Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 23rd, 2009
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1984
Director: Giovanni Soldati
Writers: Leone Colonna, Alberto Moravia, Giovanni Soldati, Rodolfo Sonego
Cast: Stefania Sandrelli, Ben Cross, Amanda Sandrelli, Arnoldo Foà, Claudia Cavalcanti, Elena Pompei, Anita Zagaria
DVD released: September 22nd, 2009
Approximate running time: 86 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Italian
DVD Release: Sinful Mermaid
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95
The screenplay for Attention was adapted from Alberto Moravia’s Novel of the same name “L’attenzione”. Many of Alberto Moravia’s short stories and novels have been adapted into films. Some of the more notable adaptations include Two Women, Contempt and The Conformist.
The plot for Attention revolves around a husband who has become bored with his wife. The choices which he makes set in motion a series of events that propel him towards a life changing revelation. The film’s visual style lends itself perfectly to the dreamlike / nightmarish indiscretions of the husband. One of the films more stylish moments include a scene where the husband arrives for a sexual rendezvous only to quickly discover it is the last person he expected to see there. This moment’s slow build up and reveal in the reflection of a mirror feels like something straight out of a Brian De Palma film. The Brian De Palma connection does not end there; the score for Attention was composed by Pino Donaggio whose collaborations with Brian De Palma include Carrie, Dressed to Kill, Blow Out, Body Double and Raisin Cain.
This film’s greatest assets are its two lead actresses Stefania Sandrelli and Amanda Sandrelli. Stefania Sandrelli has a long career in which she has worked with many prominent Italian filmmakers like Pietro Germi (Divorce – Italian Style, Seduced and Abandoned), Bernardo Bertolucci (Partner, The Conformist, 1900) and Tinto Brass (The Key). It was refreshing seeing Stefania Sandrelli in a role of the wife who no longer excites her husband, since it plays against the type of roles for which she is more known for. Her performance relies more on her characters vulnerability than her sex appeal. Equally impressive is her Amanda Sandrelli in her feature film debut. Her chameleon like performance steals every scene she is in. Even though the story at hand sets itself up as an erotica film, the end result is something closer to a melodrama with some risqué moments.
Attention is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. This transfer has not been flagged for progressive playback. Colors and flesh tones look accurate. Details look generally crisp and black levels fare well. Also there are some very minor instances of print debris.
This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital mono mix in Italian and removable English subtitles have been provided. The subtitles are easy to follow and free of errors. Outside of some very mild background noise, dialog comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced.
Extras for this release are limited to an image gallery which has music from the film playing in the background. Overall Attention gets a well rounded audio / video presentation from Sinful Mermaid.