Written by: John White on April 7th, 2006
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 2005
Director: Tinto Brass
Cast: Anna Jimskaia, Nela Lucic, Riccardo Marino, Max Parodi
DVD released: April 17th 2006
Approximate running time: 94 mins
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo
DVD Release: Arrow Films
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL
Retail Price: £15.99
Marta has been married to Dario for six months but is yet to have an orgasm in their married life. Dario’s technique involves little more than enjoying himself then falling asleep. Marta confirms to her diary that her marriage is in trouble. when she visits an art gallery she meets a French artist, Leon, who attempts to take her there and then. She meets him again at a party for Dario’s publishing company and she goes further on the encouragement of her friend Silva who advocates the effects of jealousy on improving her sex life. As her affair with Leon escalates, Dario finds her diary and learns from Silva that “women want to be taken”.
The latest film from Tinto Brass is pure erotica. If you were to take it seriously your sexual politics would take one hell of a beating and you would be disappointed in the lack of subtlety in the story. Simply Monamour is about getting what you want sexually and the awakening of a husband to his wife’s needs. En Route Brass takes us through familiar territory including reprising scenes and situations from more recent works like Trasgredire and Cosi Fan Tutte.
The serious of sexual vignettes in the tale of Marta start with a very unsatisfying liaison with her husband, proceed through masturbation, to being taken in a variety of public and semi-public situations. The scenes are done well but the sheer end of Marta having sex in a restaurant becomes very silly at the end and the lack of narrative and character doesn’t sustain the sexiness for a full 90 minutes. The scenes are novel and very much tongue in cheek but the lack of anything substantial at the core of this film, be it sympathy for Marta or Dario, causes the movie to drift to an anti-climax. By the end you might find yourself not celebrating Marta’s sexual awakening but thinking she is a bit of a slapper, to be frank.
I guarantee that you will leave the film thinking about the rather overstated rubber penises on display and wondering if life has sold you short! The explicitness of the sex scenes is further evidence that the British Board of Film Censors have got a life and stopped being so bothered about willies and vaginas. Long may this maturity last.
The lack of weight of the film is perhaps an unfair criticism of something that only posits itself as artful erotica, but Brass’s Snack Bar Budapest has spoilt me as to what he can achieve with good acting and a serious plot. Monamour is beautifully shot and features beautiful people enjoying themselves but you may not find yourself finding anything different to recent Brass films. Monamour is fun, occasionally sexy and rather slight.
This is not an anamorphic presentation despite the press release but the print is beautiful with excellent colour balance and good contrast. The sound is impeccable with the trademark cheeky music represented well. The English subtitles are excellent and removable.
There are no extras.
Monamour is not new territory for Brass but it is worth a spin, and this DVD presentation is good if not perfect.
For more information about Monamour and other titles released by Arrow films visit their website.