In 1950s Italy, just before the ban of brothels, Mimma, an inexperienced country girl, reluctantly accepts to work as a prostitute. And, just like that, the once-innocent woman becomes Paprika, in high hopes of raising enough money to finance her good-for-nothing boyfriend. Before long, Paprika will learn to enjoy her disreputable but very profitable occupation, working her way up, one client at a time, as she journeys from one brothel to another in the bustling city of Rome. However, despite Paprika's stormy but prosperous voyage of self-discovery, experience, and sexual liberation, there is still one thing missing in her seemingly full life: unearthing the great mystery of true love. Is Paprika meant to experience a passionate romance?Written by
Tinto Brass originally planned this film as a straightforward adaptation of John Cleland's "Fanny Hill", but after a number of years in development hell, he rewrote the screenplay and updated the setting to 1950s Italy. Still, the film manages to stay more faithful to Cleland's novel than most 'official' adaptations. See more »
When submitted to the BBFC for a UK video certificate in 2002, 1 minute 56 seconds of cuts were required for an 18 certificate - these were to a scene of incest and a scene of urolagnia. Due to a production error the 2002 Arrow Films DVD is in fact the uncut version. See more »
Tinto Brass has made some things worth watching in my mind. He chooses to make erotic films, which is fine by me.
I'm interested in erotic films. Naturally, they are enjoyable, the good ones that avoid the damages associated with porn. But they are something deep in us too, something having to do with performance.
In a real erotic film, you'll have an actress (at the very least an actress) who is performing as a character who is performing for us. In porn, there is no difference; in erotic art, there is. Tinto in his better works understands this, and plays with it — sometimes — in effective ways.
This film is worse in the way it works, and is better in how the story bends to the purpose. The story is about another layer of performing. Our heroine not only performs for our pleasure, but for also (as a prostitute) for a seemingly endless series of men.
So the setup is fine.
Making something that is erotic requires that the artist in charge decide what is erotic. Now that's a matter purely of style and not art. The choices he's made this time are different than the ones he's known for, though they seem superficially similar. But this woman is genuinely fat, thickwaisted. She has bad teeth and (the only thing that really matters) she carries herself gracelessly.
You'll want to pass on this one, I think.
Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.
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