Gianfranco D’Angelo was an Italian actor and comedian. In Italy known for television variety and comedy shows; outside of Italy for commedia sexy all’italiana such as Biancaneve & Co. (1982) and B-movies such as Mondo candido (1975) in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Mondo candido (1975) is an interesting product.
It is an Italian film in the acclaimed mondo genre directed by Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi. The film is a liberal adaptation of Voltaire’s 1759 novel Candide.
It was partly shot on location at Château de Pierrefonds.
Researching Mondo candido, I find out that there is actually a book on shockumentaries: Sweet & Savage(2006) by Mark Goodall.
From that book on Mondo candido:
“He skips off back to the castle and we are back where we started on his metaphysical journey, older if not wiser. Although considered a failure, artistically and conceptually, Mondo Candido still enjoys a strange allure. There are still glimpses of the Jacopetti and Prosperi spirit in this unforgettable overblown, Technicolor indulgence.”
Check out the bibliography of Sweet & Savage. I’ve taken the liberty to put on my pages.
There is a full version of The Stendhal Syndrome on YouTube, a film I had not seen before which turned out to be very enjoyable.
I especially liked the opening scene at the Uffizi in Florence with The Birth of Venus by Botticelli, Caravaggio’s Medusa, Landscape with the Fall of Icarus by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Paolo Uccello’s The Battle of San Romano and The Duke and Duchess of Urbino by Piero della Francesca.
When Asia is walking towards the Uffizi, you can already see the distinctive style of Rotunno’s cinematography, already invoking the fainting of Asia once she stands before the Bruegel painting.
After that, when she falls into the Icarus painting, she kisses a grouper fish. Beautiful!
The film is full of these little details, in her hotel room hangs a copy of The Night Watch by Rembrandt. She walks into this and finds herself on the streets, blurring the lines between fact and fiction.
The soundtrack is indeed composed, arranged and conducted Bruno Maderna and it appears to be the best thing of the film. However, the high modernism of Maderna in combination with this piece of genre cinema makes the film a perfect example of nobrowartsploitation and had I not been three years old when this film came out, I would have surely wanted to see it.
Thematically, the film reminds me of Pasolini’s Pigsty.That’s probably because in both films a victim is fed as animal food, in Pigsty (“eaten by pigs in the sty”) as pig food, in Death Laid an Egg (“the farm chickens feed on Marco’s ground corpse”) as chicken food. Which reminds me of Soylent Green, the film in which, after euthanasia, dead humans are made into crackers and fed to living humans.