Wednesday, 14 February 2007
Esotika, Erotika, Psicotika
This bi-lingual Italian-English book from Glittering Images, named after an AKA for Radley Metzger's sophisticated erotic drama The Lickerish Quartet, offers a “kaleidoscopic” view of “sexy Italia,” 1964-73, exploring the sexual revolution of the period as it was expressed in fumetti, fotoromanzi, books, magazines and cinema.
And as such it is a must-read for anyone with an interest in the subject whether in the general – what the Groovy Age of Horror calls the “groovyverse” – or the specific – such as the giallo, if perhaps not so much Argento, here – precisely because it demonstrates just how far it all connects together, whether it be fotoromanzi of films like The Monster of Venice; film adaptations of fumetti like Satanik and Kriminal; people like Corrado Farina and Erna Schurer moving between the forms, the former writing the Barbarella-like comic Selene, The Girl from the Stars then adapting the inimitable Guido Crepax's Baba Yaga for the screen, the latter moving from the fotoromanzi to the cinema; or just that general overarching aesthetic and sensibility.
Thus, for instance, one learns that the heroine of the fumetti Masokis was a reporter, who “is never one to give up [and will] do anything to get a sensational scoop, even sell her own body and violate the law,” suggestive of a prototypical Laura Gemser Emanuelle Nera figure. Likewise, the protagonist of Hessa, “a racist, sadistic, frigid woman” sounds like she would be at home in the likes of Lager SSadis Kastrat Kommandantur.