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Howl, The 
Written by: on August 7th, 2009

Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1969
Director: Tinto Brass
Writers: Tinto Brass, Gian Carlo Fusco, Franco Longo, Gigi Proietti
Cast: Tina Aumont, Gigi Proietti, Nino Segurini, Germano Longo, Giorgio Gruden, Osiride Pevarello, Attilio Corsini, Carla Cassola, Sam Dorras, Tino Scotti, Edoardo Florio

DVD released: July 28th, 2009
Approximate running time: 93 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: NR
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Italian
Subtitles: English
DVD Release: Cult Epics
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $29.95

Synopsis: A young woman feeling trapped by her conventional life. She runs away with a stranger during her wedding ceremony. The two of them embark surreal journey that forces them to come to terms with the choices they make along the way.

The Howl was co-written and directed by Tinto Brass whose notable films include Deadly Sweet, Salon Kitty and The Key. The Howl would mark the three third of thirteen films in which cinematographer Silvano Ippoliti worked with Tinto Brass. Their collaboration began with Deadly Sweet and ended with All Ladies Do It. The score for The Howl was composed by Fiorenzo Carpi whose other notable scores include Salon Kitty and Passion (Simona).

Even in the midst of all the anarchy that unfolds and the films razor thin the narrative, The Howl still has enough structure that things never complete go off the rails. Also while The Howl ranks among Tinto Brass’s most visually experimental films. The films abstract narrative and surreal imagery also make it one of his least accessible films. The one filmmaker that clearly had an influence on Tinto Brass, while making this film is French new wave director Jean-Luc Godard who’s on films mirror a lot of the themes present in The Howl. The single factor that makes this film work as well as it does is Tina Aumont’s performance as the film’s lead character Anita (the runaway bride). Tina Aumont would have an uneven career that would see just as many highs and as lows with her standout performances being Satyricon, Lifespan and Fellini’s Casanova.

The DVD:

Cult Epics presents The Howl in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. The source material used is not in as good of shape as the source materials used for their Deadly Sweet DVD transfer. There is noticeable print damage throughout that varies in degree. There are a handful of instances where colors and flesh tones Colors and flesh tones look muted. This transfer has not been flagged for progressive playback. The interlaced image remains stable throughout with no major ghosting / blurring issues. Also the actual running time of the film is just under 93 minutes and not the 95 minutes stated on the DVD back cover. The difference in time appears to be a PAL to NTSC conversion issue.

This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital mono mix in Italian. There is noticeable hiss / background noise that fluctuates throughout. Despite these flaws dialog is clear enough to follow. Removable English subtitles that are error free, easy to read and follow have been included.

Extras for this release include trailers for Deadly Sweet and Attraction (under the title “The Artful Penetration of Barbara”) and an image gallery with twenty five images. The main extra for this release is an audio commentary with director Tinto Brass with the bulk of his comments being more about the technical aspect of this production. The most interesting parts of the audio commentary are his stories about working with actress Tina Aumont. Cult Epics gives The Howl a rarely seen Tinto Brass film its North America DVD debut. Overall this release is on par with Cult Epics other Tinto Brass DVD release.

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