Few of Brass's actresses look ideally, they often have quite objectionable features, so it was all the more his achievement to create and maintain on sets an atmosphere of authentic desire, lust and appeal ;because in Brass' outings there's not only realism, irony, satire, though that's plenty of but there is also poetry and adulationhis actresses are feasted, celebrated as sex symbols. His is not the unashamed cheap porn, but pornography deftly turned into exploratory poetry.
If it's porn nonetheless, it's an inspired porn. Hence the jubilating vigor. Stefania, Serena, Deborah, Anna, his best actressesnone of them looks like an ideal model, etc.. And if it's not the shape (as with Deborah, Serena and, to a certain degree, Stefania) ,it's the age (as with Anna). And hence the really homely charm. Moreover, it's a different approach, another kind of beauty (in time and
space) than the one presently current in Hollywoodian popular culture. See Mme. Antonelli (not a Brass actress, but highly typical for the Italian appeal of the '70s). It's another notion of the feminine beauty. There is nothing ostentatious in this; they are simply real life women. Drew Barrymore would make today a delicious Brass actress.
A handsome huge youngish female like Grandi masturbating is a nice thing to behold in a movie . It's good the document was issued; the way Mme. Grandi came to look, I do not believe she will be anymore required to undress in any movie she might make.
In '96,in Ninfa Plebea ,Mme. Sandrelli could still successfully undressat 50 yrs., and 13 yrs. after The Key. Not so with Mme. Grandi, who around being 35 yrs. quit the undressing department; while Mme. Caprioglio quit even faster, before turning 30.
Before Mme. Sandrelli naturally, spontaneously took over in '96 as my cultactress, Mme. Grandi fulfilled this function in my adolescence. In GIULIA, she was even more beautiful, desirable and fresh than in this Brass outing.
A Brass trope is the realistic depiction of women masturbatingthe deft Grandi makes it in MIRANDA (though heartily assisted by an oldster); Mme. Sandrelli makes it; also Vassilissa (to complete her husband's work
);I do not remember La Galiena masturbating in SENSO
,nor Mme. Caprioglio in PAPRIKA (it would have been somewhat out of place for a happy, con-sentient prostitute to masturbate). The feminine masturbation is of course as pragmatic as it getsit's related to an oldster's failings (Sandrelli's husband's hurry, Grandi's lover's cautions);only La Vassilissa needs to finish a young man's work.
The women's intimacywomen masturbating, urinatingit's Brass' universe.
Throughout his career, Brass made some bourgeois dramas (The Key; The Voyeur; Senso '45who is also a sentimental quote of his own Nazi drama Salon Kitty ,1976); a wild romp picaresque whorehouse comedy (Paprika);and a pagan countryside idyll, spiced with scabrous, scatological and phallic--Miranda. As comic, Miranda is more generous and friendly than Paprika; it's also quite rough, due to its subject, the world it describes.
There are elements not so much of comedy, but of satire, irony, sarcasm, sometimes aggressive, in most of Brass' movies. Miranda is as close as he comes to the idyll. (Andrea Bianchi made in '87 a movie which was both a picaresque tale and an idyllthe beautiful, exquisite, delicious The Seduction of Angela).
Paprika was a tale of brothel initiation; The Key was a story of adultery , cheating and pleasure initiation;SENSO '45 was again a story of adultery initiation ,flesh joys, and how idyll is a farce and a woman's love is mercilessly deceived; Miranda plays as a tale of anal initiation. (And how the lesser males' desire is finally generously rewarded).
In Brass' cinema, MIRANDA is among the most atmospheric and paganlike THE KEY and THE VOYEUR, and maybe better ,as atmosphere, than the last of these.
The brothel; the bourgeois family; the independent, hedonist adventuress; this is Brass' universe of pleasure.
Verhaeren wrote a sensual poem called 'Praise to the human body', about the womanly body. It reminds me of the homely warmth of some of Brass' best movies. (Brass, needless to say, is sometimes cold and distant and clinical; sometimes not.)
Did Brass ever directed a movie about joy, about happiness? THE KEY is partly, and sometimes, about joy; yet about a sickly, or illicit, or hurried one. SENSO
is a melodrama, it ends with treason, tearing, humiliation. PAPRIKA could have been about joyi.e., joy in depravity; I think it is not. MIRANDA is as close as Brass ever came to a movie about joy, about happiness. It's his movie about truly hedonist beings. I think this is the movie's significance within Brass' cinema. Stefania, Anna were sensuous midwives. THE VOYEUR is maybe Brass' only major movie made from a man's perspective. MIRANDA is the movie about a plenary happy woman. It's also, like THE KEY and PAPRIKA, very realist.
Miranda is a hedonist adventuress, youngish and dashingly goodlooking, uninhibited, egoist, earthly, wild, energetic, fully happy, strong, healthy, insubordinate.
(For instance, and as a not anymore private fantasy, Mrs. Palin is a Brass womanin fact, she could have beenone would like to feel her thighs, etc..)