Thursday, September 20, 2007

Breached Space: LA COCCINELLA

La Cocinella is a short film (30’) by Nello Pepe. At a first glance, it doesn’t seem to be a part of the grand tradition of Damsels in Distress that this blog intends to enshrine. But it works as a nice exercise in breached space, as it tells the story of a young sterile wife (very sexy actress Francesca Nunzi) who needs a sperm donor (Marco di Steffano) in order to get pregnant. Her husband has invited the donor to their home while away on business, but the artsy donor doesn’t feel capable of “performing” for a plastic cup in the couples’ bathroom, to the growing despair of the anxious and uncomfortable wife.

As the time passes and the successive attempts to raise the mast of success succumb to the awkwardness of the situation, they start to try several more risqué alternatives. She dances erotically for him, while he is sitting at the toilet, peeking through the keyhole (a first breach of the personal space, through the immortal medium of voyeurism). As she is not a very capable or enticing dancer (the scene is awkward, as we watch a very sensual actress pretending she is just a shy inexperienced housewife) they try phone sex, from the bedroom to the bathroom, with identical results.

Attributing the failure to the confined and oppressive space of the bathroom, they relocate to the living room, where the donor, an artist, tells her that he usually gets excited when he’s painting, and implies that should she allow him to draw her it could work. Well, it doesn’t, but we have mounted another step on the lather of breaching space. From the visual through the keyhole, we breached the space of the imagination through the phone and are now separated by the thinness of a sheet of paper.

When it also fails, she proposes that he just do it there, looking at her. He agrees, lets the cup fall to the floor, they both make a go for it, space is breached as he grabs her breast. What are you doing?, she cries. I’m trying to make this work!

And there ensues a very hot and steaming sex scene, that goes to show that nature’s methods are still the best ones. It is worth repeating that Francesca Nunzi is a very sexy actress. Adding to her ample personal charms, the intensity of the scene is compounded by the knowledge – stitched there, in the back of the viewer’s mind – that it is not proper adultery, and that it is not fully consensual sex. There is a dimension of necessity that, in the logic inherent to the erotic fantasy, forces the wife to have sex with a stranger. A manifestation of breached space.

Ok. So you may not by my theory. But I had – I just had – to print here these sexy grabs from the film. It can be found in the second of four discs that Filmax has published in Spain under the title Tinto Brass presenta Sus Cuentos Mas Atrevidos (Vols. 1-4, 2002)

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