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