With Easter coming up,I decided to sort out a handful of rare titles on DVD for a friend as a present.Getting set to start searching round online,I suddenly spotted that I had layer in the corner of a DVD shelf 2 DVDs of the same film!,which led to me deciding that it was time to see meet the lovemakers.
Watching their dad/husband take his final breath,a feud breaks out in the family to get hold of the old man's riches & land.Attempting to get hold of the land, Ferdinando finds his nephew Amerigo being unwilling to give him his share of the land. Loyally working at his uncle's shop,Amerigo decides to visit a brothel.Being introduced to "Bianca",Amerigo soon finds that he will have to use every possible family resource,in order for him to meet Bianca again.
View on the film:
Entering the movie looking rather dashing, Jean-Paul Belmondo gives an excellent performance as Amerigo.Initially appearing to be an innocent pretty boy,Belmondo brilliantly files away at Amerigo's sweet charms by showing Amerigo to grow obsessed with wrapping himself around Bianca,which transforms Amerigo into a Film Noir loner,who is brittle towards anyone who gets in the way of his desire.Being the person of Amerigo's obsessions,the beautiful Claudia Cardinale gives a superb,complex performance as Bianca.Keeping away from simply making Bianca cold, Cardinale instead subtly shows a detachment towards Amerigo,with the emotional investment that Amerigo puts into the relationship,being which Bianca does not allow herself to pay off.
Despite the DVD player trying to stop the viewing from taking place via showing "No disc in player" half a dozen times,director Mauro Bolognini's haunting atmosphere was able to burst out & shine.Taking the brothel out on to the streets,Bolognini and cinematography Leonida Barboni decide to focus on the psychological nakedness rather than the physical, (which sadly means no naked scenes of Cardinale!)by transforming the building into a Film Noir wasteland,thanks to Bolognini using a gritty deep focus to show Amerigo sink into an obsession for Bianca. Pilling the pressure on Amerigo,Bolognini gives the outdoor scenes a stark minimalist presentation,which brilliantly reveal the dark emptiness surrounding Amerigo's life away from the brothel.
Adapting Mario Pratesi's book L'eredità,the screenplay by Vasco Pratolini/Pasquale Festa Campanile & Massimo Franciosa perfectly mixes family melodrama with a Film Noir painted Neo-Realist edge,which cuts deep into the title,as Amerigo finds that he must take every route possible in order to keep his affections for Bianca going.Showing the ladies of the brothel to be strong,straight- talking girls,the writers seep Film Noir aspects into Amerigo by brilliantly making him wanting to "save" someone who does not want to be saved by him,as Amerigo finds himself falling in love for the love makers.