Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Boccaccio 70

BOCCACCIO 70. That other great Italian compendium, produced by Carlo Ponti in 1962 – which was sold at the time on the starpower of the 3 actresses and directors: Anita Ekberg in the Fellini sketch (as the giant billboard advertisement which comes to life, stalking Peppino De Phillipo; Romy Schneider is a delightful tease in the lush Visconti episode making her cheating husband Thomas Milian pay for her favours, Romy dressed (and undressed) in Chanel stakes her claim to being a prestige actress here (as in Welles’ THE TRIAL, same year) and Sophia Loren in the amusing De Sica segment as the weekly prize in a fairground raffle - I had forgotten how hilariously funny this tale is as Vittorio piles on the local colour as the locals go gaga for Sophia, then the bull spies her red blouse so it has to come off, as the local hunk comes to her rescue, then the weedy cleric wins the raffle ticket! It is always amusing seeing Sophia acting as one of the common people and De Sica ramps up the laughs, just like that Naples segment in YESTERDAY TODAY & TOMORROW.
The 3 ladies deliver what is expected of them, but there was a fourth segment, by Mario Monicelli, which was cut at the time but is now restored in the dvd release. This is an amusing little tale too of a young newly-married couple wanting to find time to be alone together (like that crowded scene at the swimming pool) but continually being thwarted in that new Italian economic boom of the early 60s. Finally, they they get their own apartment but he has work nights and comes home to go to bed as she heads off to work on the bus. The couple are the attractive Marisa Solinas and Germano Gilioli and it still looks marvellously fresh and amusing. But why is it ’70 if it was made in ’62?

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