16 July 2017

CULTFILMS PRESENTS: MARRIAGE ITALIAN STYLE. (1964) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS.




MARRIAGE ITALIAN STYLE. (1964) BASED ON THE PLAY 'FILUMENA MARTURANO' BY PLAYWRIGHT AND PHILOSOPHER EDUARDO DE FILIPPO. 
DIRECTED BY VITTORIO DE SICA. 
STARRING SOPHIA LOREN AND MARCELLO MASTROIANNI.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

This Italian film by cult director Vittorio De Sica stars screen siren Sophia Loren, surely one of the most beautiful and yet charismatic actresses ever to illuminate a cinema screen. Yes, she's got the dazzling good looks, the fabulous face with the sensual lips and expressive eyes, the wonderful hair and the hourglass figure that makes you want to go 'hubba hubba!' regardless of your gender or sexual orientation. But she's not just a pretty face or a clothes horse either.

She's also got character, chutzpah, grit and more balls than most blokes. I always think she's at her absolute best when she's gesticulating wildly with her lovely hands in one of her films and shouting fast, impassioned Italian at some guy who's pissed her off.

Trust me, there's plenty of that kind of thing in MARRIAGE ITALIAN STYLE, a film billed as a comedy but which will definitely break your heart as well, if you've got an ounce of compassion and human feeling in you at all, haha.

Sophia Loren plays Filumena, a beautiful Italian woman who first meets her lover Domenico, a much older wealthy businessman with a little chain of bakeries to his name, when she's a mere seventeen years of age. World War Two is still raging all around them. He finds her hiding in a cupboard during an air-raid, too frightened to go down to the shelter with the rest of the neighbours.

He takes one look at her huge terrified eyes and luscious lips and finds himself smitten, even though at the time she's sporting a short unflattering hairstyle reminiscent possibly of a stay in a concentration camp, something which was all too likely in those grim times.

Two years later, they meet again, Filumena and Domenico. The war is over. Her gorgeous hair has grown back and she's the sexy, sensual, voluptuous and flirtatious woman we're more used to seeing Sophia Loren play. She's working as a prostitute in a brothel, clearly because it's the only way she can eke out a living in post-war Italy.

Domenico doesn't mind what she does for a living, and the two begin a relationship that lasts for decades. They have fun, they laugh together and they're attracted to each other sexually. What more could you ask for? Well, much more, apparently.

Filumena is fed-up with the way that Domenico disappears 'on business' for months at a time, leaving her to twiddle her thumbs. Some of the time, admittedly, he's genuinely on business. Other times we know for sure that he's not, the cheating little scallywag.

Filumena's also upset by the way that he's not bothered that she has to lie down with other men to earn her living. Shouldn't he be, like, wildly jealous or something? If he feels anything for her at all, surely he would be. Domenico starts to support her financially, thinking that that's what she wants, but Filumena wants more than just his money.

She wants a proper place in her lover's life. She wants to be his wife, not his mistress whom he sees for sex every few months when it suits him. She wants above all to be treated with the respect she feels she deserves, and I totally agree with her on this. But Domenico stubbornly refuses to put a ring on it, so Filumena eventually has to resort to desperate measures to get her man...

Sophia Loren is truly magnificent here. She's terrific at playing women who do what they have to do in order to survive, women who make sacrifices and never bitch or complain about how shitty things are, they just get on with it.

By contrast, Marcello Mastroianni's character here is a bit of a sleazy Jack-The-Lad type who wants to have his cake and eat it too. Let's hope he realises how much of a good thing he's got going with the courageous and compassionate Filumena before the credits start to roll...

Both leads are magnificent in MARRIAGE ITALIAN STYLE and their exchanges of dialogue positively snap, crackle and pop with electricity and sexual chemistry. The scenery is fabulous too. It's lovely to get a look inside those enormous old Italian pensions that look as if they haven't been altered since the time of Il Duce. Ms. Loren's outfits are well worth oohing and aahing over as well. What an absolute dream she must have been to style...!

MARRIAGE ITALIAN STYLE is out now on special release from CULTFILMS, a brand new independent label merging NOUVEAUX PICTURES and ARGENT FILMS, which plans to create luxury releases of quality foreign and arthouse films. Their releases, all sourced from newly restored HD materials, will all be high end collectible products which feature in-depth documentaries.

Already available on the label are Luchino Visconti's swansong THE INNOCENT, alongside two award-winning masterpieces directed by neo-realist master Vittorio De Sica: UMBERTO D. and TWO WOMEN, starring screen siren Sophia Loren. She also stars in A SPECIAL DAY from revered director Ettore Scola, which is equally available from CULTFILMS.

MARRIAGE ITALIAN STYLE comes complete with two smashing extra features, namely:

SOPHIA, YESTERDAY, TODAY AND TOMORROW: a candidate intimate interview of Sophia Loren with exclusive footage of her family, close friends and collaborators such as Woody Allen, Giorgio Armani and others.

VITTORIO D.: A tribute to multi-award-winning film-maker Vittorio De Sica, a milestone of cinema history, with participation from Clint Eastwood, Ken Loach, Mike Leigh and many others.

This release is in conjunction with AIM PUBLICITY.

For more information, please visit:


AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

 You can contact Sandra at:


http://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com







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