12 August 2017

CULTFILMS PRESENTS: YESTERDAY, TODAY AND TOMORROW. (1963) REVIEWED BY SANDRA HARRIS.




YESTERDAY, TODAY AND TOMORROW aka IERI, OGGI & DOMANI. (1963) DIRECTED BY VITTORIO DE SICA. STARRING SOPHIA LOREN AND MARCELLO MASTROIANNI.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

'This summer, screen goddess Sophia Loren dazzles in HD in a trio of Italian cinema classics: BOCCACCIO 70', MARRIAGE ITALIAN STYLE and YESTERDAY, TODAY AND TOMORROW. These world cinema greats arrive on DVD and Blu-Ray for the first time in both English and original Italian with improved subtitles- all complete with brand new special features in distinctive collector's packaging courtesy of CultFilms. YESTERDAY, TODAY AND TOMORROW, BOCCACCIO 70' and MARRIAGE ITALIAN STYLE are both available to purchase now from CultFilms.'

Sophia Loren must have been one hell of a woman. I wish I'd known her. I'm guessing (I'm hoping!) that she was actually a lot like the characters she played in her films. Confident, feisty, compassionate, argumentative, sexy-as-hell, well able to stand up to men and their bullshit but also able to purr for them in the bedroom like the sex kitten she obviously was. She had balls enough to equal any man, but she had all the best womanly attributes in spades too, like a heart big enough to accommodate the whole of Italy.

My God, what a body! Fabulous long thick hair, enormous boobies, a slim waist widening to those gorgeous child-bearing hips and legs from here to, well, somewhere just short of eternity. And of course her face, that ravishingly beautiful face, could quite easily have launched a thousand ships under the right circumstances. Those almond-shaped eyes, the contoured cheekbones and the lush, generous laughing mouth all came together to create one heck of a pleasing picture.

She was sex personified, really, wasn't she? Sex-on-legs. With sex appeal to burn. She was one of that elite group of actresses from the 'Fifties, 'Sixties and 'Seventies that will be forever synonymous with the phrase 'sex siren.' Brigitte Bardot was one, Claudia Cardinale another.

Anita Ekberg, one of the stars of BOCCACCIO 70', was one too, Britt Ekland another one maybe, and the magnificent Raquel Welch was definitely one of the front runners. Who can forget her performance in Hammer's ONE MILLION YEARS BC? Guys everywhere discovered an interest in skin-baring animal-skin loincloths thanks to that one...!

Anyway, I've been getting to know Ms. Loren's screen persona quite well lately thanks to CultFilms and their Summer of Sophia. YESTERDAY, TODAY AND TOMORROW is a film comprised of three vignettes, one long, one short and one long again.

The marvellous La Loren portrays three quite different characters over the course of the film, which won the Oscar in 1964 and is still widely regarded even today as one of Italy's best-loved and most popular movies. Mamma Mia...!

The first vignette is about Adelina, a stunningly beautiful woman (you'll never guess who plays her, haha) living in absolute poverty in post-war Italy (Naples, to be exact) with her children and her hubby, played by her frequent on-screen hubby, Marcello Mastroianni.

She's as happy as Larry, though, selling her foreign cigarettes on the markets with the rest of the village. Their market's a lot like Dublin's iconic Moore Street, where the fruit-and-veg sellers and other traders rule the roost and can offer you anything from a multi-pack of cigarette lighters to a nice courgette. The market's being gradually eroded due to the march of progress and the inevitable 'gentrification' of the area, but most Dublin natives would be really sad to see it go.

Adelina's wares must be somewhat illegally sourced, however, as she has incurred a huge fine from the 'gummint' and, as she's wholly unable to pay it, she's being threatened with prison. She has a rather novel and interesting way of avoiding the nick, however.

As the law states that pregnant women and nursing mothers are not allowed to be arrested and sent to jail, Adelina and her long-suffering husband conceive one child after another (they end up with seven kids in all!) to keep Adelina from being hauled off in chains.

Did I just refer to the husband as 'long-suffering?' Surely it's no hardship to make love to a woman who looks as shapely and statuesque as Sophia Loren? You'd think not, but the poor fella is so exhausted by all the performing-to-order that he has to see a doctor about his rapidly diminishing sex drive and his wife even briefly considers turning to another man to give her the baby she needs to keep her out of jail for another while.

The film is a comedy but, and it's kind of a big but, is it right to have seven kids for reasons other than genuine love for your partner and the strong desire to be parents together? There are moral issues at work here that make you wonder if these hilarious sex-shenanigans are actually ethical?

Seven kids and two adults sleep in the one room. There's not really enough food to go around. What if one of the parents died, or what if the law finally catches up with Adelina? What then? Who's gonna mind all these starving infants? The two adults sure as heck didn't think of that when they decided to get creative in their desire to cheat the law...!

ANNA, set in Milan, is about an extremely rich married woman (Sophia again) who is having an affair with an impoverished writer, again played by Marcello Mastroianni. She's a rather shallow, unpleasant character in this one who claims not to give a fig for all her wonderful material possessions and her husband's vast reserves of wealth.

Until, that is, the impoverished writer has the absolute temerity both to prang her magnificent Rolls-Royce and also to attempt to put out a small fire in the vehicle with Anna's fur coat. Then we see exactly how important material goods are to Anna, and how utterly un-important the impoverished scribe...!

MARA sees Sophia playing a prostitute with- you guessed it- a heart of pure gold the size of the Grand Canyon. Marcello Mastroianni portrays her number one rich customer, who's desperate for a slice of her time which is gradually being eaten into by her next-door neighbours, an elderly Italian couple and their grandson who's destined for the priesthood.

The young would-be priest has a massive crush on Mara, so much so in fact that he's thinking of ditching the priesthood in favour of courting her. His ultra-religious elderly Grandma is having absolute conniptions at the very thought (you know what the Italians are like!) and brings the problem directly to Mara's door in the hope of finding a solution.

After all, the lad could grow up to be the Pope one day, the holiest man on Earth. What a coup that would be for his devoutly Catholic grandparents! In which case, ain't no amount of call-girls, however high-class or drop-dead-gorgeous, gonna get in this Grandma's way...

This film features Sophia Loren's legendary strip-tease, in which she surely elevates the removal of a nylon stocking to an art form. Simply poured into her black lacy basque, with matching black bra and knickers, she drives Marcello Mastroianni's character to the brink of madness until she suddenly stops... and remembers a vow she's made to her favourite saint... Looks like her bloke's gonna need some time to himself in the bathroom in this one...!

Each vignette features those gorgeous, crumbling old Italian apartment blocks with the mould and the shutters that you just know have survived World War Two, and those winding, narrow hilly streets that you just don't get here in Ireland. So very deliciously European, haha.

In the segment entitled MARA, in particular, Loren's rooftop garden is simply fabulous, with chairs and plants and a fat ginger cat lazily accessorising the fixtures and fittings, Garfield-style. The views of Rome from her balcony are awe-inspiring.

It would totally make you want to paint it, or to compose a symphony for it or something. Something, anything, to acknowledge its greatness and beauty. Compose one to Sophia while you're at it. There's certainly no actress more worthy of the tribute.

YESTERDAY, TODAY AND TOMORROR, BOCCACCIO 70' and MARRIAGE ITALIAN STYLE are all 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.

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







No comments:

Post a comment