Film Directors with their Shirts Off, Again
Number five (5) in an occasional series. Lina Wertmuller with everything off.
Photo by Guido Harari.
Those aren’t swimming goggles, those are her specs. They enable her to see things in 3D. Say what you like about the Anita Loos big plastic glasses thing, it’s definitely a look. I like it when filmmakers dress the part, like Sternberg. I guess it’s even better when they can dress the part even when undressed.
I haven’t really enjoyed any Lina Wertmuller films, I’m afraid. Maybe I will, one day. SEVEN BEAUTIES makes an interesting case study though — it kind of proves Claude Lanzmann’s point about illustrating the holocaust by reenactment. I mean, the film has many many problematic qualities, but the big reveal of Auschwitz, a spectacular set, with sweeping Felliniesque camera movements, and Wagner playing, is such a bravura show-off moment that it rapidly crosses over into the distasteful, and you feel it’s grotesque for any filmmaker to exploit this stuff as an opportunity to display their filmmaking chops. Which opens a big old can of worms — what IS the appropriate artistic response to the holocaust? If this is obscene, which war films are OK? Very few, seems to be the answer.