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Grazie zia-Salvatore Samperi,Lisa Gastoni-'68 FILM-DVD

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Grazie zia-Salvatore Samperi,Lisa Gastoni-'68 FILM-DVD

Grazie zia  
Salvatore Samperi.

Grazie, Zia

a k a Come Play With Me; Thank You, Aunt
1967-Italy

NEW DVD

 Gabriele Ferzetti, Lisa Gastoni, Lou Castel, Nicoletta Rizzi, Massimo Sarchielli.

Starring: Lisa Gastoni, Lou Castel, Gabriele Ferzetti
Directed by: Salvatore Samperi

 91 minutes.

Italia 1968.

PAL Area 2 

Widescreen)

in italian, Dolby Digital 1.0 - mono

Young Alvise's body is paralyzed, or at least he thinks so. He is infatuated by his beautiful aunt Lea. What starts as innocent therapy and care soon develops into strange erotic and psychological battle between them.

Grazie Zia is better known by its English-language title Thank You, Aunt. As an act of defiance against a world he never fit into, 17-year-old Alvise (Lou Castel) has willed himself into a state of psychosomatic paralysis. From the vantage point of his wheelchair, Alvise cruelly manipulates all those around him. The only one who seems to resist his tyranny is his gorgeous aunt Lea (Lisa Gastoni). Hopelessly in love with Lea, Alvise determines to "conquer" her as well. Her response to his insidious mind games is hardly what Alvise expects, but it's certainly what the audience has been clamoring for since Reel One. To call Grazie Zia kinky would be putting it mildly. The film was also released as Come Play With Me.

Samperi's directorial debut is also the first film of his I've watched and it seems that his other films - culminating in MALIZIA (1973), which made an international star of Laura Antonelli - are more or less along the same art-house erotica lines with the added benefit of having, at least initially, a decent array of international performers appearing in them. Italian cinema of the 1960s and 1970s yielded several obscure gems and, while this is certainly not one of its shining examples, it is intriguing enough to warrant at least one viewing.

Leading man Lou Castel, repeating his brooding, handicapped hero act from Marco Bellocchio's FIST IN HIS POCKET (1965), is an ungrateful, mischievous, wheelchair-bound teenager who is hopelessly infatuated with his sensual aunt Lisa Gastoni, much to the chagrin of her journalist fiancée Gabriele Ferzetti. The three actors acquit themselves well enough under the circumstances given that the material is rather too thin (and, in hindsight, rather pretentious and not terribly compelling either) to sustain even a moderately long film such as this one. Still, the film's depiction of the tragic downward spiral their lives take once the two relatives give in to their baser instincts makes for some powerful if mildly titillating footage. The ubiquitous Ennio Morricone contributes yet another typically quirky and effective score which, given the film's adult theme, ironically relies much on children's vocals.


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