Carlo Jacono @80 and Italian exploitation
An Italian translation of Malory by American author James Hadley Chase
Cover design by Carlo Jacono
Carlo Jacono ( March 17, 1929 – June 7, 2000) was an Italian illustrator detective novel covers and regular contributor to Mondadori’s gialli and Urania magazine.
A digression into
My interest in regional exploitation or
pulp culture is that what it tells about the region where it is produced. I am searching for national stereotypes by way of their exploitation culture; regional stereotypes deduced from regional fears and desires ( horror and eroticism).
exploitation culture is literature and films in the “ low culture” tradition originating from Italy, cultural products which address the prurient interests of its audience. A quick glance at Italian society on the one hand, which its firm anchor in puritan Christianity, and its abundance on the other hand of graphic exploitation material, quickly reveals its double standards.
print culture there has been giallo fiction, quickly followed by adult comics, the so-called fumetti neri.
But the nature of Italian prurience is most readily revealed in Italian cinema. Genres such as
cannibal films, Italian erotica, Italian horror films, giallo films, mondo films, il sexy, spaghetti westerns, sword and sandal films all went a tad further than contemporary products of European exploitation.
Had it not for the
world wide web, these maligned genres would probably not have been so widely known, but if you prefer reading books to the internet, here is a list of publications on European exploitation you may enjoy.
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aesthetics, Carnography, censorship, comedy, cult fiction, culture, eroticism, European cinema, European culture, exploitation, eye candy, fantastique, fiction, guilty pleasures, hedonism, horror, literature, popular, taste, transgression, violence, visual culture, voyeurism on . March 16, 2009
Laura Antonelli in Malizia (1973) – Salvatore Samperi
Lisa Gastoni in Scandalo (1976) – Salvatore Samperi
Salvatore Samperi (born July 26, 1944, Padua – Rome, March 4, 2009) was an Cinema of Italy, known for such films as ( Malizia 1973) and ( Scandalo 1976).
Franciszek Starowieyski (1930 – 2009)
Michel De Ghelderode‘s play ( Le Grand Macabre 1965)
Franciszek Andrzej Bobola Biberstein-Starowieyski (born July 8, 1930 in Bratkówka, Poland, died February 23, 2009), was a Polish artist. From 1949 to 1955 he studied at Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow and Warsaw. He specialized in poster, drawing, painting, stage designing, and book illustration. He was a member of Alliance Graphique International (AGI).
 is a fair collection of his work on Flickr.
I’ve previously reported on the
Polish film poster .
Riccardo Freda @100
Barbara Steele in The Horrible Dr. Hichcock (1962) – Riccardo Freda
image sourced here.
Riccardo Freda (born in Alexandria, Egypt, February 24, 1909 – died in Paris, France, December 20, 1999) was an Egyptian-born Italian film director. Ironically best known for his horror and thriller movies, Freda had no great love for the horror films he was assigned, but rather favored the epic sword and sandal pictures. Freda’s (1953) was one of the first Italian Sins of Rome peplums, predating Steve Reeves‘s by four years, and his classic Hercules (1961) was theatrically released one year before Giants of Thessaly Ray Harryhausen‘s famous . He directed Jason and the Argonauts Kirk Morris and Gordon Scott in two classic Maciste films in the sixties, in addition to several spy films, spaghetti westerns, historical dramas and World War 2 actioners.
The Horrible Dr. Hichcock
He never finished either of the two horror films he was assigned in the fifties (
and I Vampiri ), but rather allowed his cinematographer Caltiki – The Immortal Monster Mario Bava to complete them. Bava’s great effects work on Caltiki in particular launched him on a directing career of his own in 1960. Thus many fans regard Freda as Mario Bava’s mentor in the film industry.
Freda’s greatest horror films were his two 1960s titles,
and The Horrible Dr. Hichcock , both of which starred The Ghost Barbara Steele, but he really enjoyed doing the adventure films a lot more. He directed Anton Diffring and the legendary Klaus Kinski in giallos later in the decade, and then slowed down in the early seventies, inexplicably emerging from his retirement at 72 to direct one last slasher film (“ Murder Obsession“). He died in 1999 of natural causes (at age 90).
Italian horror film
Michaela Miti in Biancaneve & Co (1982) – Mario Bianchi
Oreste Lionello (Rodi, April 18, 1927 – Rome, February 19, 2009) was an Italian actor, cabaretier and dubber. He famously dubbed Woody Allen‘s voice and was involved in the Italian exploitation film based on the Biancaneve & Co. adult comic , directed by Biancaneve Mario Bianchi and featuring starlet Michela Miti with Oreste Lionello, Gianfranco d’Angelo and Aldo Sambrell. It was released in English as Snow White and 7 Wise Men.
Jack Palance would have turned 90 had he not died 3 years ago.
Like so many American actors — some of them had fallen on hard times, though I do not know if this is the case for Palance — they had a second life in
European cinema, see for example the recently featured European career of American sex kitten Carroll Baker .
My father was nuts for
, and I’m sure he alerted me and my brother of that movie and had us see it, but my first conscious experience of Palance was in the cinematic fable Shane . Bagdad Café
Back to the European career of Palance.
Palance starred in
Godard‘s and Contempt , Breathless Jess Franco‘s , as well as in the Marquis de Sade: Justine poliziottesco . Mister Scarface
I leave you with a scene from
, I loved that film when it came out, not in the least because of the brilliant loungy Bagdad Café Jevetta Steele track, “ Calling You.”
Egon Schiele Excess & Punishment
From the film “
Egon Schiele Exzess und Bestrafung” ( 1981) starring Mathieu Carrière, Jane Birkin and Christine Kaufmann with an original score by Brian Eno. A cult item if there ever was one. Dedicated to Rafaela for her appreciation of sensualism and Esotika for his appreciation of European cinema.
For those of you with prurient interests (wink, wink), scrub to 3:00 and various subsequent points in time you will have to find for yourself.
Eno’s score is mesmerizing and blissful.
From my wiki:
, also known as Egon Schiele Exzess und Bestrafung Excess and Punishment(English) and Egon Schiele, enfer et passion (French) is a 1980 film based on the life of the Austrian artist Egon Schiele. It stars Mathieu Carriere as Schiele with Jane Birkin as his artist muse Wally and Christine Kaufmann as his wife Edith and Christina Van Eyck as her sister. The film is essentially a depiction of obsession and its constituents of sex, alcohol and uncontrolled emotions. Set in Austria during the Great War Schiele is depicted as the agent of social change leading to destruction of those he loves and ultimately of himself.
The film is an
international co-production with actors of German, French, Dutch and English origin. It was directed by Herbert Vesely and produced by Dieter Geissler and Robert Hess. The cinematography is by Rudolf Blahacek and the haunting music is by Brian Eno. The English language version of the film is entitled Egon Schiele Excess & Punishment.
The final frontier in
cinephilia is silent cinema.
I just discovered
Opening scene of
(no intertitles, a flurry of quick close-up shots depicting an axe murder) Ménilmontant
( Ménilmontant 1926) is a silent film by Russian film director Dimitri Kirsanoff. His best-known work, it takes its name from the Paris neighborhood of the same name. The film is a silent, but does not contain any intertitles. It begins with a flurry of quick close-up shots depicting the axe murder (see ) of the parents of the death by bisection or dismemberment (excluding decapitation) protagonists, two girls. As young women, they are portrayed by Nadia Sibirskaïa, Kirsanoff’s first wife, and Yolande Beaulieu; their mutual love interest is played by Guy Belmont. The film uses many other techniques that were relatively new at the time, including double exposure.
RIP Patrick McGoohan, 80, American-born Irish actor ( ) The Prisoner, Braveheart
Patrick Joseph McGoohan (March 19, 1928 – January 13, 2009) was an Irish American actor who rose to fame in the British film and TV industry by starring in the 1960s television series , Danger Man cult classic and The Prisoner Mel Gibson‘s epic . McGoohan wrote and directed several episodes of Braveheart The Prisoner himself. He also had a part in David Cronenberg’s paranoiac as Dr. Paul Ruth, psychopharmacist. Scanners
Tina Aumont in Frédéric Pardo‘s Home Movie
Male viewers pressed for time may want to scrub to 2.37
Tina Aumont (14 February 1946 – 28 October 2006) was an American actress of French, and Dominican descent.
She was born in Hollywood, California, the daughter of actors
Jean-Pierre Aumont and Maria Montez who he had met in Hollywood. Maria Montez was known as the Queen of Technicolor, an early camp icon and idol to American experimental filmmaker Jack Smith, whose ( Flaming Creatures 1963) is basically a travesty on Hollywood B movies and tribute to actress Maria Montez.
Back to Tina
Tina married actor and film director
Christian Marquand in 1963, at the age of 17.
She made her debut as
Tina Marquand in Joseph Losey‘s 1966 movie . She worked in Italian cinema with, among others, Modesty Blaise Alberto Sordi ( , 1966), Scusi, lei è favorevole o contrario? Tinto Brass ( , 1968 and L’urlo , 1975), Salon Kitty Mauro Bolognini ( , 1974), Fatti di gente perbene Francesco Rosi ( , 1975), and Cadaveri eccellenti Federico Fellini ( , 1976). Fellini’s Casanova
In 2000 she retired from film work and died in
France at age 60.
PS: Tina Aumont was brought to my attention via a Dutch blog.
Moon in the Gutter was there  before me. Here  is a Tina Aumont photo taken by Frédéric Pardo from the site http://paris70.free.fr/ dedicated to French counterculture of the fashionable variety (as contrasted to the political variety). I discover Philippe Bone.
This entry was posted in
1001 things to do before you die, eroticism, European cinema, European culture, experimental, eye candy, fantastique, female sexuality, French culture, gratuitous nudity, guilty pleasures, juxtapoetry, voyeurism on . January 13, 2009