Wednesday, 12 March 2008
Cinema fumetto nerosexy fantastique western saderotik estetica pop italiana 1960-1773
This latest volume in Glittering Images’ long running Bizarre Sinema series of exquisitely produced dual-language coffee-table style volumes looking at Italian cinema and popular culture focuses on the relationship between fumetti and film between the years 1960 and 1973.
Those familiar with Stefano Piselli and company’s other books will know what to expect: sometimes odd translations from Italian to English that nevertheless add to the what the authors might term naïf charm of the whole, much like the reproduction of a cowboy comic strip advertisement for Negroni salami in which the black hat pursued by the sheriff is one Bennye Ross, and, far more importantly, a treasure trove of information on these obscure old films and fumetti, all lavishly illustrated with stills, posters, ad mats and more.
It’s the photo of Jean Sorel and Elsa Martinelli as Diabolik and Eva Kant from Seth Holt’s ill-fated attempt to bring the Giussani sister’s seminal character to the screen; the tantalising page of an essay on Isabella by future Baba Yaga director Corrado Farina; the image of the blank-faced creatures controlled by the vampire lord in Maciste Contro il Vampiro, a legion of Blood and Black Lace-alike masked killers; the pop-art and fumetti styled advertising campaigns for Shell petrol directed by Elio Petri after The Tenth Victim …
As can be seen from these examples the range of titles discussed by the authors is wider than might be expected, encompassing not only the more familiar – all those with an anti-hero whose name begins or ends with K, like Diabolik, Satanik, Kriminal and Sadik – and less well known fumetti adaptations – the jungle-girl adaptations of 1967-69 like Gungula and Samoa, Regina della giungla that perhaps present an under-explored link between the mondo, emanuelle nera and cannibal-survival filone – but also all manner of titles, be they westerns, horror, spy, arthouse or just plain weird and unclassifiable that partook of the fumetti spirit.
Though a slim volume, with only 90 or so printed pages, there’s enough in Cine fumetto to keep you going for a while…