Tuesday, 25 March 2014

The Key by Tinto Brass

I've got to admit, I struggle with a lot of blue movies of yore, but one I am fond of is The Key, made by director Tinto Brass in 1983. It concerns an elderly dude who becomes obsessed with trying to get his prudish wife Teresa to open up sexually. Eventually he succeeds, encouraging her to flaunt her body and have an affair with her grown-up daughter's boyfriend.

What I like about the film is the way in which it focuses on the middle-aged Teresa as a sex object. She's not the only one to get naked, but the lion's share of flesh on view belongs to her. And whereas another director might have been tempted to dilute things by giving her pretty daughter one or two sex scenes too, here she remains very modestly dressed the whole time, which only draws all the more attention to her mum's textile-free state.

Stefania Sandrelli, the (apparently quite well known) actress playing Teresa, was 37-ish at the time and carrying a few extra pounds, and the movie is all the better for it: she looks absolutely glorious, flesh like scoops of ice-cream, showing off every inch of herself in poses that make the most of her devastating curves. It must have been amazingly titillating for her to turn up day after day to shoot nude scene after nude scene, knowing that the other actors would probably be getting to keep their clothes on. One of my favourite scenes is early on when Teresa faints during a family meal and has to be hauled into the bedroom where her skirts are lifted and her knickers pulled down so that she can be given a reviving injection in the bottom, with her husband, her daughter and her daughter's boyfriend all ogling her lustfully and/or disapprovingly throughout the entire process. There's also a delicious moment later when the daughter confronts Teresa with some nude pix that have been taken of her and calls her out as a complete tramp - way to make mummy blush!!!

It's a lovely film in all sorts of way (story, acting, romantic Venetian setting), and it's also a beautiful example of a cinematic celebration of mature nudity. You can see the entire film on YouTube here.

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