Dec 22, 2010
It certainly seems to help reviewers pad their writings of "cult rarities" by dubbing any European film sleaze, no matter the content within. By pushing the bounds of propriety and/or expressing something considered "obscene" or vile, these daring directors are thrown to the sharks along with what is perceived as a snub to good taste. L'immoralita is a film considered as such. Featuring a scene of sexual activity between an 11 year old girl and a child-killer, L'immoralita has been crucified due to this and labeled as an example in sleaze, which it is not. To further put into perspective, it would appear Luc Besson took several cues from this French romance to intersperse throughout Leon. Opening with a wide-ended shot of our fugitive, Federico, holding a young girls corpse, L'immoralita begins without a hitch in slowly establishing our character, anti-hero, if you will. He swears by his innocence yet retains the same absolute hypnotic effect when a young girls body is presented.
Fleeing from the police, wounded, Federico stumbles upon a young girl, Simona, and charms her into hiding out in the garden villa. Their relationship at first is budding and teasing to what will result in freak outs, death threats, and a bizarre love triangle including Simona's promiscuous mother, Vera. Once the village slut discovers her daughter's secret, Vera pulls her god-given veins of manipulation to ensnare and blackmail Federico in a boiling plot to off her wheelchair-bound husband. To cite comparisons, L'immoralita looks and feels exactly the way that Maladolescenza did, and not even for the nudity of the youth. Both were shot with an unequivocal eye for playground romance and shedding of desires. The averse sexuality that is included seems almost natural, the way spying on her oversexed mother leads to the almost-hereditary skill of laying down and humbling men into domination. This is what Simona has known her whole childhood. While young, she understands fully how to control these men, how to feed and fuel them and this is what makes her so deadly.
To stitch together scenes, Morricone's score is applied gracefully but at times creates outlandish and side-showy results. That's not to say that, by its lonesome, it's not an excellent composition to a peaceful setting with no interruptions. The "poisonous" Simona takes condescension with her absence of innocence, including the hunky-dory symbolic bird aviary revisited after the metamorphosis from girl to woman is complete. Seems all a female has to do to gain rite of passage is commit large and great acts of deceit and betrayal. Fascinated and dense, Federico certainly underestimated the tiny terror which leads him directly into a web from which he can't escape. Voyeurism has always been an unhealthy fetish of the great taboos. Direct links are consistently met with vulgar tendencies and strange and frightful urges unearthed. L'immoralita is simply a turn based system of sexual hypnosis. The dizzying rate of which lovers quarrel and alliances are severed comes as a shock to me from a film I hadn't heard of until recently. Even the ever-slow implosion of the bourgeois family is a manageable task for this French oddity. Even the rarely visited reclusive father figure, with his escapist tendencies to dwell on weaponry and target practice, becomes a sympathetic character of which pity is felt for. L'immoralita is a film that brings up critical points to "sexual repression" and provides insight into the notion that some children don't possess innocence. As for Vera's maternal manipulation, I'd like to believe the cervix doesn't nullify the honor system, in which case, Federico is screwed in more ways than one.
Posted by Soiled Sinema at 10:22 AM
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