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Senso '45
[DVD]

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Erotica director Tinto Brass updates the Camillo Boito story (previously adapted by Luchino Visconti as SENSO with Alida Valli and Farley Granger) to World War II Venice. Anna Galiena plays Livia, the wife of a ministry official (Brass regular Antonio Salines), who is so desperate to get back to Venice to meet her lover Nazi officer Helmut Schultz (Gianni Garko) that she has agreed to offer her body to her husband's knowing friend Ugo (Brass regular Franco Branciaroli of THE KEY, ALL LADIES DO IT, and THE VOYEUR). The story of their meeting and torrid affair is rendered in colorful flashbacks while the framing story is in black and white. As with TRASGREDIRE, Brass and his cinematographer (this time, Daniele Nannuzzi - son of the great Armando Nannuzzi - with second unit photography by previous Brass DP Massimo de Venanzo) eschew the soft focus look of Brass' earlier films shot by Silvano Ippoliti in favor of a sharp and colorful palette.

Although likely produced on a modest budget, the film looks lavish. Like Brass' CAPRICCIO, SENSO '45 is still explicit but Brass has largely reigned himself in for this more mainstream picture. The film does not recall Visconti's SENSO so much as his own spin on World War II decadence THE DAMNED (1969) with a dyed-blond Garko resembling Helmut Berger (though he doesn't do a drag Marlene Dietrich here). Galiena, Garko, and Branciaroli are excellent as members of a jaded, decadent middle class who play both sides of the war (Helmut buys erotic art pieces from a Jewish dealer, Ugo has multiple ID cards to get him and Livia through various roadblocks, Livia is literally sleeping with the enemy).
Date Added: 04/02/2013 by Juja
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