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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

BLUE MOVIE (RaroVideo DVD) - The Sexual Revolution Will Be Cinematized

There are movies that make me scratch my head and make me ask myself a question or two. Is what I'm watching turning me on, turning me off or turning me into a different person? I've been seeing some strange stuff making its way onto digital format, and Blue Movie directed by Alberto Cavallone as put out by the great RaroVideo is certain strange. It's one of those erotic crazy films that starts with an attempted rape and ends with a complete mind fuck. That may sound crude, but it is perhaps the best way to wrap your head around a movie like Blue Movie. Consider it another part of the early 70's extension of the sexual revolution; a piece of neo-Libertine high art casual sex flicks that must've been as shocking back then as they are now only for a different reason. Sure back then it was slowly becoming common to see naked bodies on screen in mid-screw; that would have been something to shock your average mom and pop. Today, the sex wouldn't be hard to swallow, but the concept of deep psychological trauma yielding a fuck fest of a psyche-thriller.

Synopsis from RaroVideo:

BLUE MOVIE is Albert Cavallone's bold exploration of themes of sexual perversion and trauma. Silvia (Dirce Funari) is rescued by photographer Claudio (Claude Maran) after fleeing from an attempted rape. While staying with Claudio and Daniela (Danielle Dugas), a model with whom Claudio shares a sado-masochistic relationship, Silvia develops strong feelings for Claudio but must come to terms with her newfound attraction and her past trauma.
A quick look through the resume of Alberto Cavallone didn't immediately strike me with a pile of old favorites that I might explore from his back catalog. I have to play some catch up with Cavallone, and I won't pretend to know anything about him. I will say that this particular film seems to exemplify the time from which it has come to us, like a time capsule. Having had the opportunity to review some of the recent Redemption releases of Robbe-Grillet I will say that a distinct trend of combining moments of levity with strong violent content was a common practice in European cinema. It's design was to challenge an audience. To provide counterpoint to a moment of extreme pleasure with a pain. There's a sado-masochism in movies of this period and perhaps even in the United States. What separated the smut from the art was a willingness to create a loose narrative with psychological undertones favoring a somewhat intellectual audience who could get beyond the hairy body parts on screen. A movie entitled Blue Movie seems to defy that logic, the intellectual elitism.

To label Blue Movie a horror picture seems odd to me, but I suppose it more closely resembles movies like Last House on the Left and I Spit on Your Grave in intent though not necessarily in gratuity. Blue Movie comes off more beautiful. A blue movie by definition is an adult movie, a porn movie. Blue Movie was also the name of an Andy Warhol picture from 1969. A blue movie is not chiefly seen as a "thinking man's" movie, and yet this one, Cavallone's feature is well throughout and created to stimulate mind and body.

This DVD release of Blue Movie is a pretty hefty package for such an obscure classic very befitting of RaroVideo's ability to offer the opportunity to enjoy more obscure features with more radical agendas. It comes complete with slipcover and traditional artwork, a booklet written by Nocturno Cinema that might provide some handy hints as to how to best enjoy Blue Movie. The disc also includes cut scenes and an alternate beginning. There's an intro from Nocturno Cinema as well. AR: 1.33:1

From RaroVideo on their features:

Digitally restored
New and improved English subtitle translation
Scenes from uncut version: Alternative beginning, Play of Light, Violence in the wood, Crumbs, Interracial Exchange, Golden Rain
Video intro: Nocturno presents "blue extreme"
Fully illustrated booklet by Nocturno Cinema
The audience that will appreciate Blue Movie is one that enjoys sexual studies. This isn't casual erotica for personal pleasure. It is a movie that requires thought and should probably be absorbed a couple of times to really grasp some of the layered seduction and to fully engage its power. There's sexual violence, though that may not necessarily be as paralyzing as the intent was in 1973 (we see just as bad on TV these days).

You can order Blue Movie now.

-Doc Terror

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