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Set against the backdrop of the beautiful Mediterranean, Swept Away is Lina Wertmüllers most famous and controversial film about sex, love and politics.
" an absorbing movie a pleasure " Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Nominated for 4 Academy Awards, Seven Beauties follows the story of a petty thief who lived off the profits of his seven sisters while claiming to protect their honor at any cost.
"intriguing absorbing and mysterious" Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Ferdinando and Carolina
A rollicking, orgiastic celebration of the senses ensues when young King Ferdinando marries Carolina, the daughter of the Empress of Austria.
A young woman is subjected to repeated abuse and is unable to escape the confines of her small village and the people there. Everything changes when she meets an injured soldier.
A self-made tycoon interested in ecological preservation hires a former CIA agent to abduct the number one violator and demands $100 million for his return.
Seven Beauties is the film that brought Wertmuller the Oscar nomination. Giannini takes the lead role again (he copped a heroically earned Oscar nomination too), as a Neapolitan ne'er-do-well who ends up in a Nazi concentration camp. Wertmuller's wild approach may be all over the place, but the movie certainly is alive. The remainder of the DVD package can't live up to these two films, although Summer Night (full title: Summer Night, with Greek Profile, Almond Eyes, and Scent of Basil) has echoes of Swept Away. Melato returns to the heroine role, but the edginess of the earlier film is replaced by a gaudy fantasia about a wealthy woman who kidnaps a sort of environmental terrorist and sexually dominates him. As hotsy-totsy as that sounds, the movie feels like something Wertmuller's done before, although it's beautifully shot and Melato is scrumptious.
The other two films are The Nymph, a sturdy-enough but minor 1996 film about a beleaguered girl whose harsh village life changes when she meets a soldier (the era is WWII); only problem is, his family expects him to marry a virgin. Stefania Sandrelli is in the cast. Distinctly less watchable is Ferdinando and Carolina, a rambunctious 1999 historical comedy set in 18th-century Naples. The subject matter gives Wertmuller a chance to dig into her favorite subjects, sex and politics, but with lesser returns. The "extras" disc is essentially a 78-minute interview with Wertmuller. It's perfectly enjoyable, if a little "inside" to the Italian cinema. The woman does know how to talk--you can see how she beguiled her way to the top of European cinema for a while. --Robert Horton