Combustible Celluloid
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With: Frank Finlay, Stefania Sandrelli, Franco Branciaroli, Barbara Cupisti, Serena Grandi, Andrea Occhipinti, Franco Interlenghi, Andy J. Forest, Claudia Koll, Paolo Lanza, Ornella Marcucci, Isabella Deiana, Renzo Rinaldi
Written by: Tinto Brass, Francesco Costa, Bernardino Zapponi, etc.
Directed by: Tinto Brass
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Language: English, Italian, with English subtitles
Running Time: 294
Date: 03/18/2013

The Tinto Brass Collection (2004)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Brass Knuckled

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Known here only for his controversial 1980 feature Caligula, director Tinto Brass has made a long career out of softcore films in his native Italy. Cult Epics has now released one of his most recent on DVD, and has also re-released a formerly out-of-print box set of classic titles.

The three-disc "Tinto Brass Collection" includes The Key (1983), Miranda (1985) and All Ladies Do It (1992). All three are presented in their original, uncensored versions, and all three discs feature interviews with Brass, trailers, photo galleries and filmographies.

Notable for its Ennio Morricone score, The Key stars Stefania Sandrelli (from Bertolucci's The Conformist) as a modest woman whose husband attempts to liven up their sex life by using their daughter's fiancée. (In English.)

Voted the sexiest woman in Italy, Serena Grandi plays a woman who, while waiting for her MIA husband to return, entertains a series of lovers in Miranda. (In English.)

All Ladies Do It stars Claudia Koll as a woman who uses her flirtations with other men to titillate her husband, until one time she goes too far. (In Italian with English subtitles.)

In addition, Cult Epics has released a newer feature, Frivolous Lola, starring Anna Ammirati in the title role as a woman who causes a scandal with her carefree attitudes about sex. This disc comes with a Brass interview, optional English or Italian language versions and a photo gallery.

In general these films are rather old-fashioned and broad and only intermittently sexy. Brass has a predilection for images of women bending over, which doesn't necessarily translate into entertainment for the rest of us. Unlike Russ Meyer, he fails to make his obsession attractive or fun. The films tend to feel long, and they translate only according to the enthusiasm and charisma of their lead actresses. In this realm, Anna Ammirati in Frivolous Lola is the clear winner. Spunky, adorable and playful, she keeps that film going far better than some of the others.

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