for how they were filmed and brilliant.They did define an unforgettable time! Cristopharo's film has all the elements of the movies of that Time, and even more! Besides having an incredibly unique art direction,costumes, make up and intense photography, its story never fails to surprise, to shock, to emotionally 'test' its audience! Never saw something like this before, maybe because back 30 years ago, it would have been impossible to film certain sequences that instead this feature showcases so fearlessly, you gotta give them credit to explore what's been never presented before (at least to my knowledge!). There are a bunch of real life S/M fetishists and body modifier's performers, mutilating themselves for real,people eating glass and swords, cutting their genitals and so on.. Even a few porn actors were hired to contribute real sex acts,which were though artistically filmed,and part of a key idea. Not for everyone.It's true! But, if you may just follow the movie, which will take you,surprise after surprise,for a walk among love and death, inside the sick mind of a child who's never really grown up, since he had been terribly abused: an experience, so worth watching,because of its efforts towards freedom of image and a stand against all hypocrisy,too common today, in anything we are fed with! HOFM,while creating sensational images, becomes highly lyrical. It is like a look at the "interiors" of someone abused and abandoned to his frightening life, without mercy,so emotional Like "Shame" of the great McQueen, this shocks because it's just telling the truth. However "Shame" may be shot with more of a mainstream approach and bigger budget, both films have a lot in common! HOFM may not always be as fluid, has some plot holes, some moments that stretch credibility, but it remains indeed one of the most convictive,unique and stylish film, I have watched lately! It's truly brave! It took me to Hell and back! I am amazed of how much it still haunts me! We're definitely closer to a much higher quality of filmmaking, mixing,almost hyper-realistic tones, with a more natural,emotional strength, that could surprise even the most skeptical! Cristopharo is certainly, after this, a new personality in international Cinema, i can only hope he'll be able to maintain at least these high levels of integrity in both the narration and his visionary expression:he's able to make work astonishingly well, some of the oddest material ever filmed,and-this must be said too- some parts of his own script,not so clear, or excessive! Maybe,this is really the only flaw i could point out in this movie. HOFM benefits also, besides,of a brave director and,of,an extremely talented and dedicated crew,of an exceptional lead actor. Domiziano Arcangeli plays this role as it lays, with so much emotional transfer and much "naked" intensity, that it is not difficult to imagine his private life must have not been that easy, either! Unless he's one of the best actors of these times, someone must know certain "ugly" places very well himself, to be able to so perfectly convey all the demands of his Sebastian,while,perfectly nailing and realistically reproducing all the sadness, fear,anger,and even the shock of a human being who's been mercilessly abused,and displayed like a mannequin himself! Some must not know, nor care to know of how an abused person can still be or survive! Arcangeli instead indeed does care "enough": his performance becomes the soul of HOFM, he's not only effective,and haunting,he's an unforgettable presence too! Then, there's the beauty,ambiguity of Irena A. Hoffman, so gorgeous,sexy, burning, to be able to create a phenomenal 'antagonist' to Arcangeli! She's wildly intoxicating playing the new neighbor, living in some crumbling building, who starts spying on Sebastian,maybe just because she's only a tad bored with her grim life ( a blind father, who's also often drunk, played with darkness,by star Giovanni Lombardo Radice,and a cocky boyfriend, who looks like a model and behaves like a douche bag). But she will bring several twists to the very narration of the film,instead, becoming some sort of Femme Fatale... The rest of the principle cast isn't even nearly close,to the level of Arcangeli and Hoffman.But there's the circus of Freaks, let me tell you, some of the most beautiful women, I've ever saw, unfortunately,at times, just briefly shot,performing some hallucinating acts,or a few guys, who look like just coming out of an asylum, or a crack house. But, they all work so greatly in their ensemble, by giving to this film, just the right amount of credibility to make you want to take a dance with the darkest place on earth and mind, making you believe, you may not be even watching a movie anymore: the tragic message of this cruel story may break your heart, after all! Believe it or not, this movie manages to break your heart as well! A must see!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
However,Director Gianni Siragusa,was never,and is not, considered one of the Cult Giallo's Directors,I think,He's always delivered decent Films,very well crafted,and out of the usual schemes of Italian exploitation cinema,even though, most of his work has generally consisted manly of a half dozen of flicks,certainly and substantially part of the extremely popular EROTICA Genre,which, in Italy and France, during the late 1970's, and throughout the 1980's, was making very rich, many Producers,in search of easy and not too costly Products to sell also easily, in all international Markets.In fact, after Tinto Brass,and some other main authors like Mauro Bolognini,Tonino Valeri,and Salvatore Samperi,had a huge box office resurrection,with a few hits, Everyone, for a while, was offered Films, with very aesthetic looks,made, with generally medium/contained budgets,and lurid plots often taking place in lavish settings,While,always having at the center of the Story, some European movie star looking to 'refresh' her image and stardom. There were a few extremely notable ones, like Brass' "La Chiave" which was a true little masterpiece of that very popular Genre,and also a big Box Office's bonanza! But, Brass had already done the great Salon Kitty, and,then, the infamous, Caligula in the late 1970's,so He was already a Director, who almost always belonged to the Genre, While Bolognini-who started his career with costly Films of big international success,such as "La Notte Brava"in 1959,until the splendid period Giallo's "L'Eredita' Ferramonti"(The Inheritance,1976 )with big stars like Anthony Quinn and Dominique Sanda- and, many other well known Italian directors,with very diverse careers,after a number of trite flops,were trying to re-gain their power with Films, like "La Venexiana"(1986) or "Unscrupulous"(1985). Many of those movies were beautifully directed, and,again, often showing famous,gorgeous actresses in the nude, and, for long sequences,but,at least,had at times, also, some Plots. While, There were,of course, those ones, made by D'Amato,or others like Siragusa,which were just formally elegant,but rather silly,or even boring(besides the usual pleasant sights of lavish sets and locations,and naked gorgeous actors/actresses). This one is probably Siragusa's best work,ever. Although,not brilliant, it didn't disappoint,either. Was in fact expecting the usual abundance of scenes with actress more or less famous,in black laced negligee's,getting quickly naked for some young pretty boy,tortured by desire, and instead, however,let's immediately clarify, all the above was very much included,this time, there was actually a true plot in this one, and some of a quite gripping thriller, too! "Anxiety" looks, and is more like,some sort of late GIALLO,filmed with a luscious tone of decadence,and,beautifully filmed on striking locations,like Gothic lakes,mysterious Villa's, and purple boudoir's, where 2 sinister yet handsome brothers(the great Domiziano Arcangeli and the pretty Borromeo) get involved in a frightening,chilling spiral of murders,while descending in a world,of opium based flash backs, and,very erotic romps, with some young beautiful (and apparently playing innocent) actresses,while, a fascinating Dark Lady( french Star,Corinne Clery,very well aged, since the Classic,filmed over a decade earlier, "Histoire D'O"by Just Jaeckin) is obviously manipulating everyone, with her malicious games of seduction, and deceit. Nothing new, but at least,elegant, always very tense, and truly sexy! And,extremely well acted, an asset that, in those type of movies,was not always a secure guarantee! Here,even though,we cannot escape from the lurid 'pulpish' tale,involving an inheritance,and all the games played by the people involved with it,frantically trying to seduce one another,in order to have murderous accomplices,and led by the 2 opposite female leads,hoping to destroy each other's plans,I must say that,there's also a slight psychological (and believable) turn, consisting in the memory loss,of the ill character, very convincingly played, by a then very young and tormented Arcangeli,and leading to an interesting fragmentation of chilling flashbacks,and,eventually, to a couple of unexpected twists, at the end,that must have been very appreciated at the Time,and, that, I'd seriously recommend,now, to any of those,part of the rightly so, increasing number of Fans of the Giallo's Genre,who will also love them,as well,I'm sure,as long with, the film's very stylized dark,saturated cinematography, and,of the vision,of course, of lovely(and often undressed) Clery ,and, many other gorgeous starlets,often laying in the nude,over some purple velvet sofa,while thinking of murders and vindication. Very Enjoyable.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
FELT I HAD TO SAY A FEW WORDS ABOUT THE WONDERFUL,MYSTERIOUS,TOUCHING
"PETULIA" DIRECTED BY THE GREAT RICHARD LESTER(WHO SHOULD HAVE WORKED
MORE) WITH A CREW OF 'WIZARDS' LIKE CULT DIRECTOR NICOLAS ROEG IN
CHARGE OF CINEMATOGRAPHY(AND WHAT CINEMATOGRAPHY!),TONY WALTON FOR
COSTUMES AND DESIGNS ,DEAN TAVOULARIS (FROM APOCALYPSE NOW) IN CHARGE
OF SETS,AND SET DRESSING,AND A HEART BREAKING MUSIC SCORE FROM
'MAESTRO' JOHN BARRY. WHAT SHALL I SAY? THAT ANYTIME I SHOW THIS FILM
TO A FRIEND, THEY REMAIN SPEECHLESS AND BECOME FANS? THAT EVEN AFTER 43
YEARS,IT'S STILL TODAY AHEAD OF ITS TIME? THAT I SAW A FEW FILMS WHO
COMPLETELY REPRODUCED SOME OF THE SAME MASTERFUL,UNFORGETTABLE ANGLES?
THAT THE STORY IS SO POETIC AND SO INTENSE TO BE HAUNTING YOU FOR EVER?
That Julie Christie IS ONE OF THE BEST ACTRESSES EVER&AFTER THIS
FILM,IF SHE WON'T BE IN YOUR FAVORITE TOP 10 IT MEANS YOU JUST DO NOT
KNOW NOTHING ABOUT REAL ACTING AND REAL STARS?SHE IS SO
UNIQUE&GORGEOUS,YOU JUST WANNA SEE HER IN EVERY MOVIE(AND UNFORTUNATELY
SHE HAS NOT MADE SO MANY: ALMOST ALL OF THEM EXCELLENT,UNFORGETTABLE
FILMS, BUT VERY FEW!).GEORGE C. SCOTT IS ALSO ONE OF THE BEST ACTORS
EVER,SO UNDERSTATED,YET SO INCREDIBLY PIERCING&THE SUPPORTING CAST,FROM
Shirley Knight to Arthur Hill&GREAT Joseph Cotten(in a very Dark
Role)IS OUT STANDING.Even Richard Chamberlain,here,looks almost coming
from a SCOTT-FITZGERALD'S Novel, While,He MAKES YOU FORGET about all
the TV SHOWS, And Soapy Mini-series,Playing here the Gorgeous,yet
BRUTAL,Wealthy, Rebellious KID,with such a Charm, You'd be Expecting
him to become the next Paul Newman. And I could go on: If you have not
seen this Film,Please Make Your Self a Favor and Watch it! HIGHLY RATED
Always,By every Single Top Critic,It's been(INEXPLICABLY) OVER LOOKED
from many Audiences: It was ground breaking&INCREDIBLY Insightful,The
Emotional 'CRESCENDO' OF JULIE CHRISTIE'S Puzzled Memory of Her Sad
Life: A beautiful,yet Lonely Socialite,married to the American Dream,
which Leads her instead to Such an Imperfect Life, Painfully Flawed by
a Progressive Lack of Feelings,by anyone surrounding her, A Crowd that
resembles a bit one Busy Red Carpet today,full of tragic People,Hooked
on Superficiality,Incapable of Communicating,while an underneath
Disturbing Violence is Spreading around.
It's truly a Tragic Film,that Starts like an extremely Sophisticated Comedy, Slowly Descending into a Bitter End: What Life has just Left you with? Isolation,Incommunicability&Stuck in What you'd Only Hope It was a Nightmare,but it is truly your living,and you can't change it anymore,because its paths are Irreversible. ONE MORE NOTE: I am very Surprised,WHEN A LOT OF REVIEWERS on here,although loving the Movie, felt"Annoyed"or Confused by what I consider instead Genius Editing:It Empowers,with its Flash Forward's and Flash back's,the Narration to Such an Extent,Becoming Really one Of the Greatest Assets of this Film, which makes you almost 'See' The Film Through the Troubled Mind of Petulia, a Triumphant Tale That Unravels its Tragedy in a Romantic Drama, that is Cut like a Mystery Thriller:Keeping you always Guessing what It might have Happened ,and Once You get to know a Part of it, You still do not get to Know Why or How such an Horrific Event Could have been. Slowly,but Extremely Satisfyingly,Petulia Tells in Progression,the inevitable Ending, which is also a True Meditation on Life and Relationships,Existential and Social Regrets,making even more Poignant, this Insightful Story: It is a True Mystery what's Going On, that Keeps You Really Hooked Guessing, Until The Very End, where a Series of highly in Depth References,Become more and More Touching, Haunting The Audience, also,with the Help of the Extraordinary Sensibility Offered generously,by Julie Christie's Unforgettable Performance, about a Lonely Woman,Searching for Deeper meanings,for Tenderness,in an Alienated World Not Willing to grant anyone's a little more,or at least what such an Incredible Character would have deserved. Julie Christie is a "Miracle' in this Film, That Will Haunt you,if you just Allow to Follow this Clever,Sensational Film,Opening Your Mind First, and then Your Heart! You must see this Film, it's one of The Best ever made!