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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Travolti Da Un Insolito Destino Nell 'Azzurro Mare D'Agosto (aka Swept Away) (1974)

Vacationing on a luxury yacht in the Mediterranean, a wealthy right wing blonde (Mariangela Melato) makes life hell for the crew. In particular, an avowed communist and male chauvinist (Giancarlo Giannini) who she belittles at every opportunity. But when they are shipwrecked on a small desert island, their roles are reversed as he gets his revenge. But fate has something more cruel in mind for the both of them. Lina Wertmuller's acclaimed film is a film of both social and sexual politics with a smidgen of romantic comedy. But it's also a divisive film in that many see the film as a misogynist attack. True, Melato's character is raped, beaten and humiliated and falls in love with her abuser but calling it misogynist is too simplistic. It's also a film about class distinction and warfare and Giannini's character abuses her as a representative of the repressive capitalist class. Eventually, Wertmuller (who also wrote the screenplay) shows how they move beyond labels, no longer worker and oppressor, rich and poor, but merely two human beings. Remade (badly) by Guy Ritchie in 2002.

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