Sunday, 31 July 2011

Scenes from "Al di là delle Nuvole" [1995 Italy, France, Germany]

"Al di là delle Nuvole" [Eng. Title: Beyond the Clouds] was Michelangelo Antonioni's final full-length feature, a personal film made from a short story collection penned by himself. By this time, the great man was partially paralysed after a stroke and couldn't speak. That of course didn't stop him from making another late gem. His friend Wim Wenders co-directed it, and what a collaboration it turned out to be..!

The film isn't a typical Antonioni in some respects - apart from the obvious reason of another creative mind working on it. The manner in which he portrays women is different from his normal style. The women here appear to have been plucked from fantasy, vulnerable, sensuous, and too soft. There's a reason however - it was done with the purpose of exploring themes related to love and happiness - what are people trying to seek in its quest, is it their own ego they're trying to satisfy - is it ultimately selfish to want to possess? The pieces start falling in place as we sit through each story. But there is no mistaking his trademark imprint noticeable throughout the film, even more so in the final segment, which I think is the best of the lot.

The film starts off with a film director (played by John Malkovich), taking a break between projects to 'see' and 'collect' imagery. He visits a mist-shrouded Ferrara, alluding to Antonioni's own nostalgic view of the place and narrates the first story, of Silvano and Carmen, before moving on to France where he connects the other tales. There's plenty in the film not only for fans of both Wenders and Antonioni, but also lovers of exquisite cinema in general - and plenty of nudity as well. The cinematography is breathtaking, and the great attention to detail, be it lighting, art direction, costumes or make-up, is only to be expected if two of Europe's finest collaborate. The soundtrack is thoughtfully chosen, and the editing is exemplary, done under the watchful eye of Antonioni himself. There is also a surprise reunion of sorts when Marcello Mastroianni and Jeanne Moreau turn-up in the last segment - they're working together with Antonioni after more than thirty years, the previous one being another Antonioni masterpiece, "La Notte". All in all, this is a sumptuous film full of visual beauty and poetry, and therefore Highly Recommended Viewing..!

It is necessary to mention something about the 'Making of' documentary that accompanies the DVD, made by Antonioni's wife Enrica herself. The 50 minute feature is as riveting as the main film itself - with some precious footage of the shoot, and importantly parts of Antonioni's original prose narrated through voice-over for some of the scenes, which makes one hell of a difference interpreting the film. I recommend everyone to make sure they watch it after the main film.

Amazon DVD Link

Compilation: Inés Sastre, Sophie Marceau, Fanny Ardant and Chiara Caselli
Made from at least five scenes. By the way, the window is used a frequent metaphor throughout the film

Inés Sastre, Sophie Marceau, Fanny Ardant and Chiara Caselli in Al di là delle Nuvole

Scene Guide
  • Silvano, passing through Ferrara, falls in love with school teacher Carmen staying in the same bed and breakfast hotel as he. Carmen expected him to come to her room that night, he doesn't, and she had to leave the following day, and they meet again three years later at a cinema. they had apparently been in love all the time. She invites him to her house. What happens next is beautifully illustrated in this dialogue-less scene. Carmen is played by delectable Spanish beauty Inés Sastre.
  • The roving director-protagonist bumps into a boutique shop girl at an off-season beach resort, and barely conceals his desire for her. Despite her warning him that she had murdered her father a year ago (by stabbing him twelve times), he's unfazed and they end up in bed. While love of an ethereal kind is the undercurrent in the previous scene, it is plain physical here. The girl of course is played by legendary French beauty Sophie Marceau.
  • No nudity but necessary in the context of the next scene. A drunk Patricia questions her husband whether he spent the night before with his mistress. Patricia is intelligent enough to look through his lie, but is hopelessly in love, and is willing to take his word that he'd seen the last of the other woman. Fanny Ardant plays Patricia impeccably - what a fine actress she is..!
  • The mistress is angry when she learns that he slept with his wife (out of pity, he says) - but all is short-lived in this sexy scene as the guy feasts on her greedily. The mistress is played by ragazza dolce e deliziosa Chiara Caselli.
  • The director's wandering eye takes us past a window where a couple are getting ready to get started. Actress name remains a mystery.


Thursday, 28 July 2011

Marina Anna Eich in "The Dark Side of Our Inner Space" [2003 Germany]

Roland Reber's 2003 drama, "The Dark Side of Our Inner Space", is an interesting exploration of human nature in unnatural surroundings. Much like the Canadian classic, "Cube", it explores darker human instincts like selfishness, fickleness and desire, although in an entirely different manner. Here, participants volunteer, and the location itself of "The Big Game" acts a metaphor to describe human behaviour.

Five people are chosen to play 'The Big Game' at a disused Army barracks by 'HE', its mysterious owner. Called the 'Barracks of Freedom', participants are free to set their own rules and laws. The purpose is for the group to free themselves from societal norms and do whatever they want to do. Marcus, Anna, Kai, Jessie, and Tanja are introduced to each other when they arrive at the barracks - they will compete in games created among themselves to reach 'The Big Game'. They are all of different temperament and walks of life, the only similarity is their desire to compete and win. What starts off as a game soon becomes sinister as we see each participant trying to deceive the other. Morals and scruples are set aside in their quest for 'The Big Game', in which only the coolest of heads will prevail. What is the point in winning this game. And is life itself a game..?

I was surprised to see that very little had been written about this film - I too wouldn't have known about it if it wasn't included in my box-set. It certainly requires reappraisal as it is actually quite deep in places - laying out in open shortcomings in what we call 'civilized societies'. Most of Reber's introspective philosophical musings are made by the enquiring mind of one of the participants, Tanja, and although she works within the group's rules, there is an air of detachment about her.

With this storyline, it would have been so easy to go berserk by focusing on sex and violence too much. It doesn't, only depicting as much as is necessary. Mr. Reber explains in an interview, "...if we remove violence and sexuality out of the film, it would no longer have anything to do with human beings". As with all Reber productions, the film had been allowed to take shape organically during its making, and several of his cast also double up as the crew. Mr. Reber himself acts in the film as 'HE', and Mira Gittner who gives a restrained performance as Tanja also took up cinematography and editing duties. As for the technical aspects, the soundtrack is catchy, lending itself to the theme, the overall characterisation is well conceived - none of them look like caricatures, and the film even has a lighter side. But the film is not light entertainment, despite the simple screenplay.

In fact, parts of the film would have escaped me if not for one of the stars of the film, Marina Anna Eich. She is also WTP International's (their film production company) PR and Sales Manager, and was extremely helpful by providing me the dialogue sheet for the film in English.

The DVD features footage deleted from the final cut, an 'alternative' ending, and also an interesting interview with Mr. Reber about the making of the film. Needless to say, Recommended Viewing..!
Official site and Trailer
Amazon DVD Link

Compilation: Sabine Krappweis and Marina Anna Eich

Marina Anna Eich and Sabine Krappweis in The Dark Side of Our Inner Space

Scene Guide:
  • One of the participants, Anna is an book keeper by day but an S&M mistress 'in her real life'. She proposes a game with Kai to act as her slave, but he breaks the first rule by insisting on playing the master himself in this darkly lit scene. She had to end the game midway. Anna is played by the well-sculpted Sabine Krappweis.
  • Marcus is the self-appointed law maker, but who couldn't help falling for the charms of participant and Daddy's girl Jessie. Jessie's cunning belies her dumb-blonde persona, as Marcus will soon discover. Jessie is played by the stunning Marina Anna Eich.
  • Role playing in the dungeon - Marcus punishing Jessie for leaving him.
  • From the deleted scenes - of Jessie working with a sleazy photographer.
  • Turns out Kai is a virgin, finding it difficult to turn his fantasies into reality. Jessie offers to help.
  • Jessie fulfils Kai's fantasies in this hilarious scene - now there's a reason why she isn't camera-shy - with a body like that, she needn't be.
  • One of the participants' suicide sets off a chain of events that none of them seem capable to control - Jessie is remorseful in this scene - there is a different and longer version of this in the alternative ending that isn't included here.


Monday, 25 July 2011

Eleonora Albrecht & co in "Caribbean Basterds" [2010 Italy]

Occasionally we wish films were made like in the 'good old' days, more so when it came to female nudity. Well, we have a wish answered - Italian B-Movie maestro Enzo G. Castellari (of "Keoma", "Sensitività" and the original "Inglorious Basterds" (Quel maledetto treno blindato) fame) appears to have returned from retirement to make another awesome film in his inimitable style, "Caribbean Basterds". I'm sure his friend Tarantino will also take a look at this if he hasn't done so already. This is one kick-ass film with plenty of stunts, bad acting, and "molte scene di sesso" with belle ragazze da Italia e Venezuela ..!

Shot exclusively in Isla Margarita, Venezuela, the film unabashedly borrows themes and visuals from other known works, from "Hamlet" to "A Clockwork Orange". Castellari himself says in the DVD extras that his film is a homage to Stanley Kubrick. But the overall film is original nevertheless, in a bizarre way. Shot in English using Italian and Latin American actors replete with accents, it was later dubbed in Italian for local audience.

Rich kids Roy and Linda - brother and sister, reunite in their Caribbean holiday home after many years - she'd been studying in Paris - their father is a powerful arms dealer. But Roy hates to follow in his dad's footsteps. Roy and Linda decide to become pirates who'll rob only the rich and invite their new friend José to join in. At first, it's all fun, but soon they land in deep trouble after accidentally bumping off some drug dealers. They now have the police, the drug lord, and a voodoo practitioner after them...

The cinematography is excellent, with some competent editing and a fine soundtrack - not sure about the special effects though, but it is nevertheless enjoyable and the frequent visuals of stunning blonde Eleonora Albrecht only make it easy on the eye - a deliciously trashy B-film, that's definitely Recommended Viewing..!

DVD Order Link.


Eleonora Albrecht, Paolis Velasquez, Vanessa Barrios, Susanne Adler, and Keyla Espinoza
Made from some of the juiciest scenes - although some I had to cut short in order not to give too much of the plot away.

Eleonora Albrecht, Keyla_Espinoza, Paolis Velasquez, Vanessa Barrios, and Susanne Adler in Caribbean Basterds

Scene Guide:
  • Linda is a pricktease - as is apparent from her behaviour with the servant. Linda is played by the very watchable Eleonora Albrecht.
  • José brings along his friend María for one of the family parties, and later all four party separately in the swimming pool in this sexy scene. María is played by Paolis Velasquez.
  • Roy, Linda and José form 'The Pirates of Justice' - first up is a family friend (and arms dealer) having a private party with his young girlfriend in a yacht  - played by chica bellissima Vanessa Barrios.
  • Next in their Clockwork Orange-style raids is another family friend with his wife in a secluded beach. They take turns with her - who apparently seems to be enjoying it, and Linda joins in the fun too in this sexy scene. The wife is played by Susanne Adler.
  • Another one of their heists. This time led by Linda who seduces the rich guy. They then make a private video of Linda making out with him.
  • After a shoot-out, the trio find Dolores hiding in the bath - she agrees to help them. Of course, she helps Roy first, followed by his jealous sister Linda. José joins them too, but gets fed up with this brother-sister fondling and leaves. However that doesn't stop the action in this rather kinky scene. Dolores is played by Venezuelan model Keyla Espinoza, proud owner of some of the most impressive curves. Capping this scene was a nightmare - every other frame looked good to go..!


Saturday, 23 July 2011

Scenes from "Ciudad de Ciegos" [1991 Mexico]

The DVD for this somewhat obscure gem by Alberto Cortés, "Ciudad de Ciegos" [Eng. title: City of the Blind] had been sitting on my shelf for close to three years - while I bought it primarily for a memorable scene by Blanca Guerra, the reviews mentioned about the film being about some local eighties rock bands, which kinda put me off a bit. Having finally drawn the courage to watch it, I was pleasantly surprised to see that not only was the music rather good, the rock music theme was only a single segment within the film, and there was much more to it than just rock music.

The film is basically the history of an apartment from the 50's to the 80's, and carries ten segments or snapshots during the period. It bears witness to events concerning its various occupants, where dreams are born and shattered - a simple yet beautiful observation of human emotions, desires, interactions and consequences. The film has a great soundtrack featuring various genres across the timeline, and a jamming session in its last segment of a then up and coming Mexican rock band. Those interested may download the title soundtrack here.

The DVD also appears to have been transferred from negatives without remastering, it looks visibly aged, but at least there weren't any cuts, and the full-frame aspect ratio was retained. This is actually a great film, and therefore Recommended Viewing..!


Compilation 1: Gabriela Roel, Verónica Merchant, Zaide Silvia Gutiérrez, and Silvana Orsattin

Gabriela Roel, Verónica Merchant, Zaide Silvia Gutiérrez, and Silvana Orsattin in Ciudad de Ciegos

Scene Guide:
  • Set in the 50's, Socorro is with her lover, a revolutionary, who's been hiding in the apartment to avoid arrest. Unfortunately they are interrupted in the middle of their act. Socorro is played Gabriela Roel.
  • A strange family, with an adulterous mother and promiscuous daughter, set sometime in late 60's. In this scene the daughter is with a bloke while her mother is busy with her own lover in the same house. The daughter is played by the cute and never-too-shy Verónica Merchant.
  • Teo and Frances are room mates and friends - Frances organises a party to initiate the sexually inexperienced Teo, and asks her lover to bring along a friend. Teo is weary of doing it with a stranger and getting pregnant, so Frances gives her some pills and also tells her that's infinitely better than losing virginity to one's own uncle at the age of twelve (as was in her case). Later, Frances' lover, the guy who popped Teo's cherry wants them all to go away for an orgy weekend, but Frances isn't interested. She proceeds to initiate her lover's own inexperienced friend. Teo is played by Zaide Silvia Gutiérrez, and Frances by Silvana Orsattin.


Compilation 2: Blanca Guerra, Elpidia Carrillo, and Melissa

Blanca Guerra, Elpidia Carrillo, and Melissa in Ciudad de Ciegos

Scene Guide:
  • This is probably the best written segment of the lot - almost a solo scene of a depressed woman impulsively calling her ex-lover and waiting for replies. There is a surprise ending to the segment which I will not reveal. It is also ably performed by Blanca Guerra as she delivers her monologues in the nude, soaking wet. One of the memorable nude scenes in cinema.
  • Fabiola persuades her married lover to stay overnight, and allow her to put some make-up on his face. There is a backgound to their story which is only partially revealed towards the end. The beginning of this scene is the best. They are rudely awoken the following morning as their building is demolished. Fabiola is played by señorita 'sexy' Elpidia Carrillo.
  • The last segment in the film is about a group of young musicians practising in the space which once used to be the apartment. We see Brenda making out with her saxophonist lover while his other lover waits outside. Brenda is played by 'Melissa'.
  • The music session continues with visuals from other segments.


Monday, 18 July 2011

Henriette Heinze in "Auftauchen" [2006 Germany]

Felicitas Korn wrote and made her directorial debut with "Auftauchen" [Eng. Title: Breaking the Surface] - a notable effort - and rather unforgettable too.

The focal point of the film is Nadja, a young aspiring photographer - about her blossoming career and love life, inextricably affecting each other. It is of course told from a woman's view point, making it inevitably subjective, and perhaps less credible too. We see Nadja falling for an immature Darius and getting hurt repeatedly - surely the women I’ve known have been more switched-on than her. But I guess ‘love’ can cause people into making irrational judgements. Whatever the case, you get the general idea of what kind of film this is. It also features several sex scenes - some surprisingly explicit even. Nadja is played by a tomboyish-looking Henriette Heinze.

The direction in itself is well done - especially in bringing the best out of the actors playing her lead characters. A lot of Nadja's predicament is conveyed without dialogues, and it works quite well. The film shows a lot promise and it would be interesting to see what Ms. Korn does next.

The below compilations were made from my DVD. Here's also an Amazon DVD Link.


Compilation 1: Henriette Heinze
Made from seven scenes.

Henriette Heinze in Auftauchen

Scene Guide:
  • The film starts with a bang as we see Nadja masturbating in the shower after being turned down by the bartender at a disco.
  • Bulk of the film is told in flashback. This is when Nadja and a nervous Darius spend the night together for the first time.
  • The following morning.
  • Returning from a night out in pouring rain, it's Nadja again making the move.
  • Nadja and Darius in the swimming pool.
  • And Darius doesn't want Nadja to leave.
  • It appears sex is the core ingredient to their relationship. Nadja allows her work to be disrupted at Darius' whim. This is a long scene, cut short for the compilation.
  • Darius couldn't let Nadja even pee in peace. He asks her what the reply would be if he were to propose to her there and then. She tells him he will know if he asked.

Compilation 2: Henriette Heinze
Made from five scenes.

Henriette Heinze in Auftauchen

Scene Guide:
  • Long scene in the bathroom where Darius complains about her 'imperfections', followed by sex. She asks him to be careful, apparently to no avail.
  • Another long sex scene after learning Nadja has now become pregnant.
  • But Nadja had decided not to have the baby, and Darius isn't too happy about that.
  • Some flashbacks as Nadja tries to recapture what drove her to Darius initially.
  • They predictably breakup, and a desperate Nadja has sex with the bartender in the toilets to get Darius out of her system.


Friday, 15 July 2011

María Lapiedra & Co in "Torrente 4 - Lethal Crisis" [2011 Spain]

"Torrente 4 - Crisis Letal" [Eng. Title: Torrente 4 - Lethal Crisis] is the latest instalment of Santiago Segura's outrageous comedies in the 'Torrente' line of films. For those who are not aware, the Torrente films liberally mix bawdy toilet humour with gratuitous nudity, and they've been hugely popular and successful in Spain. Sr. Segura himself is an excellent actor and a very funny comedian in many other films. The lead character Torrente is a very earthy, totally non-PC policeman-turned-bungling detective - one might say a vulgar version of Jacques Clouseau, sans the authority.

There's really not much to say about the film's simple plot - but it is a high-quality production nevertheless with big names in entertainment throwing their lot in, including top football stars from Real Madrid. Just sit back and laugh your ass off. If you're easily offended though and don't really have a sense of humour - then this one isn't for you.


Compilation: María Lapiedra, Yolanda Ramos, Mari Cielo Pajares, and others
I've put together most of the nudie scenes in here, and also left most of the gags in them intact for visitors who can understand Spanish - it is actually quite hilarious.

María Lapiedra, Yolanda Ramos, Mari Cielo Pajares & others in Torrente-4

Scene Guide:
  • Melanie Rocamora, daughter of a big shot is getting married, but the bride is desperate for a quickie with one of the butlers. Our hero Torrente, the man in charge of security, catches them in the act and recovers some drugs. He agrees not to tell her dad, provided she gives him something in return. The bride's dad and his associate are talking about how their princess was "just a child until yesterday", while she's busy extracting 'Spanish goat cheese' from Torrente. Melanie is played by Spain's very own resident tart, María Lapiedra.
  • More mayhem when Torrente accidentally sets fire to Melanie's bridal gown.
  • Torrente visiting a peep-show parlour, bevy of bare breasted girls pass by, and a new sidekick is discovered in Rin Rin.
  • This time it's at a strip joint - after some more bare breasts and thongs - Torrente bumps into an old acquaintance, Marivi who asks him to feed her "black pussy some milk" - I can't believe I heard that! Marivi is played by Yolanda Ramos - even if she doesn't take her kit off, Yolanda is so freakin sexy and funny.
  • Torrente is in prison now - and fantasises a sexy female warden asking him to prove his reputation of being the most virile person there, and her colleagues help out with some striptease. The warden is played by Mari Cielo Pajares - daughter of veteran comedian Andrés Pajares. She's also a director in her own right
  • Torrente escape from prison, and in the strip joint bumps into Marivi who again asks for some 'milk' for her pussy cat - an uninterested Torrente tells her stinking pussy's probably already dead by now, and asks where he could find Rin Rin instead.
  • Torrente finds Rin Rin and gives a chase - passing some assorted tits and asses along the way.
  • No nudity but a twisted and rude scene where Torrente and Rin Rin invite themselves into Ramírez's home - the guy who double-crossed him, with Rin Rin groping the older daughter, and Torrente advising the little one to go to bed early so she could also grow tits like her sister one day.


Bonus Scenes:
  1. The film's interesting title sequence - take this, James Bond..!
  2. From the DVD extras - the title track released as a music video - no nudity here but the song is pretty good and has some sexy ladies thrown in too.
Title sequence and music video from Torrente 4


Thursday, 14 July 2011

Lena Nyman, Sonja Lindgren, and others in "Jag är Nyfiken - en film i Blått" [1968 Sweden]

"Jag är Nyfiken - en film i Blått" [Eng. Title: I am Curious (Blue)] is the second half of Vilgot Sjöman’s duology "Jag är Nyfiken". This however isn't a sequel even while it retains the same characters and story from the previous half (I am Curious - Yellow). What it does is fill in gaps in the original story while we get to know more about Lena (both the actress and the character she is playing) and the various influences that shaped her beliefs and choices.

While some scenes are repetitive, they do help in connecting the two stories. I've never seen this without its companion piece (Yellow), so not sure how well this will work on its own, but nevertheless, this is essential viewing to better understand the previous film.

For those thinking about purchasing the DVD, they're currently doing a deal in Amazon for both the films at the moment. Here's the Link


Compilation: Gudrun Östbye, Lena Nyman, Bim Warne, Sonja Lindgren, Gun Jönsson, and Hanne Sandemose

Gudrun Östbye, Lena Nyman, Bim Warne, Sonja Lindgren, Gun Jönsson, and Hanne Sandemose in Jag är Nyfiken - en film i Blått

Scene Guide:
  • Brief nudity - the director Sjöman giving some background to Lena Nyman's character about her childhood - he shows her parents quarrelling and then making up - the mother is played by Gudrun Östbye.
  • Brief public nudity - Lena and her friend Hans flee after imagining Hans' girlfriend Bim approaching them naked through a playing field. Bim is played by Bim Warne.
  • Lena in Börje's house - while his fiancé is out. They are interrupted by Börje's child waking up, followed by some more naked time in the kitchen. Lena of course, is played by the legendary Swedish actress Lena Nyman.
  • No nudity but some sexy buttcrack of Lena while camping on the way to see her mother.
  • Lena befriends singer and single mum Sonja at the village, together they go skinny-dipping in this awesome scene. Sonja is played by the grogeous and classy Sonja Lindgren.
  • A sleepless Lena watches a lesbian couple sharing some intimate moments from outside their window. I can't be certain, but I believe the actresses are Gun Jönsson and Hanne Sandemose - their characters barely speak, and don't appear anywhere else in the film.
  • Back in Stockholm, Lena stays at Hans and his girlfriend Bim's boat for a few days. Hans was the one who fed Lena all the theories about non-violence, and Lena is shocked to see him behave in a different manner with Bim.


Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Lena Nyman in "Jag är Nyfiken - en film i Gult" [1967 Sweden]

Vilgot Sjöman's "Jag är Nyfiken - en film i Gult" [Eng. Title: I Am Curious (Yellow)] is part of a 'duology' if one may call it that. It remains a landmark film in many respects - for the first time we see frank depiction of sexuality in mainstream cinema, and it presents an accurate portrait of changing mores of the swinging sixties. This is also a film within a film, where the main actors including the director Sjöman play themselves. Considered alongside its companion piece an all-time Swedish classic even by Sjöman's mentor Ingmar Bergman, it opened a Pandora's box for future filmmakers to follow. The film understandably raised a furore when first released - not just all over the world but its native Sweden too, it was banned in several countries until recently.

It is however an amazing comedy drama, drawing influence from Nouvelle Vague and New German Cinema, and making some pithy observations of its own about life and politics. Actual politicians are also interviewed in the film - including sitting minister Olof Palme, who would go on to become one of Sweden's famous Prime Ministers.

The film begins like a documentary, with Sjöman establishing the dynamic between him and ambitious drama student and lover Lena Nyman, who persuades him to offer her the leading role for his forthcoming film. He wonders if she is only using him, but we see during the course of the film that is two-way traffic. The film within the film is about a young woman's exploration of her political theories, her freedom, and sexuality. It is outrageously funny, moving at times, momentarily shocking (though not as much as Sjöman's earlier classic, "491"), and also erotic in places. This film has to be seen along side its twin [I Am Curious (Blue)] - so naturally I'll be reviewing that film here next. Both the films may have wrongly earned a poor reputation, but they are filmmaking of the highest calibre - the direction, screenplay, cinematography, and acting are simply superb, and therefore, Highly Recommended Viewing..!

These compilations were made from my excellent DVD that came with both the films, and for the sake of distinguishing scenes from each, I'd taken the liberty of adding a subtle hue - yellow in this case. But rest assured - nothing's sacrificed quality-wise. The colours in the title, if you don't already know, relate to the Swedish national flag.


Compilation 1: Lena Nyman

Lena Nyman in Jag är Nyfiken - en film i Gult

Scene Guide:
  • Lena invites her father's pal Börje to her room, the dad slips out to leave them alone. Börje is not sure whether to follow him or stay with Lena - she decides for him. The scene is also funny as they get to know one other - Lena interviewing her 24th lover in between their various sex sessions, that continue even after her dad's return.
  • It transpires that Börje, apart from being the crown prince, is also already engaged. even fathering a child. A disgusted Lena retreats to the countryside to 'detox' her body and mind.
  • Börje comes looking for Lena - and despite her initial resistance, they pick up from where they left off. We also see Lena's fellatious playfulness towards the end, and director Sjöman who's shooting the scene starts playing with one of his other interns.


Compilation 2: Lena Nyman

Lena Nyman in Jag är Nyfiken - en film i Gult

Scene Guide:
  • Lena shows Börje her thigh muscles atop a tree giving some interesting anecdotes for the reason why women can spread their legs more easily than men - they go on to make love on the tree itself.
  • When Börje is fast asleep, Lena checks out the boot of his car, only to see it is full of memorabilia and presents for his various lovers - she picks up one of the presents - a hair dryer, for herself.
  • Just when they start having sex again, Lena in a fit of jealousy blurts out the name of one of the Börje's lovers, and asks how it was with her - he gives a matter-of-fact reply and continues what he is doing in this erotic scene. They quarrel, and he pokes fun at her body. Nothing wrong with that body, if anybody cares to ask me..!
  • Börje leaves while Lena is asleep.
  • Lena and Börje being examined and 'sanitised' following some suspected sexually transmitted disease.


Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Cecilia Roth in "Arrebato" [1980 Spain]

I don't know much about Iván Zulueta, but his film, "Arrebato" [Eng. Title: Rapture] is one of the best films ever made about cinema - more so about the creative process itself wherein the filmmaker is consumed by his own work. The style is reminiscent of French films from the 'Nouvelle Vague' era. If I have to sum it in one word though - it'll have to be "intense".

Pedro, an eccentric amateur filmmaker meets established director José through a mutual acquaintance and shows him some of his homemade films. He is restless and loathes what he's been making so far, until he stumbled upon a time-lapse technique which he's only eager to share with others. José, who's going through a personal and creative crisis of his own, is intrigued - and Pedro's obsession becomes his, and together they literally get 'sucked-into' a bizarre trip by the 8mm film camera that Pedro uses for filming. Is this happening for real, or is it just another hallucination from their acid trips..?

This is an obscure little gem worth seeking for true lovers of cinema. I first saw this film several years ago, but was lucky to get hold of a DVD more recently. The quality isn't particularly pristine - the letter-boxed transfer is dark and grainy, but in a way it adds to the overall claustrophobic atmosphere. I couldn't enhance any of the scenes in this compilation, and therefore left the resolution from the DVD more or less intact.


Compilation: Cecilia Roth and Helena Fernán-Gómez

Cecilia Roth and Helena Fernán-Gómez in Arrebato

Scene Guide:
  • José returns from work to find his stoned girlfriend and actress Ana in his bed - he had already broken off with her and is visibly annoyed seeing her again. Ana is played by a very young Cecilia Roth - a major actress from Argentina, who was also an Almodovar regular.
  • One can see José's relationship with Ana is strained, even if he may yet have some feelings left for her.
  • In one of the films sent by Pedro, he's seen fondling Gloria, a friend, at a party, played by Helena Fernán-Gómez. Later we see him getting angry with her for stopping the camera while filming himself sleeping. The incessant guttural voice-over in many of the scenes is Pedro's narration of events and thoughts, through the audio cassette sent along with the film.
  • José makes it clear to Ana that it is now all over between them.
  • Brief nipple-slip as things finally dawn on Ana - José had just bid her farewell - he's off to Pedro's apartment to find out what happened to him.


Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Yoima Valdés & co in "800 Balas" [2002 Spain]

Álex de la Iglesia, known for his comedy thrillers, is one of my favourite directors. I've seen all but his most recent feature films, and among them, "800 Balas" [Eng. Title: 800 Bullets] is my favourite alongside "El Día de la Bestia". In a way, this film is Sr. Iglesia's ode to spaghetti westerns as much as an appraisal of unsung talents in the film industry - in this case, stunt men who take that spectacular fall when needed but rarely get recognition.

Young Carlos learns from his grandma that he has a grandfather called Julián living in Almeria, who along with Carlos' father (dead after an accident) used to perform stunts for spaghetti westerns during their hay day. He now performs mock stunts instead in the decrepit old sets to earn a living. Carlos wants to visit him, but his mother still hates the old man, blaming him for her husband's death. During a trip to a school ski camp, he sneaks out of the bus and heads to Almeria, ski gear et al. After telling him off for visiting without his mother's knowledge, Julián lets him stay, during which time they bond. When the angry mother tries to close down his set and build in its place a theme park, Julián finds he has a fight in his hands, this time for real, if he is to keep his job and way of life. I had posted a review for this film years ago, but this is a fresh compilation made from my DVD.

The excellent opening credits and soundtrack sets up the film nicely, and the cinematography aptly recreates the ambience of spaghetti westerns. Aided by some playful editing and an interesting soundtrack, the film is entertaining, and the witty dialogues and bevy of muchachas calientes make the film truly enjoyable. Needless to say, Recommended Viewing..!

Compilation: Yoima Valdés and others
Julián gets to spend some time 'on the house' with newly arrived beauty Sandra, but he's a tad tired after a tough day. He however asks her not to mention (his non-performance) to anyone. Sandra is played by mamacita cubanas Yoima Valdés. For those who don't know, lovely Yoima is as sexy as ever in her latest film "Don Mendo Rock ¿La venganza?" - shame she doesn't show more in it. But here, she displays every bit of her natural charms wearing the sweetest of smiles..!

Yoima Valdés and others in 800 Balas

Scene Guide:
  • Julián must indeed be one extremely tired old man to pass up on lovely Sandra.
  • Some wild party this! It's pandemonium in this hysterical scene with some assorted uncredited beauties running around topless.
  • Little Carlos notices a couple going 'all the way', and Sandra decides to initiate him with some worldly knowledge - "how to handle boobs". "No - not like pushing the button for an elevator, but more like feeling the weight of little bags laden with coins - you see, jiggle-jiggle..!". It gets more funny when Carlo's mum calls him from the ski camp where he's supposed to be, and he tells her he's in the cabin along with the other kids.
  • A final glimpse of Sandra's sexy curves as Carlos pulls the blanket away.


Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Martina Codecasa & co in "Sul Mare" [2010 Italy]

Alessandro D'Alatri's recent Italian film, "Sul Mare" [Eng. Trans: At Sea] is an old fashioned bitter-sweet romance set in a Neapolitan island. It's the story of Salvatore, a happy-go-lucky lad whose life seems to have been neatly split into two halves - during the summer, he makes a living by hiring his boat to tourists, and during off-season, works at a construction site in the mainland. Until he meets Martina, a Genoese lass and scuba diving enthusiast. He falls madly in love with her, an experience which will nevertheless teach him some hard truths of life.

The film is well conceived, with a well-written script and neat direction. It has a straightforward narrative, and the main cast give a decent-enough performance to make the film tick, particularly the young actress playing her namesake, Martina Codecasa. Fine cinematography is aided by some breathtaking locales, and pleasant music. But the film is also a notch above your average light entertainment - it is actually quite moving at times, and therefore definitely Worth Viewing.

Compilation: Martina Codecasa, Roberta Stellato, and Adriana Marega
I've combined some of the best parts from the film, some of which may not have nudity as such, but nevertheless lead to one.

Scene Guide:
  • A couple of fun-seeking tourists, played by Roberta Stellato, and Adriana Marega tease and party with Salvatore in his boat.
  • This is when Salvatore lays eyes on Martina for the first time. She hires his friend's boat, but soon enough they bump into each other rather unexpectedly. A romance develops...
  • But Martina disappears after her holiday. And just when Salvatore's coming to terms of having been dumped, she returns, and they resume from where they left off. Martina is played by bella ragazza Martina Codecasa.
  • During her stay Martina lives with Salvatore and his parents.
  • Nude games by the beach, followed by romantic nights in the open.


Monday, 4 July 2011

Mariangela Melato & Sandra Julien in Claude Chabrol's "Nada" [1974 France]

It's Nouvelle Vague time - I'll start with Claude Chabrol's filmography with one of his lesser known films, "Nada" [Eng. Title: The Nada Gang], a crime thriller centred around a fictitious anarchist group who called themselves N.A.D.A.

This isn't your typical Chabrol - I was just lucky to have found it in one of my excellent box-sets. It is also not my favourite Chabrol, but I loved it nevertheless for its wit and satire. The fact that it also stars the classy Mariangela Melato, one of my favourite Italian actresses came as a pleasant surprise.

Claude Chabrol, one of the pioneers of the French New Wave cinema movement, is broadly compared to Hitchcock for his early suspense thrillers. But where he differs is by also giving social commentaries through his films, sometimes even taking precedence over the plot. He was a prolific filmmaker, and inevitably went through several phases of mediocrity and brilliance. But there's no denying the fact that whenever you think of legendary actresses like Stéphane Audran, Romy Schneider, and Isabelle Huppert, it is likely to be for one of their films directed by Claude Chabrol.

Nada Gang members, led by academic Marcel kidnap the American ambassador for a ransom, but things take a different turn when the home ministry and an over-zealous superintendent decide to make an example out of them. Chabrol gives us a cynical insight into the way politics work, and also how even idealists compromise when the need arises. This is not exactly a great film, but certainly enjoyable as an action-packed crime drama.


Compilation: Sandra Julien and Mariangela Melato
There is only brief nudity in the film, but one of them is definitely worth checking out, that of the exceptionally sculpted beauty Sandra Julien (credited as Sandra Jullien). She plays a prostitute entertaining the ambassador when Nada members break in to spoil the party. The second is of the lovely Mariangela Melato who plays Veronique, one of the gang members, spending time with a veteran colleague she fancies, but who unfortunately struggles to perform on the given night. She gives only a brief flash of her breasts in this film, but not to worry - I will be posting here a legendary film by Ms. Melato pretty soon.

Mariangela Melato and Sandra Julien in Nada.


Friday, 1 July 2011

Pilar López de Ayala & Manuela Arcuri in "Juana la Loca" [2001 Spain]

Vicente Aranda's "Juana la Loca" [Eng. Trans: Juana the Mad, Eng. Title: Mad Love], was the first of three period pieces he made in succession - the other two - "Tirente el Blanco" and "Carmen" are already featured here. It is also the best of the three, aided by an impeccable performance from Pilar López de Ayala, the actress who plays Juana, the unfortunate queen of Castile and daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella.

Based on a play, the film begins her story about four years after the new world discoveries, when sixteen year old Juana is sent off to Flanders to marry Philip of Burgundy to formalise a political alliance. The marriage however turns out to be a failure, for despite Juana being 'madly' in love with husband Philip, he was more interested in nothing more than usurping her power. Her father Ferdinand too conspires to restrict her powers, and rumours are circulated of Juana's presumed insanity, questioning her fitness to govern. She's confined in a convent for the next forty seven years, and remained queen in name only until her death. There are several major events covered in the film which I've skimming past - those interested can use this link to explore more of Juana's story.

Needless to say, the film has pretty high production values, especially the costumes, set design and art direction. Just as impressive is the cinematography, direction and editing. The film was nominated for no less than twelve Goya awards the following year, of which it bagged three. Recommended Viewing.


Compilation: Pilar López de Ayala, Carolina Bona, and Manuela Arcuri

Pilar López de Ayala, Carolina Bona, and Manuela Arcuri in Juana la Loca

Scene Guide:
  • Philip decides to get acquainted with his wife-to-be, the young and innocent Juana, even before the wedding - and he seems to have done a pretty good job taking her royal virginity, as she doesn't let him leave afterwards. Juana is excellently played by the cute Pilar López de Ayala.
  • A month after their first child is born, Juana wants Philip to feel her lactating breasts, but makes his excuses and leaves.
  • No nudity - A desperate Juana spreads her legs for Philip on the dining room floor.
  • Inés is the queen's handmaiden - apparently nipple-painting was one of the pass times of Flemish gentry. When the artist coaxes her into revealing for whose pleasure she's making all the effort, she laughs her way out, but is nevertheless caught red-handed while in bed with Philip. Inés is played by Carolina Bona.
  • Philip is enchanted by Moorish beauty Aixa - claimed to be of regal stock herself, but now forced to make a living by displaying her natural charms at a tavern instead. She also seems to have a keen interest in witchcraft, and is possibly seeking revenge for her people loosing their kingdom to catholic kings. Aixa is played by sultry Italian bombshell Manuela Arcuri.