Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Mariangela Melato, Michele Placido, Roberto Herlitzka, Massimo Wertmüller
Director: Lina Wertmüller
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy
Mariangela Melato (Swept Away) stars as Signora Bolk, a self-made tycoon interested in ecological preservation. She is fed up with the terrorists who poach Italy's rich beauty and as part of a crazy scheme to retaliate she... more »
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Wertmuller revisits politics and sex... Beautiful DVD transf
dooby | 05/23/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Lina Wertmuller's "Summer Night" (1986) or "Notte d'estate con profilo greco, occhi a mandorla e odore di basilico" (Summer Night, with Greek Profile, Almond Eyes and Scent of Basil) could pass as the companion piece to "Swept Away," made 12 years earlier. Both deal with socio-political conflict and sexual power-play with the lovely Mariangela Melato the central character in each. In "Summer Night," the tables are turned, with the man in chains and the woman holding the leash. Again Melato, now middle-aged, plays a rich upper-class woman, Signora Bolk. But this time she gets to kidnap Giuseppe 'Beppe' Catania (Michele Placido), a leftist rebel who has made a habit of kidnapping and holding members of the upper-class for ransom. She intends holding him for ransom instead, demanding the return of all the money he has extorted from the rich over the years, some 100 million lira. Holding him chained, blindfolded and bound in her luxurious private villa on the island of Sardinia, she develops an increasingly amorous interest in him, to the point where when he points out that prisoners in jail are allowed conjugal visits, she hires Swedish callgirls to cater to his needs and then anonymously joins them in their little orgy. It is much lighter in tone than "Swept Away," perhaps because it isn't so brutal in its depiction of sexual violence and also perhaps because this time it is the man in chains and we don't feel so guilty laughing about that, then when it is the woman being subjugated. Also, Beppe plays it very tongue-in-cheek and doesn't look like he minds in the least being in chains. Just like in "Swept Away," the twist at the end finds the man and woman exchanging places. Only this time there is a "happier" ending with Melato carried off on horseback by her kidnapper. Not a politically correct ending in this day and age but fully in keeping with Wertmuller's thumbing her nose at society. Lina Wertmuller may have done it all before in "Swept Away" but she is never less than entertaining and this revisit is replete with sumptuous sets and beautifully shot on and around the Mediterranean island of Sardinia. It is a pleasure to watch.
The film is transferred in its original aspect ratio of 1.66:1, pillarboxed into a 16x9 anamorphic widescreen. There is slight cropping of the upper and lower edges with some loss of visual information in those areas but this is minimal and quite unnoticeable. It has been beautifully restored and remastered. The print is free of dirt or defects. Colors are rich, vibrant and quite sumptuous. The picture is sharp with minimal grain. Black levels are deep and rich. All in all, a beautiful transfer. Sound is in the original Italian 2.0 Stereo but with surprisingly good bass extension, heard mostly in the music. Optional English subtitles are included. Like "Swept Away," there are no extras save for a few trailers for other Koch-Lorber releases."