May 15, 2013

To Be Twenty

As far as I am concerned, hippies would have been better off in concentration camps where they were forced to 'concentrate' and do hard labor or die as opposed to comfy communes comprised of needless and heedless hedonism, hence why many of them grew up to be quasi-psychopathic yuppie materialists and have helped degenerate the Occident into the collectivist commune of chaos it is today where Third World whores shit out brownish babies without care and the more irresponsible someone is (i.e. producer of bastard babies, unemployed, addicted to crack, etc.), the more they are rewarded by the government. Anyway, while I will probably never get to see my dream of seeing unhip hippie bastards being herded into cattle cars and being shipped off to life-changing concentration camps with motivational signs at the front gate that state “Arbeit macht frei” (“work makes [you] free”), I did manage to track down a rather idiosyncratic Italian flick directed by Dago gangster film Duce auteur Fernando Di Leo (Milano calibro 9 aka Caliber 9, Il poliziotto è marcio aka Shoot First, Die Later) entitled Avere vent'anni (1978) aka To Be Twenty about two gorgeous yet gullible and gall-ridden Guido gals who hitch a ride to Rome in the hope of finding the ultimate utopia full of peace, love, and penetrating penises at a hippie commune, but instead find themselves in store for a rather rude awakening full of impotent men, repressed lesbian feminist ideology, prostitution, bad drugs and bad sex, and ultimately a dystopian nightmare full of rape and coldblooded murder. A satire of the hippie/counter-culture movement, sexual liberation, feminist, and other repellant ingredients of the late-1960s worthy of cultural cringe disguised as a European “sex comedy” quite typical of its time, To Be Twenty is the rare sort of unclassifiable quasi-exploitation flick with a marvelously malicious moral compass that will leave those beta-man viewers expecting a giddy ‘masturbation aid’ feeling like they have been slapped in the face and kicked in their little blue balls. Released theatrically in the United States in a soulless and superficial softcore edited “sex comedy” edition minus the stomach-churning ending, To Be Twenty must be seen in its uncompromising “director’s cut” version to be truly effective and unforgettable, lest ye turn into a dirty, drug-addled tranny hippie homo. In the totally torrid yet trying tradition of Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977)—certainly one of the most underrated films of its era—To Be Twenty is a vicious yet vivacious reminder that leftist idealism and sexual liberation do not exactly cleanse the soul, but they might lead you to becoming a raped and mutilated corpse, like the girls in Fernando Di Leo's film, that not even an acid-addled abberosexual hippie bastard of the erotically-challenged sort could love. 

 Opening with the quote, “I was 20. No one can ever tell me it was the best time of our lives” from French communist philosopher Paul Nizan—a man whose life was cut short after some Aryan Übermensch killed his proto-hippie ass at the Battle of Dunkirk during the Second World War—To Be Twenty sets a ‘fun and sexy’ tone that seems to be out-of-sync with the frog thinker’s less than nostalgic remark, but as the film unfolds, the lives of the two female anti-heroes only seem to get worse or less wonderfully wild. During the beginning of the film, after someone turns on some music, a bunch of hippie deadbeats, wake up from their stoned slumber on the beach, including naked men and women, but also beauteous strangers Lia (Gloria Guida) and Tina (Lilli Carati), who lack boy toys. After both agree that they are “young, hot, and pissed off,” Aryan blonde Lia and classic dark-haired/skinned Mediterranean Tina, who probably read Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha (1922) as she has an absurd red dot imprinted on her forehead, decide to hitchhike to Rome on a wanton whim, even though they don’t know anything about one another. While lady Lia, who has lesbian proclivities, grew up an unloved orphan raised by nuns and worked as a janitor at a Catholic boarding school and was forced to masturbate an old Sapphic Spinster at the mere age of 16, Tina is a bourgeois bitch who ran away from home because of her parents' “attempt to make me be a good housekeeper. Next to virginity, it’s what my parents care about most.” Indeed, while Lia seems to be mostly a lesbian lily-licker, Tina makes no lie of her unquenchable hunger for cock, so she becomes naturally quite disappointed when she gets to the beatnik commune and not a single wimpy hippie hunk can get his willy up due to sexual impotency caused by incessant drug consumption. On their way to Rome, Lia and Tina are offended by a wealthy woman “preaching morality in a sports car” who tells the girls regarding their salacious hitchhiking, “That’s no excuse to act like whores, whores have more tact, funny no guy’s picked you up!” On their way to the commune, the girls steal from grocery stores and even offer a nerdy middle-aged shopkeeper a blowjob for a mere pack of Marlboro Red cigarettes, but he turns it down. When the girls get to the commune—“That place full of queers, whores and druggies” as a local women calls it—Lia and Tina are disappointed to learn they only find expensive “rent” and sexual “impotency” and that “you can’t screw when you want.” The fat fuck commune leader Nazariota (Vittorio Caprioli) informs the girls that free-love-based communes are no longer free as they need to pay for electricity, water, gas, and solid waste removal, thus the girls end up prostituting themselves to dirty old men of the vehement vulgarian sort. On top of the lack of hot love and less than prestigious pussy-peddling, an exceedingly annoying communist filmmaker shows up at the commune and goes off on an innately idiotic rant about leftist psychobabble and promotes the radical lezzy feminist terrorist Valerie Solanas—the S.C.U.M. bitch with the unquenchable itch for killing men, including her failed attempt at assassinating alpha-art fag Andy Warhol—which rather annoys the half-braindead hippies, even if they have no clue what all the commie cunt commotion is all about. After the commune is raided by the cops, Lia and Tina are forced to leave and on the way back to their hometowns they make their way to a raunchy roadhouse where they meet some real macho men who don’t take kindly to cock-teasing, romantic rebuffs, nor kicks in the testicles thus the two hippie girls ultimately meet a grizzly and superlatively shocking end due to their crude counter-culture cuntiness when in the company of true gentlemen of the macho wop sort. 

 Indubitably one of the most, if not most, standout and unconventional films among Fernando Di Leo’s cinematic oeuvre, To Be Twenty starts out as a sassy “sexy comedy” with socio-politically astute satirical undertones and concludes in a chillingly cynical manner as if Stanley Kubrick’s more unhinged anti-liberal Italian cousin directed an aberrant after-school special. Indeed, like Di Leo’s subsequent work Madness (1980) aka Vacanze per un massacre, To Be Twenty has no heroes and even victims are the hysterical harbingers of their own deleterious demises. While the two protagonists, especially Tina, of To Be Twenty throw themselves at virtually every man they see in the movie, especially limp dick hippies high on who knows what, when the enfant terrible twosome are finally offered sex by real macho men—the sort of completely corrupt criminals typical of a Fernando Di Leo flick—they totally cop out and attempt to escape, even complaining to the gentlemen of interest, “A woman can’t even dance, what an awful world we live in,” so when the guys decide not to take no for an answer in their quest for “free love” by women who claim they are sexually liberated, it has truly brutal consequences, thus discrediting the idea of “free love” in the first place. When it comes down to it, the two girls of To Be Twenty, especially tyrannical Tina—a woman who even admits of herself “I’m such a Bitch” while trying to quasi-rape a drugged out dude—is nothing but a spoiled brat who does not realize how good she really has it in her life and that her complaints against her parents are petty at best and preposterous at worse. While the two gals by no means deserve the dastardly defilement and deaths that come to them, the leader of the group that gang rapes and brutalizes them has a point when he states, “These sluts were leading us on back there. So now we have a right to enjoy them. You know what their moves meant? That they despise men! So now we’ll show them…” 

Had the girls of To Be Twenty been more interested in their studies or at least working instead of flashing their naughty bits in front of every man that passed their gaze, they would have surely avoided the sad and surly tragic end that awaited them. Of course, the children of a time when breaking down every tradition and moral of society was in vogue as promoted by idiotic popular musicians and neo-Marxist academics of the so-called “new left,” it is doubtful that the girls of To Be Twenty would have bought into an intrinsically inane and inutile Weltanschauung of infantile wantonness and retarded ‘revolutionary’ change had they been born before the Second World War, but such was the fate of the superlatively spoiled post-WWII generation, especially the self-absorbed Baby Boomers who, not surprisingly and quite symbolically, were the first generation brought up on television. Of course, with mainstream Western media now trying to depict illiterate ghetto black rappers as virtual warrior-philosopher heroes and treating race-mixing and sexual perversion as “progressive” and “cool,” the sort of stark and tragic consequences that appear at the conclusion of To Be Twenty have probably only become all the more common and unavoidable since the release of the film. In a society that has elevated such humanoid garbage as Snoop Dogg—an ex-con/pimp/drug dealer who was once charged with murder—and Kim Kardashian—a mongrel mud-shark who gained her initial fame from a sex tape—one can only wonder what a modernized remake of To Be Twenty might be like, if it would even be made at all as Fernando Di Leo's fine flick is not the least bit politically correct.  That being said, if I could compile a collection of films for angst-ridden middle-class youths with a fetish for far-left politics and sexually-repressed feminists to watch as mandatory-viewing at some sort of rehabilitation camp for leftist loonies and MTV victims, To Be Twenty would be at the top of the list as I cannot think of another film that so relentlessly turns degenerate youthful dreams into an unsettling nightmare.  After all, a stupid girl would be better off watching To Be Twenty and learning something about certain 'principled men' than making the mistake of going to the wrong side of town and running into a fellow like Tyree or Tyrone, who does not take no for answer.

-Ty E


Anonymous said...

Where did you find the Directors cut??is it with eng subs?? love your blog from Glasgow Scotland.

Soiled Sinema said...

Raro Video released a 2-disc dvd with both versions of the film.