Monday, 25 December 2006

Birthday greetings

A belated happy birthday to Edwige Fenech, born on 24 December 1948 and the best Christmas present any Euro-trash fan could ever have in my humble opinion.

Though I freely admit that it was Edwige's beauty that was the attraction when I first saw her – in The Case of the Bloody Iris if I remember correctly, where she is introduced at a photoshoot wearing nothing but paint on her top half – it is her often unacknowledged abilities as an actor that have increasingly shone through.

Crucially, however, she's not just the “the giallo queen of psychic discontent [...] whose performances confirm that hysteria is always histrionic when it comes to Italian cinema” as Gary Needham memorably puts it, in reference to films such as The Strange Vice of Signora Wardh and All the Colours of the Dark, but also someone with a flair for comedy and – more surprisingly – straight (melo)drama.

Check out, for example the comedies all'italiana Giovannona Long Thigh – Edwige's Pretty Woman perhaps; would that she had the opportunities to become known to the wider international audience – and Ubalda All Naked and Warm – where the difference in performer styles and abilities is pronounced when one looks at Karin Schubert, attractive but lacking in anything beyond her physical charms – and, especially, the heart-wrenching, tear-jerking Secrets of a Call Girl, all now on DVD from Noshame and featuring interviews with the still beautiful, charming and intelligent Ms Fenech.

No comments: