Valeria dentro e fuori (1972)

  |  Drama

Valeria dentro e fuori (1972) Poster

A young, frustrated woman is married to a famous choreographer. She has everything she wants except for one thing: her husband refuses to have sex with her.


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16 February 2015 | lazarillo
70's-era Freudian style to burn and some very good acting--highly recommended
While the plot given here is basically accurate, it really misses the point of the movie. Besides simply wanting to have a child and being sexually and emotionally frustrated by the refusals of her career-minded choreographer husband, the female protagonist (Barnara Bouchet)is also highly neurotic--troubled by disturbing childhood memories of spying on her parents having sex and given to flights of very Freudian sexual fantasies. It's not at all clear, for instance, that her "infidelities" occur anywhere but in her own mind. Her husband eventually has her committed to a mental institution in the most harrowing scenes of the movie, and it becomes very ambiguous which one of them is really "sick" when he shows up at the hospital to almost gleefully watch her receive a painful spinal tap.

Although this is a straight domestic drama rather than a bloody mass-murder mystery, this film is very reminiscent stylistically of the Italian gialli (of which Barbara Bouchet was a regular). Those films also tended to trade on haute bourgeois settings, beautiful female neurotics, and Freudian symbolism and surreal delerium. This film is actually very similar to the recent giallo homage "Amer", which manages to extract an almost pure giallo style from any kind of actual coherent plot or substance.

It's also amazing what a good actress Bouchet is. She almost completely carries this movie herself with some help from the actor who plays her dastardly husband and fellow German-cum-Italian actress Erna Schurer, who plays a fellow mental patient. Even today (perhaps ESPECIALLY today) there are few actresses that could tackle the overtly sexy and neurotic roles that Euro-starlets like Bouchet, Edwige Fenech or Rosalba Neri took on in this era. And the "actresses" today that are willing to do roles this sexy rarely have even a shred of the sheer acting talent.

I would definitely recommend this.

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