Did you happen to record Monty Python’s Flying Circus
when it was shown on PBS back in the 1970s?
Do you still have the tapes?
Is there a TIME LIFE logo at the end?
If so, please write to me. Thank you!

Click here to learn the story.

THE WORKS OF TINTO BRASS


Miranda

(1985)

This was obviously an attempt to capitalize on the success of The Key, and it worked! The Key had a depth and complexity that an artist can attain perhaps once in a lifetime — if he’s lucky. Miranda doesn’t even try to come close, but it’s certainly charming. The sex-film industry concentrates on corporate-ladder-climbing hard-bodied early-twentyish kids with only one thing on their mind — and it has a propensity to present sex as a freakshow. Miranda, on the other hand, deals with ordinary-looking and more mature folk in ordinary situations, and presents sex as natural and unsensational, as a positive expression of affection. The film is filled with wonderful set pieces and vignettes. In the early 1950s innkeeper Miranda hopes that her MIA husband Gino will one day return. Still in the town are leftovers from the war — American servicemen, some young French women, and various other international travelers, all of whom are at complete ease with one another. Scenes of a country sunrise, singing at the inn, dancing at a picnic, dashing about town in a motorcycle, evoke a wistfulness that is rare in movies. And the bit where Miranda and her friend Leda fantasize about what the guys on the beach look like without their swimming trunks is a scream. If you’re attuned to quiet, understated, leisurely, unpretentious entertainment, this one’s for you.

Now, admittedly, Miranda and the remaining works in Tinto’s œuvre are not my favorites. Most of them are fun. Most of them are funny. Most of them have lovely moments. Most of them also have clunky moments. All of them are didactic, with but a single message (marriage, the universal panacea, must be maintained and salvaged and treasured at any cost, even at the cost of wifey dilly-dallying with other guys). Not one of them has the complexity of his earlier works. As one of Tinto’s professional acquaintances explained to me about these later works: “They are toys.” More importantly, they made Tinto rich, which was a mixed blessing. These movies, from Miranda on to the end of his career, make me a little bit sad. Some of them still retain the technical virtuosity of Tinto’s earlier works, but they are not challenging and demanding, nor do they retain the brain teasers that I had so enjoyed.

Would you like to read the play this was based on? I just discovered, a few moments ago, that you can! Click here to read the original Italian edition with grammatical endnotes to help the English-speaking student along, or click here to read the English translation by Clifford Bax. Now, tell me, how did we survive prior to the Internet?

REVENGE: At the end of the film, on the monument to those departed in battle, in addition to the name of Miranda’s husband (Gino Rostagni) are the following names: Enrico Bottoli, Luciano Maffezzoli, Stefano Panizzi, Marino Rasoli, Guido Ravasi, [???] Sanfelici, S[???] Scaroni, Pavel Soliani, Cesare Spegni, Aldo Orlandelli, Tullio Cosulich, G. Rondi Don, and Callisto Kezich). In the supplemental section of the American DVD released by Cult Epics, Brass explained that three of those names (Rondi, Cosulich, Kezich) are plays upon the names of critics who had lambasted The Key. It’s nice to have the last word, isn’t it?

Five cameras to shoot Malisa Longo’s lengthy striptease, and this is all that’s left of it

We joined the Navy to dance

A scene taken directly from Hemingway’s Across the River and into the Trees — family connections, you see

Jean-René Lemoine (in the white suite), one of the most appealing actors ever to grace a cinema screen. He pops up again in Così fan tutte.


Ehi mambo, mambo italiano,
Ehi mambo, mambo italiano,
No, no, no,

Non è solo siciliano,
Non è calabrese,
Non è un mambo piemontese, ma...

Ehi mambo, no, non è tarantela,
Ehi mambo, non voglio mozzarela,
No, no, no,
Mambo italiano,
Prova ad assaggiare
Pulpe, triglie e baccalà.

Ehi cumpa’, gridavi il Giorgio a tutto spian,
Cambiando sempre l’italiano ma con il suo mambo
Lei continua sempre imperterrita a cantor soltanto...

Ehi mambo, mambo italiano,
Ehi mambo, mambo italiano,
No, no, no,
La storia è qui finita,
Non è più partita,
è da noi sempre restate col suo mambo italiano!

Sì, sì, sì,
La storia è qui finita,
Non è più partita,
è da noi sempre restate col suo mambo italiano!

Che mambo!

(You study books, you study books, you study books,
and then you’re confronted with this,
and that’s when you learn that all your book-larnin’
din’t do ya no good at all.)
CURIOSITY: A sequence of sound effects during the ice-cream-parlor scene is lifted from NEROSUBIANCO.


The original announcement of the only authorized DVD edition of Miranda, but this artwork seems to have been rejected in favor of the design on the right. The notation on some official sites that the DVD is 1.85:1 rather than 1.66:1 is dead wrong, so don’t worry. (Region-2 PAL DVD, which will not play on most US/Canadian equipment.)

The same as the video on the left, but this is definitely the artwork that was approved and actually issued on 11 October 2006. (Region-2 PAL DVD, which will not play on most US/Canadian equipment.)

A box set, which was to be released on 6 December 2006. Sadly, plans were changed, and instead we’ll get the box set to the right. (Region-2 PAL DVDs, which will not play on most US/Canadian equipment.)

This is the box set that will actually be released on 6 December 2006. (Region-2 PAL DVDs, which will not play on most US/Canadian equipment.)

The police return from La vacanza
to gun down Jack in Miranda
Arrow DVD
“Full-Screen” but needlessly column-boxed to about 1.25:1.
Cult Epics DVD
1.85:1 with a black border on the bottom.
Raro DVD
1.66:1 with black borders on the sides.
All the action is there, but the image is so overly color-corrected that the sky disappears.
ANICA — Associazione Nazionale Industrie Cinematografiche Audiovisive e Multimediali


Giovanni Bertolucci presenta
un film di Tinto Brass

Miranda

Copyright © 1985 by San Francisco Film srl

Soggetto di (Original story by) Carla Cipriani
Freely adapted from La locandiera, a play by Carlo Goldoni [uncredited, though explicitly referenced]
Operatore alla macchina (Camera operator) Enrico Sasso
Collaborazione al montaggio (Assistant editor) Fiorenza Müller
Montatore del suono (Sound Editor) Sandro Peticca
Accanciature (Hair stylist) Jole Cecchini
Trucco (Make-up) Gilberto Provenghi
Fotografia di scena (Still photographer) Gianfranco Salis
Uffocio stampa (Public relations) Lilletta Bertolucci
Organizzatore amministrativo (Administration manager) Mario Sampaolo
Organizzatori della produzione (Production managers) Mario di Biase, Aldo U. Passalacqua
Costumi da bozzetti di (Costumes created by) Jost Jakob
Scenografia e arredamento (Art director) Paolo Biagetti
Musiche composte e dirette da (Music composed and directed by) Riz Ortolani
CICCIA ODOROSA
di Benjamin-Timbras-Ortolani
cantata da Katyna Ranieri
Direttore della fotografia (Director of photography) Silvano Ippoliti
Prodotto da (Produced by) Giovanni Bertolucci
     per la (for) San Francisco Film s.r.l.
Scritto, diretto e montato da (Written, directed and edited by) Tinto Brass
Aiuto regista (Assistant director) Sandro Peticca
Segretaria edizione (Continuity) Carla Cipriani
Fonico (Sound) Gaetano Carito
Arredatore (Set dresser) Massimo Spano
Coreografo (Choreographer) Giuseppe Pennese
Pittore (painter) Otello Tiberi
Capo sq. elettricisti (Gaffer) Sergio Spila
Capo sq. macchinisti (head grip) Augusto Proietti
Attrezzista (prop man) Roberto Magagnini
Tappezziere (upholsterer) Rodolfo Mignacca [uncredited in English version]
Scene acrobatiche (stunt man) Giorgio Ricci
Costruttorri (builders) Egisto Calascibetta, Marco Davoli
Microfonista (boom man) Marco di Biase
Costumista (wardrobe) Stefania d’Amario, Anna Rasetti, Simonetta Mattei
Ispettori di produzione (unit managers) Massimo Ferrero, Vittorio Fornasiero
Amministratrice / cassiera (pay master) Dorina Mari
Aiuto truccatore (assistant make-up) Antonio Maltempo
Assistenti alla regia (second assistant directors) Domenico Saverni, Emanuela Lucidi
Assistenti operatori (assistant cameramen) Ettore Corso, Luigi Bernardini
Assistente scenografo (assistant art director) Emita Frigato [miscredited in English version]
Assistenti al montaggio (assistant editors) Emanuela Lucidi, Giovanna Ritter, Manuela Ruggeri
Sarte (wardrobe) Anna Rasetti, Simonetta Mattei
Segretari di produzione (production secretaries) Francesca Andriotto, Mauro Babini
Elettricisti (best boys) Franco Gubbiotti, Marcello Cardarelli, Franco Cardarelli [uncredited in English version]
Macchinisti (grips) Luciano Spina, Luigi Orso, Riccardo Ferrero [uncredited in English version]
Location “Po Valley” [uncredited in Italian version]
Mezzi tecnici, teatri di posa, colore, sonorizzazione (studios) Cinecittà
Negativi (negative) Kodak
Titoli e truke (titles and opticals) Studio 4 [uncredited in English version]
Mixage (mixer) Fausto Ancillai
Fonico di voice over (dubbing recorder) Adriano Torbidone [uncredited in English version]
Effetti sonori (sound effects) Cine Audio Effects
Effetti speciali (special effects) Franco Celli [uncredited in English version]
Sartoria (wardrobe supplied by) Neri Teatromoda
Gioielli (jewelry) Paolo Fidemi [credited only as
Fidemi in English version]
Parrucche (wigs) Rocchetti-Carboni
Calzature (shoes) L.C.P.
Arredamenti (set dressings) GPR-Dedalo
Rancati-Immaginoteca
Trasporti (transport) Romana Trasporti Cinematografici [uncredited in English version]
Edizioni musicali (music publishers) Frame Music s.r.l.
Triple Time Music s.r.l.
Unione Musicisti Roma
La colonna sonora del film è incisa su dischi (soundtrack available from) Triple Time Music s.r.l. [uncredited in English version]
     Distribuzione (distributed by) R.C.A. [miscredited in Italian version]
Musiche di repertorio (songs) BUTTA LA CHIAVE
di Chiosso-Van Wood
edizioni (publisher) Leonardi-ABC
UN BACIO A MEZZANOTTE
di Kramer-Garinei-Giovannini
edizioni (publisher) Palladium
MAMBO ITALIANO
di Bob Merril
Proprietà (publisher) Mondia Music
PETITE FLEUR
di S. Bechet
edizioni Buffalo Bill Milano [uncredited in English version]
Post-synchronisation [English version] Murphilm - Paris
Foreign sales Film Export Group - Rome [uncredited in Italian version]
Released by San Francisco Film srl, Rome
PERSONAGGI E INTERPRETI
Miranda Rostagni Serena Grandi
Berto Andrea Occhipinti
Carlo Franco Interlenghi
Norman Andy J. Forest
Toni Franco Branciaroli
Leda ???
Giulietta Malisa Longo
Amica di Giulietta Laura Sassi
??? Isabelle Illiers
??? Luciana Cirenei
Italo Jean-René Lemoine
??? Mauro Paladini
Dog catcher? Enzo Turrin
Man who sings in the bar Osiride Pevarello

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