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Sunday, June 4, 2017

Appassionata (1974)

A successful dentist (Gabriele Ferzetti, L'AVVENTURA) must deal with an emotionally and mentally unstable wife (Valentina Cortese). But his bitchy teenage daughter (Ornella Muti), who has a decided Electra complex, taunts her father sexually and her best friend (Eleonora Giorgi) seduces him and plays passive/aggressive games with him. Directed by Gianluigi Calderone, this is one disturbing and odd little film. The two teenaged Lolitas are maneaters but at least Giorgi's character has some genuine compassion for the fragile mother while her own daughter (Muti) goes out of her way to torture her. Ferzetti's male seems to think he's in charge of the situation but he's no match for the underage vixens. There's one surreal dream sequence with a half undressed nubile Giorgi, a growling dog and a gun that I'd love to see Freud analyze! There's something distasteful about the whole enterprise and it's not just the borderline softcore sex scenes, it's that everyone is sick on some level and the bourgeois cloak of normalcy makes you want to jump into a shower. But it's compelling, there's no denying that. A nice underscore by Piero Piccioni helps move things along.

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