Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Terry Carter, Anita Sanders, Antonio Segurini
Director: Tinto Brass
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
A Psychedelic Pop Art Film by TINTO BRASS — One of the great taboo-smashers of the late '60s, directed by Tinto Brass, featuring interracial affairs, anti-Vietnam statements, violence versus sex. Attraction (Nerosubianco) w... more »
The Artful Penetration of Barbara
Zack Davisson | Seattle, WA, USA | 02/23/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Tinto Brass was feeling experimental when he made "Attraction" ("Nerosubianco," originally released in English as "The Artful Penetration of Barbara"). Immediately following his pop art giallo film Deadly Sweet and right before his hallucinogenic The Howl (the film he turned down the chance to direct A Clockwork Orange for), "Attraction" seems to have been a canvas for his ideas as a filmmaker, a sort of branching out of styles and motifs to see where he would eventually land.
"Attraction" is more of an extended music video than anything else. The band featured is Freedom, a psychedelic rock back formed by two former members of Procol Harum, guitarist Ray Royer and drummer Bobby Harrison. The band provides the entire soundtrack, as well as appearing in various sequences, dressed in full striped pants and psychedelic rock splendor.
The story, such as it is, is provided by Barbara (Anita Sanders) who encounters a nameless black American man (Terry Carter) in a park, then spends the day wandering the city while being pursued by the strange man. The married Barbara is at first scared and resistant, but soon cannot deny her own rising attraction and excitement at being pursued and the taboo nature of the proposed encounter.
Not that the story is anywhere near so straightforward. Mixed into the pursuit of Barbara by the unnamed man and the scenes of the band Freedom, there are television clips of Vietnam war protests, random imagery of nudity and violence. Brass plays with the camera lens, splitting screens or drawing everything into a single black circle, basically experimenting with every possible technique and technology that existed at the time.
If you are a Tinto Brass fan, you will recognize some of the scenes he plays with. Barbara's initial stroll through the park, where she encounters couples in various stages of loving, would be repeated in a more explicit nature in the later film Cheeky!. And although he has not yet blossomed into the glorious worshiper of the female form we all know and love, Brass' unique world of playful sexuality slowly starts to emerge in the free-form of "Attraction."
The Cult Epics print of "Attraction" is rough in points, and there doesn't seem to have been much restoration done on it although it is listed as a "Restored new transfer." It is possible that the previous print was in really horrible condition and some improvements have been made. However, to have a copy of this rare film available in any condition is a treat for Tinto Brass fans, as I believe this is the first English-subtitled release since the 1970s.
A Prolonged and Psychedelic Music Video
Tome Raider | California, United States | 02/06/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I should confess upfront a deep bias in favor of anything done by the director Tinto Brass. I really admire his body of work as I think he portrays a playful, light-hearted and sexy world which more reflects European attitudes and from which we cloistered, uptight Americans can potentially learn quite a bit. I'm obviously referring less to Caligula than I am his string of other frivolously creative Euro-teasers which have spanned the last three decades. (Caligula, however, is also a solid classic and highly recommended; but it is heavy and sordid.) I have collected them all (at least those released here in the US, with one exception as noted below), and I think they are all great fun with unbelievably gorgeous women, charming story-lines, great European scenery, and neat music.
This film (going by the name "Attraction" which seems an ill-fit) is one of his earliest films and has just been released in the US in the last few months along with another early Brass film entitled "Howl." Let me just say that I definitely did not enjoy "Howl" and I was pleased that I had just borrowed it off of Netflix. I also accessed "Attraction" off of Netflix, but I will definitely be buying it. It generally reflects the characteristics I admire in Brass's work.
The key to enjoying this film is that you have to go into with the right expectations. If you are expecting a coherent, standard story arc you will probably be disappointed. There is probably some vague story here, but your interpretation of it might be much different from mine. Suffice it to say, the film begins with a very attractive woman being admired by a black man in a park, and then continues with the woman being followed by him, or at least encountering him many additional times, throughout the city in which they live (which I think is London, but various billboards and what-not were in Italian, so it kind of confused me). The two have an obvious mutual chemistry, and they play a prolonged game of cat and mouse as they wander the landscape of the city in those passionate and vivid days. My interpretation is that the woman is very attracted to the man, and she is contemplating an affair (in the spirit of the heyday of 60's free-love) with him, even though she is married.
The music is FABULOUS. I'm not sure precisely who the musicians are (it shows the band playing in many scenes) but this music is both hypnotic and evocative. I guess my primary attraction to this film is that it does a potent job of seizing and conveying a vision of 60's radicalism, or at a minimum, 60's sexual ambience. It shows the styles, the attitudes, and it does a compelling job of capturing the celebratory vibe of the era. So, if you just sit back, and do not rigidly expect too much in terms of story, plot, or other precise meaning, you may find yourself transported back to what I consider to be the coolest era in recent western history: that charming window of optimism, sexual freedom, anti-Vietnam war revolt, generalized angst, and provocative fashion which existed between 1966 and 1973, give or take a year or two on each side.
Ultimately, as I watched this, I was repeatedly reminded of the Goddard documentary of the Rolling Stones, "Sympathy for the Devil." People either love that film or hate it due to its seemingly unconnected set of depictions. As with that film, I think if you sit down with the full expectation that this is more of a montage of interesting, tenuously-connected scenes, and you accept that, you'll find yourself enjoying this quite a bit. Particularly for those people who enjoy Brass's work in general, or films which capture the unique ambience of the 60's, you'll want to add this to your collection. (Again, I don't feel that way about "Howl" at all; possibly this gives me some credibility. That movie sucked. So, it's not like I'm saying everything Brass does is enlightened. He made one mis-step and that was it!)"