Tuesday, April 13, 2021

The Voyeur AKA L'uomo Che Guarda - Lilith Likes to Watch


Title: The Voyeur (AKA L'uomo Che Guarda)
Year: 1994
Starring: Katarina Vasilissa, Francesco Casale, Cristina Garavaglia Director: Tinto Brass
Synopsis: A troubled college professor becomes obsessed with the idea that his emotionally distant wife is having an affair with his invalid father. - Via IMDB
Lilith's Notes: It's a Tinto Brass movie, but merely one of many.






"He makes me say I'm his sow."

There comes a moment in every cinephile-erotique's life when they have to really commit. They can't just sit on their laurels and say "Of course I know who Tinto Brass is. I've seen Caligula. Twice!"

So, anyway, of course I know who Tinto Brass is. I've watched The Voyeur.

Eduardo's father Alberto (Played by Franco Branciaroli) is ailing and his wife Silvia (Played by Katarina Vasilissa) is emotionally distant. So of course Eduardo (Played by Francesco Casale) thinks they're fucking one another. Instead of discussing things like a mature adult, he pontificates on the nature of voyeurism with the college class he teaches, and falls down a metaphorical void of existential dread while stirring eggs or having dreams about his mother.

Our hero, ladies and gentlemen.

I don't really know what to say about this one. Maybe it's a case of things getting lost in translation. It's not bad. At times it's quite good, but it didn't really grab me the way I think it wanted to.

As far as lost in translation goes, the music in this is horrendous. It's all comedic wah wah trumpets that I think are supposed to be sexy but it's not. It's all very, very doofy.

Second of all, there was a completely off-putting scene were a woman from Africa (Played by Raffaella Offidani) points out that she had undergone female genital mutilation and equates it to losing her virginity. It stunned me, and completely pulled me out of the film. Maybe it was a different time? Maybe it's not considered a human right's violation in 90s Italy? It was just so weird.

Fortunately, the movie is quite lovely. The clothes are absolutely beautiful, with a lot of semi-sheer, gauzy fabric that outlines the silhouette of the women who wear these fluttering nightgowns. Or tops so loose women just casually fall out of them, breast first, and no one bats an eye or tries for a grope. Tea sets that are so petite they're precious. Panties are emblazoned with shimmering detail, and everyone's eyes just shine so bright. The film looks good, if not a bit luke-warm-80's-leftovers.

In a moment of despondent curiosity, Eduardo spies on his ailing father with his provocative nurse Fausta (Played by Cristina Garavaglia) through the window. The scene is fractured, kaleidoscopic and there's plenty of opportunity to see what one wants to see, and maybe not what actually is. Later in the film, Eduardo is at the cinema with his wife Silvia and on screen the actor is looking through a window much like Eduardo himself had done scenes previous. It was an interesting attention to detail but I almost wish the set pieces were reversed. It's presented without commentary, Eduardo doesn't notice the echoing motif and I know it was purposeful but I just sort of ask…why? If the characters see no deeper meaning, and the audience has nothing to draw from it, it just comes across as the director thinking himself clever.

I think this was trying to be some deep dive into the psyche of a man detached from passion and intimacy but I didn't have a lot of sympathy for Eduardo. Maybe next time, don't marry a woman that looks like your mother, buddy.

Best Moment: Any time Silvie was getting dressed or undressed. Katarina Vasilissa is an absolutely stunning woman.

Worst Moment: I didn't even discuss the gay pervert physiotherapist character. Imagine Mario but he can't keep his fingers off old-man dick. Also, they used prosthetic dicks in this film.

LILITH'S SCORE: 2/5

Until next time, my voracious voyeurs. I’m Lilith, and I’m always watching.

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