Sunday, 25 March 2007

An old film poster

I happened upon this poster for Guiseppe De Santis's Riso amaro / Bitter Rice while looking for an image from the torture scene in Rome Open City (I was thinking of it in relation to Fulci's The Beyond) and it struck me in terms of what it is saying about the film and, more specifically, its selling points - i.e. Silvana Mangano and sex.

While you could never say Bitter Rice is a giallo, its this focus on the illicit attraction and its transposition of an American-style crime story to an Italian setting that make it as much a genre film - i.e. thriller - as an art one - i.e. neo-realist - as per the Marxist critics who famously complained that the sight of Mangano in her tight, revealing outfits, labouring in the rice fields, could contribute nothing to an understanding of class relations. And there, I guess, is the problem the other way as well...

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