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BOCCACCIO '70
(No Shame Films) 1962. Unrated, 208 Minutes.  An uproarious blend of comedy and satire by four masters of Italian Cinema. And now, a brief recap of each segment.  Renzo and Luciana (shown in it's entirety for the first time ever), directed by Mario Monicello and starring the gorgeous Marisa Salinas, give us the story of a couple in love.  Unfortunately, where they work it is against the rules to be married to one another and keep their jobs.  The lengths they go to to keep this a secret are funny and a little bittersweet.  In the end they discover what is more important. 
           
The Temptation of Dr. Antonio by Federico Fellini and starring Anita Ekberg is probably the most famous of the foursome and the oddest as well.  Seems a billboard advertising milk using the vivacious Ms. Ekberg is considered to be obscene, by one guy.  He knows that it is immoral, but it's hard to convince the rest of the city.  When the giant image of Anita Ekberg comes to life, well it just keeps getting weirder the way only Fellini knows how to pull off without a hitch.
           
The Job, directed by Luchino Visconti, stars the delectable Romy Schneider as a rich girl who's husband has a problem with hookers; he can't stop paying them!  Her father controls the cash so he cuts off the wandering hubbie and Romy decides it is time to get a job.  Unfortunately, she isn't qualified for anything.  Or so she thinks.  The sarcasm flows freely in one of the harshest episodes of the group.
           
Finally, we get The Raffle.  Director Vittorio gives us the fanciful story of a woman who is the prize in a local lottery.  Normally this might not be such a big deal, but the woman is Sophia Loren at her curviest, her sexiest, her steamiest.  It's amazing that the DVD doesn't have a fogging problem when you get to this segment.  This is the beautiful woman that everyone remembers when you say her name.  I think I got a little light headed just typing her name.  Phew!
           
This masterpiece of cinema is finally released in a magnificent format; letterboxed, easy to read subtitles, and the extras!  Okay, there aren't a lot of extras, but just the condition of the film is an extra onto itself.  The print is freakin' gorgeous and is so crisp it hurts to stare at it too long.  This is filmmaking.  The scenery of Italy in the sixties is breathtaking.  The women are immaculate and exude enough sex appeal that it almost comes shooting off the screen.  This is when leading ladies were exotic, erotic and made you sigh with a wholesome lust that is no where to be found in today's society.  Add to that the fact that the stories are genuinely funny and romantic.  The photo gallery is huge and No Shame Films gives a gargantuan press book reproduction that makes you think you're in the sixties again.  This is how films need to be presented to the audiences of today.  Boccaccio '70  too damned good to ignore and you'll hate yourself if you don't buy the damned thing.  Enjoy! - Douglas A. Waltz

 

 

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