Tinto Brass – L’Uomo Che Guarda AKA The Voyeur (1994)

 Tinto Brass   LUomo Che Guarda AKA The Voyeur (1994)

logoimdbb Tinto Brass   LUomo Che Guarda AKA The Voyeur (1994)

Description: “When his wife Silvia (Polish model Katarina Vasilissa) leaves him, Dodo (Francesco Casale), a professor of French literature, finds himself alienated from those around him; becoming a passive viewer of life lead to the fullest by those around him including his bedridden father (Brass regular Franco Branciaroli) who has a scantily-clad nurse to attend to him. Dodo’s agonizing over his wife’s contempt for him and the identify of the mysterious lover who has usurped him is countered with lighter vignettes (mostly lighter, though one moment has one of Brass’ starlets showing her infibulation scars which feels exploitative though we must commend the actress for not feeling ashamed considering how psychologically and physically damaging this cultural practice can be) in which Dodo winds up the voyeur instead of a participant which insure a positive reaction from Dodo to his wife’s faithlessness in the Brass tradition.

Produced with glossy cinematography and the alternately sensual and bubbly music of Riz Ortolani (who recycles some of his previous Brass score for PAPRIKA), Brass manages to infuse the film with his brand of naughty and explicit yet irreverent and light-hearted brand of erotica (the nude beach scene seems like something Fellini might have come up with had he been commissioned to direct a Penthouse video) into a respectful adaptation of Alberto Moravia’s acclaimed novel. Brass reportedly wanted to adapt the novel for years with Moravia’s approval but was sidelined repeatedly by other projects. Moravia’s widows – authors Elsa Morante and Dacia Mariani – did not want to option the work to Brass but a producer who had optioned the work gave them the option of whether or not to credit Moravia and his work if they disapproved of the film (which is why there is no reference to the source in the credits). Dodo is typical of both Moravia’s and Brass’ heroes who intellectualize and philosophize pleasure and seek to understand the mysterious behavior of the women in their lives (c.f. Moravia’s CONJUGAL LOVE and A GHOST AT NOON; the latter the source novel for Jean-Luc Godard’s CONTEMPT). Brass also does his typical Hitchcockian cameo (here as another university lecturer with a lecherous expression) and like some of Hitchcock’s trailers, the trailer for this film includes original footage of Brass (seen reading Moravia’s novel) not shot for the film but setting the right tone”. Eric Cotenas

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