Exploitation Retrospect | The Journal of Junk Culture and Fringe Media

All Ladies Do It (aka Cosi Fan Tutte) (1972)
Cult Epics | Review by DR Carter

Tinto Brass is like an Italian version of Russ Meyer. On a very base level, both make films solely dedicated to their love of the female form. Each has their own preoccupation, Brass has his fixation on buttocks and Meyer has his self-proclaimed "bosomania." While it is somewhat dismissive to boil down Brass' artistic creations to this singular level, acknowledging his obsession with the butt frees you to focus on his work as a whole.

Now with the necessary rudeness out of the way, let's get down to business. ALL LADIES DO IT (COSI FAN TUTTE) is an unavoidably enjoyable piece of cinema by Brass. It is a throwback to the great Italian sleaze of the seventies. Its mixture of lighthearted sensuality and mild social commentary are reminiscent in theme, but not in design, to his countryman Joe D'Amato's EMMANUELLE series with Laura Gemser. Brass has made a film that never gets too heavy in the plot or sex and moves along at a nice pace. You really can't ask for much more from Italian erotica.

Plot-wise we have very little to chew on, but really, you probably weren't expecting Shakespeare. Diana is a beautiful, free-spirited woman who is married to the not-so-good-looking and stuffy Paolo. Despite her undying love for Paolo, Diana is unable to be sexually fulfilled by just one man. She flirts and flounces her way in front of every man in Italy because it seems jealousy is a big turn-on for her and Paolo. She eventually goes to far and actually cheats on Paolo, causing him to leave her because he refuses to accept an open relationship. This is your basic soap opera plot, but fortunately it never gets too mindless or implausible. That is, until the end, where Paolo just sort of accepts the fact that his wife is going to sleep with other men and stays with her anyway. There's probably supposed to be some sort of social commentary there but it must have been lost in translation.

The acting here isn't too bad for what they have to work with. Claudia Koll as Diana is the obvious star of the picture, or at least a certain part of her is. She is a very classical looking beauty and her beauty makes some parts of the film more believable. Granted not much in the way of acting is needed from her: stand still and be pretty, walk and be pretty, and have sex and be pretty are about it. I won't ruin it for you but she does have one big "dramatic" scene near the end, but she has a likeable enough screen presence that you don't hold it against when it's horrible. Paolo Lanza's portrayal of Paolo is another story though. Neither likeable nor handsome, he spends most of the movie bugged-eyed and yelling.

Brass' directing is, of course, superb. You'd be hard pressed to find a better director of erotica working today. Everything is beautifully shot and many of the scenes are framed like a still picture. In a film with this much sex, it's easy to forget Brass is a wizard with a camera. He shoots even the most mundane shots with the same level of beauty and even sensuality that he films the sex scenes with. My only issue is that a few times you catch the camera panning slowly down to a woman's butt in a few scenes, but its laughable and no doubt an intentional bit of humor.

If you've not really been exposed to erotica (porn's nicer cousin) Tinto Brass is a good person to start down that road with. ALL LADIES DO IT is a sexy, sweet film that leaves you with nice feeling when it's done. Brass is able to present graphic sex in a non-exploitive way; celebrating the participants instead of marginalizing them. Unlike the "erotica" you may have been exposed to late nights on cable, ALL LADIES is a film to be enjoyed rather than endured and certainly worth a look.

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