Monday, 14 March 2011

Maria Grazia Cucinotta in "L'imbroglio nel Lenzuolo" [2010 Italy]

Veteran Mexican-born actor/director Alfonso Arau made his first Italian feature, "L'imbroglio nel Lenzuolo" [Eng. Title: The Trick in the Sheet], thanks pretty much to the vision of its producer and protagonist, bellezza Siciliana Maria Grazia Cucinotta. In a manner, this very well made film is Sig.ra Cucinotta's own little ode to cinema.

It is turn-of-twentieth-century Sicily, and motion pictures have just arrived. Young Federico isn't too interested in pursuing Medicine, and is entranced by this new medium that's enthralling everyone. This is despite his mother's objection - she knows about cinema too, after all she plays the piano during the screenings. He finally nets a producer who's willing to fund him provided there's naked women in his film. He chooses to make one based on the biblical story of Susanna, but couldn't quite decide on the star, until one day when he notices Marianna, a washerwoman and local witch taking a dip by the marshes. After watching her daily routine, he lay in wait and films her without her knowledge, adds the remaining bits and also releases the film. Apart from it becoming a huge success, the film wrecks Marianna's reputation, she's now considered 'easy', and once also gets molested by a frenzied mob in town. The rest of this charming film is of Marianna winning back her honour by showing the village folk that Susanna is nothing but a 'trick in the sheet' (sheet meaning the screen).

There is brief but tantalising nudity of Maria Grazia Cucinotta who plays Marianna in the film, and if you're watchful, you might just about catch a glimpse of a frontal view in the extended version, but this post itself is just an excuse for me to write something about this beautiful film. It is out on DVD (from which this compilation was also cut), and definitely Recommended Viewing.

Maria Grazia Cucinotta in L'imbroglio nel Lenzuolo


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