Tinto Brass: Maestro of Erotic Cinema 2 [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray A - America - Cult Epics
Review written by and copyright: Eric Cotenas (16th May 2024).
The Film

While Cult Epics' unnumbered first volume of Tinto Brass: Maestro of Erotica showcased four of Brass' latest films in Cheeky, Private, Black Angel, and Monamour, this second volume presents four of his major works prior to those from the peak of household name period as the "master of erotica."

Paprika: To help her electrician's apprentice fiance Nino (Capriccio's Luigi Laezza) buy out his boss' business, Mimma (Foxy Lady's Debora Caprioglio) agrees to work a fortnight in a brothel. Rechristened "Paprika" by Madame Colette (The Voyeur's Martine Brochard) -- because she is "spicy like goulash" – Mimma falls in love with her first client, a handsome sailor named Franco (Brigade of Death's Stéphane Bonnet). When she discovers that Nino is two-timing her and plans to use her new prostitution criminal record to force her to support him and his other girlfriend, Mimma decides to quit the business and become a nightclub hostess in Rome with the help of fellow prostitute Gina (Rossana Gavinel). Unfortunately, pimp Rocco (Détective's Stéphane Ferrara) – who has just brutally dropped his regular girl Fru Fru (Carla Salerno) – seduces (well... assaults) Mimma and goes behind her back to make sure that the only way she can make money is to take a job in the bordello of bodybuilding Madame Olimpia (Snack Bar Bupdapest's Luciana Cirenei) where she not only is Rocco taking a cut but so is her uncle (The Killer Likes Candy's Riccardo Garrone) who recognizes her and blackmails her. As Mimma makes her way on her own through Italy's bordellos, she still longs for Franco; but a law is making its way through the senate to close down the bordellos, and Mimma's only chance for a happy ending may be to marry a rich and elderly count (The Arcane Enchanter's Renzo Rinaldi) and become a merry widow.

One of director Tinto Brass' most enjoyable and lavish films, Paprika – co-scripted by Bernardino Zapponi (Fellini Satyricon) – Paprika is a loose adaptation of John Cleland's "Fanny Hill or, Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure" transposed to the post-WWII Italy of Brass' youth where he simultaneously regularly visited the cinema and then the brothels from age fifteen onwards during the decade-long treak of the bill to abolish the regulation of prostitution that was finally ratified in 1958 as the backdrop to Mimma's own journey. The bordellos of the film embody not only Brass' idealized version but those of its clients as the repository of the art of eroticism – Brass has often cited novelist Dino Buzzati's likening of the closing of the brothels to the burning of the library of Alexandria – with the prostitutes picking the men and pimps, crime, and disease as the alternative of unregulated prostitution (Brass' prostitutes here and in Frivolous Lola decry that "slut of a senator" Merlin and the government, hoping that the church will step in and intervene on their behalf as the clergy are shown among their clientele and showing aesthetic appreciation of Mimma's God-given assets). Mimma gets in bed literally and figuratively with exploiters from Rocco to "Italy's biggest pimp" Milvio (Nightmare Castle's Paul Muller) and uses them to fight other threats, and she becomes as much a participant as an observer in the hypocrisy and vulgarity of the upper classes. She has a cocaine-addled vignette with a prince (Tenebrae's John Steiner) and his masochistic wife (Lolita 2000's Petra Scharbach) who turn up their noses at Mimma and colleague Beba (Threesome Wild's Valentine Demy) as soon as they climax, turns an interview with a female journalist (Fatal Frames' Nina Soldano) into a sexual encounter through practical demonstration of her "recipe," and once engaged to the count chastises his son (The House of Flesh Mannequins' Domiziano Arcangeli) who had her first for overstepping his boundaries after having her way with the butler (Provocation's Gianni Demartiis). Her happy ending does involve a financial arrangement with her true love, but she controls the purse strings.

Producer Augusto Caminito had discovered Caprioglio who was briefly married to Klaus Kinsi and co-starred in the actor's Caminito-produced Paganini biopic and Caminito's own Kinski vehicle White Hunter, and she conveys Mimma's dramatic arc with uninhibited abandon – possibly because Brass' voyeuristic instincts still had not given way to the gynecological probing of All Ladies Do It onwards. There seems to have been a symbolic choice in casting Bonnet and Ferrara who are easy to mistake for one another at first glance – especially when we suspect that Franco may be no better than Rocco or Nino when he tells Mimma of his desire to buy a boat of his own and she wants to help him pay for it – and the cast includes a couple familiar faces including Elizabeth Kaza (Borowczyk's The Beast) as the pirate eye-patched madame of Maison Oriente – which Mimma describes as more of a brothel than any of the bordellos – and Brass doing his regular cameo as an Italian expatriate abortionist in Marseilles. With the exceptions of a couple films with mainstream ambitions, Brass' subsequent erotic films not only grew more explicit but also attempted to vocalize the director's libertine philosophy of joie de vivre. The film is a visual treat as usual and not for the bare flesh on display with cinematographer Silvano Ippoliti (The Key) utilizing his various tools of diffusion as well as nocturnal and sweltering gels that are not so much realistic as "expressionistic," production designer Paolo Biagetti (Murder-Rock: Dancing Death) and set decorator Bruno Cesari (The Last Emperor) give both the art deco upscale bordellos and the seedy brothels striking designs, and Caprioglio bounces into virtually every scene wearing a new creation by costume designer Jost Jakob (Orca). Composer Riz Ortolani (Cannibal Holocaust) recycles his buoyant title theme for Brass' Miranda while the remainder of his scoring weaves in and out of the soundtrack of period Italian pop songs. The film proved popular enough in Italy for softcore/hardcore cinematographer-turned-producer/director Joe D'Amato to do a hardcore take four years later with Paprika: The Last Italian Whore.

All Ladies Do It: Lingerie shop girl Diana (Claudia Koll) is happily married to political envoy Paolo (P.O. Box Tinto Brass' Paolo Lanza) and living comfortably… but not excitingly. Her casual flirtations and intimations of impropriety have already been shown to arouse Paolo who believes she is merely teasing him, but the overt and aggressive attentions of French poet Alphonse Donatien (Senso '45's Franco Branciaroli) -- given name of the Marquis de Sade – excite and arouse her to the point where she beings to truly question whether marital fidelity really is a natural state. Diana's bisexual sister Nadia (Ornella Marcucci), lecherous boss (The Face with Two Left Feet's Renzo Rinaldi), shop colleagues Antonietta (Isabella Deiana) and gay Lello (Maurizio Martinoli), and senator's wife client (Pierangela Vallerino) all espouse the joys of "happy banging" – and a pre-contraceptive means of preventing pregnancy – that enrich rather than degrade their more permanent relationships. Even Paolo seems to perk up when Diana returns from her aunt's funeral in Venice with an embellished account of reconnecting with her cousin Marco (Marco Marciani), the revelation that her aunt (Rossana Di Pierro) was a prostitute who nevertheless loved her husband who filmed her encounters – and Donatien waxing poetic over the expressiveness of her derriere; that is, until Paolo discovers evidence of the reality of her unfaithfulness whereupon he walks out on her. While Diana does not feel that in her own way she is a faithful wife, she nevertheless misses Paolo and an attempt to defy him with a night out on the town with her friends and a seminary student ('s Jean René Lemoine) gathering firsthand material for his thesis on sin.

Taking its Italian title from the Mozart opera "Così fan tutti" – changed from "everybody does it" to the strictly feminine "Così fan tutte" – All Ladies Do It is the fifth film of Brass' "maestro of erotica" career phase from the eighties onwards following the arthouse/mainstream success of his literary adaptation The Key, the lighter but more explicit Miranda and Paprika, and the more mainstream and less successful Capriccio and Snack Bar Budapest; and the scenario by Brass and Bernardino Zapponi would form a template for some of Brass' subsequent works about neurotic husbands who learn not to stifle their wives' "joie de vivre" including Cheeky as well as The Voyeur and his final feature to date Monamour which were both loose adaptations of other literary sources. After the release of the film, Brass credits the fan mail he received from female fans with similar experiences to that of Diana as the inspiration for his portmanteau P.O. Box Tinto Brass.

The argument seems to be a more generalized "what's good for the goose is good for the gander," attacking the double standard Paolo seems to accept rather as normalized rather than actually practices himself; and, in the end, it seems like he settles for being aroused by being deceived rather than actually indulging in "happy banging" of his own despite the carnal interest of his sister-in-law (who then calls him a "repressed fag" when he rebuffs her). The subsequent Brass films become increasingly lighter in tone and refine or perhaps over-simplify the scenario to better effect happy endings. Here so, more than his previous films – taking into account that he was not responsible for the hardcore inserts of Caligula – Brass and the camera of Silvano Ippoliti delve deep into the nether regions of his female performers while most of the men sport rubber phalluses and a few background performers go full-on hardcore without the camera dwelling on it; and yet, the film is not pornographic, instead forging a sort of idealized world pleasing to the heterosexual male gaze in which women work out nude in gyms and walk about the city in clothing that is either completely transparent or open at the bust (the film's gay character is the usual comic relief and while bisexual females are glamorous but transsexuals are objects of ridicule and lesbians are "bull dykes"). Less analytical viewers can find abundant T&A on display against some beautiful backdrops – Venetian locations and strikingly colorful and naughtily-decorated sets – carried along by the rollicking orchestral/rock scoring of Pino Donaggio (Body Double) who quotes from the Mozart opera and co-wrote the wonderfully eighties song "Love Raider" with his regular synthesizer programmer Paolo Steffan (Donaggio and Steffan would return for Brass's Frivolous Lola and Cheeky).

P.O. Box Tinto Brass: A filmmaker who stresses the difference between eroticism and pornography as fellatio to the blowjob, Brass has cultivated a large female fan base in his transition from French New Wave-influenced erotic-tinged art films like Howl, The Artful Penetration of Barbara, and Action and big budget provocations like Salon Kitty and Caligula to being the premiere practitioner of Italian softcore erotica of the eighties and nineties. P.O. Box Tinto Brass is a series of erotic vignettes framed by Brass reading letters from his fans in search of inspiration and continually distracted by secretary Lucia (The Hyena's Cinzia Roccaforte) whose revealed skin is just as arousing to Brass as the answers she withholds as he attempts to probe her erotic imagination. In the first story, Milena (Laura Gualtieri) is reticent about having sex on the beach with her fiancé until she discovers what a turn-on it is to watch and be watched by another couple seeking privacy among the sand dunes. In the second story, housewife Elena (Provocation's Erika Savastani) is frustrated that her husband Guido (All Ladies Do It's Paolo Lanza) will not let her get a job for extra spending money so she becomes a "daytime professional" at the villa turned brothel of benefactor Countess Franca where she and other women (including Private's Sara Cosmi) live out their own fantasies while servicing men also seeking escape… and guess who Elena's latest client turns out to be?

In the third story, young Betta (Alessandra Antonelli) is studying Etruscan ruins and becomes aroused by the probing telephoto lens of a Japanese tourist so she decides to give him a show (sans underwear). The fourth story comes in the form of a videotape by restaurateurs Renata (Gaia Zucchi) and her husband Piero have solved the issue of their business sapping their love lives with a fetish for photography and video – and collaborating with other "videophiles" in Tinto Brass homages – leading to the pair producing a sort of audition tape. In the fifth story, Rosella (Karate Warrior 6' s Gabriella Barbuti) is angered when her husband cancels date night for work, leaving her surprisingly receptive to an obscene phone caller and his crude advances. In the sixth story, Francesca (Paprika's Carla Solaro) is shocked when her husband Paolo (Paganini Horror's Pascal Persiano) suggests bringing other people into their sex life until she reluctantly accompanies him to a swinger's club. In the final story, Ivanna (Kreola's Cristina Rinaldi) realizes that she can kill two birds with one stone, attending to her sexual frustration and getting back at her drunkard husband Filippo when he reveals that he has bet and lost her in a poker game. Brass is not the only one inspired and aroused by the letters, however, as Lucia is moved to reveal her most erotic fantasy in which "hung like an elephant" takes on a new meaning.

During a brief lull between his hit Alberto Moravia adaptation The Voyeur and his period comedy Frivolous Lola, Brass experimented with the shorter form, producing and introducing Tinto Brass Presents Erotic Short Stories featuring short films by newcomer filmmakers including porn actor-turned-photographer and adult filmmaker Roy Stuart (Neon Nights), screenwriter Roberto Gandus (Lamberto Bava's Macabre), actress Silvia Rossi (Cheeky), and Massimiliano Zanin who would co-write Brass' Cheeky, Private, and Monamour as well as helm the recent Brass documentary Istintobrass. P.O. Box Tinto Brass has long had the reputation of being sort of a placeholder in Brass' filmography between projects due to its episodic nature and its primary distribution medium on home video in overseas territories after an Italian domestic theatrical release; however, reassessment reveals the persistence of recurring themes from Brass' filmography as well as shout-outs to his earlier works.

While the vignettes are short and thinly scripted, they are not as shallow as they seem, showing the much-exploited cliché of couples trying role-playing and discovering exhibitionistic or voyeuristic impulses as sad, pathetic, sometimes worthy of ridicule but also funny and even liberating. There is even a strain of self-criticism with Brass rejecting outright a letter from a male fan as uninteresting while Lucia tells Brass that she will only tell him her fantasy if she can "star" in it (possibly meaning his screen treatment of it but also acknowledging that the visualization of it will be from his point-of-view). Besides its placeholder nature, the film also shows Brass in transition with his crew and style. The regulars remain including producer Giovanni Bertolucci (cousin of Bernardo), wife/script supervisor Carla Cipriani, and assistant editor Fiorenza Mueller – along with composer Riz Ortolani in the form of tracks recycled from his earlier films including The Voyeur – while the cinematography of Steadicam operator Dante Dalla Torre (Beyond The Door III) is of the same sort of sharper, crisper photographic style Brass would adapt with cinematographer Massimo di Venanzo (son of Fellini DP Gianni de Venanzo) on his next several films in contrast to the more smoky, backlit, and diffused look he perfected with Silvano Ippoliti in his seventies and early eighties films up through All Ladies Do It. As with the aforementioned short filmmakers, co-screenwriter Aurelio Grimaldi would subsequently also explicitly probe female sexuality and fantasy with such films as La donna lupo – with Persiano and Loredana Cannata who had appeared in one of the shorts as well as Brass' Black AngelThe Butcher, and his ambitious but underwhelming De Sade adaptation The Sentimental Education of Eugénie.

Frivolous Lola: Young Lola (Anna Ammirati) is engaged to be married to baker's son Tomasso (Max Parodi). While his father is distracted by his soon-to-be-daughter-in-law's derriere, Tomasso's mother has misgivings about the union of her precious son with the daughter of Zaira (Antropophagus' Serena Grandi) who came back to her village from her stint as a cruise line coat check girl with a baby and a husband in libidinous chef André (The Devil Rides Out's Patrick Mower) who the village biddies regard as "the devil himself" and may or may not actually be Lola's father. Lola is also having second thoughts about Tomasso whose desire to wait until after they are married to have sex is a source of growing frustration. Alternately intrigued and exasperated by the Bluebeard's chamber-like quality of her father's study where he and photographer friend Pepé (Matalo! (Kill Him)'s Antonio Salines) mull over photographic studies of the most expressive part of women's bodies, Lola starts to see her virginity as an impediment to experience of which she wants to be rid. She tells Tomasso that "virginity is only a crumb of bread, and the first birdie that comes along takes it away," and that he is beginning to look like a dodo (incidentally, Dodo was the name of the pathologically-jealous male protagonist of Brass' Moravia adaptation The Voyeur). She flirts with various men to make Tomasso jealous, but soon Lola wants to plunge headlong into joie de vivre, which means finding out whether she truly is her father's daughter… in one way or another.

Like Brass' Serena Grandi showcase Miranda, Frivolous Lola is another explicit comic romp set in the Po' Valley. While a number of Brass' films are set in the Venice of his youth, the Po' Valley also has a biographical aspect in that the Venetian filmmaker spent part of his days as a student and met his future wife, writing and producing partner Carla Cipriani whose family ran a hotel where he roomed. Temporally, the film is set in a sort of pastoral ideal of the post-WWII pre-industrialized Italian countryside of lusty locals where moral hypocrisy is just background static. Lola is a bit of a change in Brass' oeuvre as a teenager discovering sexuality rather than a repressed or bored but voluptuously-built housewife. The Italian title is a Brass-ian play on words with "mona" being vulgar Venetian slang for female genetalia and -ella being diminutive – a point emphasized by the English subtitle translation of the film's theme song penned by composer Pino Donaggio and sung by Ammirati herself – and Ammirati comes across as cheeky and sassy even when saddled with a whiny voice on the English dub. Unlike All Ladies Do It's scrupulously (almost oppressively) faithful husband, Tomasso is depicted as hypocritical in regularly visiting prostitute Wilma (Francesca Nunzi) – an insert figure espousing the glory pre-war days of the brothels – while believing Lola's per-marital "virginity is an insurance policy" against him getting cuckolded (a notion Brass has espoused as defunct in the age of contraception along with age-old alternative of anal intercourse), suggesting that Brass was not simply reworking ideas from earlier works but attempting to better refine and express them as a philosophy. Despite a few "gynecological" close-ups and a sex scene between Parodi and Nunzi more fleshy and enthusiastic than the climactic consummation, the film feels less explicit than All Ladies Do It possibly due to the even lighter tone.

After the setup, the film becomes rather episodic as Lola peeks in on the sexual peccadilloes of the older characters including a fantasy involving her mother aboard ship – after overhearing part of a bawdy recollection by André that she does not realize is about a different woman – what her father and his friend get up to in back room of bisexual wedding dress maker Michelle (The House of Witchcraft's Susanna Martinková) with amateur models ("What we want from her is far less than she's willing to give," cracks André) in which Brass exercises his editing flourishes to the overtly voyeuristic photography of Massimo Di Venanzo who replaced Brass' late former cinematographer Silvano Ippoliti. After a dance sequence in which Lola flirts with three American GIs – reprising Carla Boni's recording of "Mambo Italiano" from Miranda – the film's vignettes then shift towards Lola's own experiences fighting off a motorist who tries to rape her, urinating in the rain, a dark night of the soul confrontation with André (looking at her through the barrel of a hunting rifle as she had earlier spied on him through a keyhole), and a morning after nude swim in which she hallucinates Tomasso wearing her wedding dress and takes assertive action. While this structure works due to Brass' editing and the copious nudity, the film does suffer from too little Mower – who is far from embarrassed and actually seems as inspired a casting choice of a Brass insert hedonist as Frank Finlay in The Key – and even less of Grandi who are afforded only slightly more screen time as counterpoint to the young couple than Tomasso's bickering parents. Nunzi would have a larger role in Brass' follow-up Cheeky which would also feature Parodi in a supporting role – indeed, soccer player-turned-actor Parodi would appear in most of Brass' later films including Private, Black Angel and Monamour – while Vittorio Attene plays a variation on his horndog sidekick character here with that film's beleaguered boyfriend character.


Unreleased in the United States, Paprika first turned up in English-friendly form in the United Kingdom on DVD via Arrow Films. Although the BBFC mandated 1:56 of cuts to the film, the non-anamorphic letterboxed, English-subtitled DVD turned out to be uncut. Cult Epic's 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 widescreen Blu-ray – previously issued separately – sports virtually identical framing to the DVD but richer colors; however, this is the least pleasing transfer in the set (not surprising given that this disc was authored back in 2009 even though it was not released until 2016). The deliberately soft image is clean and free of damage but has been digitally filtered, making the image watchable the camera is still but a bit hard on the eyes during moments of rapid movement from the camera or the performers (which is frequent).

Unreleased theatrically or on home video in the United States upon release, All Ladies Do It first appeared on DVD through Cult Epics around 2001 in a non-anamorphic transfer of the English export version and was subsequently upgraded in 2004 with an anamorphic DVD of the more explicit Italian version. The Blu-ray upgrade actually came from Arrow Video – who had also put out the export version on DVD during their Arrow Films days – but it was one of the less satisfactory remasters from the title's rights holder Filmexport, looking so much paler than the DVD transfers to suggest that it had not been graded properly (including some scenes with a blue cast to the whites and highlights). We have not seen the recent German Blu-ray but Cult Epic's 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 widescreen Blu-ray – also available separately and as a 4K UltraHD/Blu-ray combo – comes from a new 4K restoration of the original camera negatives and is the best the film has looked on digital formats (and likely non-digital if the master used for the original 4:3 DVDs was anything to go by). Unlike the Arrow Blu-ray, colors pop and blacks are deep while highlights are kept under control despite the lighting style. Besides various methods of diffusion including smoke and filters, Ippoliti's coverage style consists of lighting the location and then "probing" it with the camera, so there are plenty of lens flares throughout the zooms and pans that also spill into the edges of the frame during some close-ups. Rather than the glamour treatment, Ippoliti also favors high contrast lighting and a degree of either diluted or crushed blacks on either end of the spectrum is organic to the visual rather than an issue with the grading, and the other Brass/Ippoliti films support that (in contrast to the sharper, cleaner look of Brass' subsequent films after Ippoliti's death).

While The Key and a number of subsequent Brass films were intended to be framed at 1.66:1 – with a handful of the later titles during the digital and HDTV era explicitly stating a ratio of "1:1.66" in the closing credits – All Ladies Do It has been framed here at 1.85:1. While 1.66:1 seems like it would have been the more appropriate choice since Brass and Ippoliti utilize the height of the image with both wide shots and close-ups clipping hairlines, Ippoliti pans and zooms so much throughout scenes that symmetrical compositions are often just the starting point (as if Ippolit and Brass were still shooting multi-cam as they had during Brass' arthouse/mainstream heyday).

Unreleased stateside on home video, P.O. Box Tinto Brass was easiest to see in English in fullscreen Dutch or British DVD imports; however, these English versions were in keeping with the practice of Brass from the eighties onwards in that the export version ran shorter than the Italian original, censoring frontal male and female nudity as well as rubber phalluses used in place of erections, with the export version running roughly three minutes shorter than the Italian version which was available uncut in Italian on DVD without English audio or subtitles. The film made its uncut HD debut in Germany as a mediabook but with only German and Italian lossy Dolby Digital audio options. Cult Epics' 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 widescreen Blu-ray – previously released in a 2-disc limited edition with the documentary Istintobrass – comes from a new 4K restoration. Designed with home video in mind, the 1.85:1 framing seems a little tight, but unlike later Brass films we have no confirmation about the aspect ratio despite 1.66:1 seeming like the roomier option. Colors are boldly saturated and body hair defined, revealing some vibrancy out of a film that looked bland in earlier versions.

Unreleased in the United States on video, Frivolous Lola was another Cult Epics' DVD debut which featured a non-anamorphic letterboxed transfer of the uncensored Italian version in both English and Italian when the only other alternative was Arrow Films' U.K. DVD of the English export version which ran four minutes shorter. Cult Epics subsequently upgraded the film to 16:9 in separate unrated, uncensored Italian version and unrated English version (actually the export version) while Arrow Video in the U.K. upgraded the uncensored version of the film to Blu-ray.

Cult Epics' 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 widescreen Blu-ray – also available separately and in a 4K UltraHD/Blu-ray combo - comes from a brand new 4K restoration of the uncensored original 35mm camera negative which runs four minutes longer than the export version. The first Cult Epics DVD was framed at 1.66:1 while the anamorphic versions and the Arrow Blu-ray were framed at 1.78:1. While Brass' subsequent films – with the exception of the HD-lensed Monamour – are explicitly labeled as intended to be framed at 1.66:1 in the end credits, Frivolous Lola's wider transfer actually reveals the older 1.66:1 master to be peripherally cropped rather than opening up the top and bottom. While hairlines do occasionally skirt the top matte, the compositions remain symmetrical. Plenty of backlighting and diffusing techniques are utilized throughout the film giving it a soft look even in close-ups, and there are a couple scenes in which the filtering is practical like Lola's wedding veil in front of a still camera lens or the fight scene between Tomasso and Gianetto in which they hurl handfuls of flour into the air in front of sunlit windows. The image can be sharp when Brass wants it as whenever he gets intimately up close to various female orifices above and below. The grading is a bit uneven, not looking as overly bright as the earlier masters but a bit flatter in the darker – looking ever so slightly more defined in 4K compared to the Blu-ray – blue-lit sequences which look a bit more aquamarine than nocturnal but we have had it confirmed from Cult Epics that the cinematographer supervised the grading of this master.


Paprika's audio options include English and Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 stereo and mono options – the mono tracks having appeared on various VHS and DVD editions – with the stereo tracks giving spread to Donaggio's score more so than effects or atmosphere. After having watched the film in English and Italian as PAL conversions, the pitch of the tracks is lower but this is presumably correct – whether Koll dubbed herself on the Italian track or not, her voice was always deeper and huskier than the one chosen for the English dub – and the optional English subtitles are free of any obvious errors.

All Ladies Do It's audio options include English and Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 stereo and mono options – the mono tracks having appeared on various VHS and DVD editions – with the stereo tracks giving spread to Donaggio's score more so than effects or atmosphere. After having watched the film in English and Italian as PAL conversions, the pitch of the tracks is lower but this is presumably correct – whether Koll dubbed herself on the Italian track or not, her voice was always deeper and huskier than the one chosen for the English dub – and the optional English subtitles are free of any obvious errors.

P.O. Box Tinto Brass's Italian track is in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono but the English dub and a secondary Italian track are lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 mono. The Italian track is the way to go since it is complete, cleaner, and crisper. English subtitles are forced on both Italian tracks. The English track, on the other hand, is sourced from a DVD with the Italian track inserted during undubbed passages –mainly those where dialogue overlaps with explicit shots of genitalia, dildos, or urination – and the track is inferior in quality with some muddy passages of dialogue and some sibilance issues that are distracting. English subtitles are also forced during the portions where the English track reverts to Italian.

Frivolous Lola's audio options include English and Italian audio tracks in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0 stereo. The film was mixed in Dolby Stereo and the 5.1 tracks are not so much remixes as rechannelings of the four channel stems within a discrete soundfield so music and atmospheric effects get a bit more depth while directional activity is largely confined to the front channels. All of the tracks sound relatively clean, with the Italian mix perhaps just sounding better because of the superior voice casting of the leads (even though the English track features Mower's voice and some performers familiar from English dubbing of Italian exploitation films). In order to synchronize the export version's English track to the longer version, it is a composite that occasionally reverts to Italian with English subtitles for a line or part of a line. Presumably because it features music, Cult Epics elected to leave Lola's bicycle ride sequence to her theme song fully in Italian without her English-language retort to a fellow cyclist who slaps her exposed rear as well as her "Make way!" as she rides between two priests while doing the splits. Optional English subtitles are available for the English track – which includes translations of the theme song lyrics – along with subtitles for the spots where the English track reverts to Italian.


Paprika's extras start with "Welcome to the Whorehouse" (19:41), an interview with Brass who recalls the volatile reception of the film by a feminist group while defending himself as he explains the film's autobiographical aspects as well as his research. He also discusses working with Caprioglio who, like some of his other stars, were determined to do more serious projects after working with him.

Also included are the film's theatrical trailer (1:11), a lobby card image gallery (2:16) and bonus trailers.

All Ladies Do It is accompanied by an audio commentary by critics Eugenio Ercolani and Troy Howarth in which Ercolani describes how like Fellini, Hitchcock, and Argento, Brass is one of those filmmakers who has transcended his films to become a cultural figure as a "master of scandal" and had been able to adapt to every shift in Italian cinema from the sixties onwards, and that the theatrical release of works like All Ladies Do It were considered "events" while Howarth discusses the much later "discovery" of Brass' erotic works – along with his pre-Salon Kitty/Caligula films – in the United States on DVD and ponders whether this can be considered a feminist film, as well as whether Brass had the male actors brandish rubber phalluses as a means of avoiding censorship and protecting their modesty or to reduce the male characters to "human dildos." They both discuss the collaboration with Zapponi and other ways in which Brass parallels Fellini including his ability as a "star finder" and his films in relation to other Italian erotica of the period like the works of Joe D'Amato who was making both softcore films for cable and video and hardcore films for video at the time.

There is also an interview with director Tinto Brass (15:19) which had been featured on the Cult Epics DVD editions in which Brass relates his belief that virginity, chastity, and fidelity are culturally-imposed values from a time before contraception for the purposes of inheritance. He discusses his casting including regular Branciaroli and Koll, as well as anecdotes about how he discovered and auditioned some of his other co-stars (he would never ask The Key' Stefania Sandrelli to bend over and pick up a coin for him). He also reveals that the apartment of the poet decorated with paintings and sculptures of women's "expressive" rear ends was that of a real antique dealer who he nicknamed "Alphone Donatien" after Sade.

The disc also includes the outtakes (9:57) from the DVD, here with a disclaimer that some of that footage is part of the feature presentation on new release, a still gallery (2:05), the film's English export trailer (3:21) – featuring both Brass and Koll speaking English to the camera – trailers for Frivolous Lola (2:17), Paprika (1:11), P.O. Box Tinto Brass (1:05), and the documentary IsTintoBrass (4:13).

P.O. Box Tinto Brass's extras are rather sparse, porting over a 2003 interview with director Tinto Brass (16:01) from the Italian DVD edition. The subjects covered are more general with little reference to the film, starting with his childhood in Venice where the cinema was as important as the brothels to daily life, and his twin discoveries as a teenager that film and sex were things that could be done rather than just watched, networking at the Venice Film Festival where he met Lotte Eisner – author of the German expressionist film tome "The Haunted Screen" – and traveling to Paris and the Cinémathèque Française where he took dictation from programmer Henri Langlois and was exposed to a variety of film (including banned and censored content). He also discusses his philosophy of the erotic versus the pornographic, and his beliefs about why critics turn their noses down at his films.

The disc also includes the film's theatrical trailer (1:06) and a still gallery (1:25).

Frivolous Lola's extras start off with an audio commentary by film historians Eugenio Ercolani and Nathaniel Thompson in which they debate whether the film is the last of Brass' "golden age" titles or just the last of the nineties ones with which he cemented his brand. Ercolani discusses the importance of the fifties setting to Brass and his wife, as well as the links to Miranda, as well as how atypical Ammirati was of Brass' female leads and the state of sex symbol Grandi's career at this time. Thompson describes Lola as a sort of Bugs Bunny-like "agent of chaos" combined with Lolita while also characterizing the film as more innocent. Thompson also notes that of the three films Donaggio scored for Brass, this is the least "score forward" with an emphasis on fifties pop music (while also noting Donaggio's origins as an Italian pop singer). Ercolani notes that the film was successful but that popular interest in Brass had started to wane at this point after some attempts to get away from the formula as well as the flop of P.O. Box Tinto Brass. He also discusses Ammirati, noting that unlike some Brass actresses, she has continued working as an actress and had done nudity but did not capitalize on her sex symbol image.

Also included is an interview with director Tinto Brass (25:51) recorded in 2004 in which he notes the atypical nature of the film's protagonist, taking inspiration from the conversations with his niece Lulu, and initially meeting Ammirati when his wife nearly knocked her over with their car and recollecting her when he needed an actress who could ride a bicycle.

The disc also includes a photo gallery (1:40), the film's Italian theatrical trailer (2:17) in along with the English trailer for All Ladies Do It (3:21) and trailers for Paprika (1:11) – actually a teaser consisting solely of music and a montage of still images – P.O. Box Tinto Brass (1:05), and the documentary Istintobrass? (4:13).

Exclusive to this set is a bonus DVD featuring trailers and rare clips from all of Brass' films in varying levels of quality, mostly in Italian and rarely subtitled – one can only hope we will see HD masters of Brass' spaghetti western Yankee and his Vanessa Redgrave/Franco Nero collaboration Vacation that look as good as the trailers here.

The disc also includes outtakes from Paprika (25:01) – including an entire deleted scene involving a painter client (Mary's Luca Lionello) and production audio (the final mix is post-dubbed) – P.O. Box Tinto Brass (26:54) which are less interesting including multiple takes of actresses crossing and uncrossing their legs (with no underwear), and the outtakes (9:20) also featured on the All Ladies Do It disc.


The five discs are housed in a keep case with four poster postcards and a slipcover.


The recent 4K UltraHD/Blu-ray combos of All Ladies Do It and Frivolous Lola might make Tinto Brass: Maestro of Erotica 2 a less-attractive purchase; however, it is an economic way for Brass fans who have not upgraded to 4K or are fine with Blu-ray to grab the less-than-ideal edition of Paprika along with P.O. Box Tinto Brass an exclusive bonus DVD for an attractive price.


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