Sunday, 15 February 2015

Camille 2000 (1969)

I am not sure how much Italy has changed over the years, having never been there (sadly), but I'm pretty sure that during the '60s and '70s it was the sexiest place in the world. Everything was sexy. Seriously. There's a characters in Camille 2000 who dies of some vague disease, and I think even the disease was sexy. If an ebola outbreak had occurred then everyone would have been trying to get themselves infected over the next few years because it would be the sexiest way to die ever.

There's plenty in Camille 2000 that is sexy, apart from the actual sex. The two main characters - Marguerite AKA Camille, played by Daniele Gaubert, and Armand, played by Nino Castelnuovo - indulge in sexy dancing, sexy hide and seek, sexy gambling, sexy parties that allow people to portray slaves and owners, and even sexy clothes shopping. Yet it's all one big game to the free spirit that is Marguerite, despite the fact that Armand is growing more and more in love with her at every turn. Perhaps their relationship is doomed. But at least it will be sexily doomed.

Directed by Radley Metzger, this is a film inspired by a book by Alexandre Dumas fils. It is, in many ways, a very familiar tale. Unrequited love, pure and simple. Yet, thanks to the screenplay by Michael DeForrest, it's also just as much about keeping up appearances in social circles that will tolerate anything apart from personal or financial embarrassment. I can't say whether or not that was taken from the source material, having never read the book, but it's an interesting additional layer here.

Gaubert and Castelnuovo are, unsurprisngly, sexy young people at the heart of all this sexiness, and they're joined by Eleonora Rossi Drago, Roberto Bisacco, Silvana Venturelli, and a number of others. Nobody really makes an impression, however, as they're nothing more than set dressing, helping to up the sexiness quotient in between the many moments when the leads are being sexy with one another.

The biggest problem that this movie has, as I already mentioned above, is that the sex is the least sexy part of it. It's obviously supposed to be sexy, but it's not. Gaubert and Castelnuovo romp around in various states of undress, snogging one another like a pair of teenagers who have just discovered how to kiss with tongue, and this is repeated a number of times, each time dragging the film to a complete standstill. Other people are also shown having sex, and none of them seem to be having a very good time.

I still enjoyed Camille 2000. It's hard to hate something that almost constantly looks so stylish and, yes, sexy. It's just a great shame that the only unsexy part was the actual sex. Still, at least I can thank it for this review, which may just be the sexiest damn thing I've ever written.


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