lørdag 15. november 2008

Lost film #3: Tempo d'immagini

Italy, 1970

Director: Adimaro Sala

Umberto Di Grazia, Maria Pia Giancaro, Dino Mele

Here's another completely obscure Italian film that appears to have disappeared almost entirely: an erotic melodrama called Tempo d'immagini, which was directed by a little-known filmmaker by the name of Adimaro Sala. A pretty low-budget film with only three actors, the film was registered with a visa number (which are issued to all Italian films) in October 1970 but for whatever reason the film was shelved for a great number of years - not given a theatrical release until in 1988!!!

Whatever happened to the film after that is anyone's guess. It doesn't appear to have been released on VHS and it's not even listed in the IMDb or any other notable movie databases.

However, a photo novel version (a so-called cineromanzo) of the film was published in the Italian cineromanzo magazine Topfilm in June 1971. Topfilm also had a French sister-magazine called Playfilm, which was identical in content; the only exception being that Playfilm was in French text instead of Italian. The photo novel version of Tempo d'immagini was published in Playfilm in October 1971 under the French title Temps d'images, and I have been fortunate enough to get my hands on this magazine.

The cover of the Playfilm magazine. The image is not from Tempo d'immagini, however. Instead it shows the stunning French actress Veronique Vendell in a shot from the German sex comedy Virgin on the Verge (1970)

Thanks to this photo novel it is possible to form somewhat of an impression as to what kind of film this is. The story is actually very simple. It deals with two young lovers named Joe and Jannette.

Jannette is played by the gorgeous Maria Pia Giancaro, a notable genre actress in Italian films in the 1970s, who played memorable roles in stuff like Emilio Miraglia's giallo The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (1972) and Mario Siciliano's occult thriller Evil Eye (1974).

Maria Pia Giancaro

Jannette's lover, Joe, is played by Umberto Di Grazia, who was one of the many C.S.C. actors (like Carla Mancini, Luigi Antonio Guerra, Lorenzo Piani etc) that were credited for tax reasons and often didn't actually appear in the films they were credited in. When C.S.C. actors actually did appear, they usually played rather insubstantial roles. Thus, it is quite a surprise to see Di Grazia playing the leading role here. I'm assuming that director Adimaro Sala liked him a lot because he had previously used Di Grazia in a leading role in his La pelle a scacchi (1969), another obscure film with only a handful of actors.

Umberto Di Grazia

Anyway, it seems that Joe and Jannette like to drink whisky and fool around while wearing strange white robes and big fur hats.

Joe and Jannette have fun with whisky and fur hats

There's also a fair bit of sex going on but judging by the way it's shot, it looks as if the sex scenes are a tad on the "artsy" side.

Artsy sex and nudity aplenty

Everything is all nice and jolly until Jannette starts to get involved with another man (Dino Mele). Eventually, Joe finds out about this and it leads to violence...

Jannette and the other man

The inevitable eruption of violence

Obviously, it's difficult to properly judge and appreciate the mood and atmosphere of the film when one only has the photo novel to go by but at least it gives us an idea of what the film would be like. The story is simple and the film obviously cost next to nothing but it looks interesting enought for me to want to check it out. Maria Pia Giancaro certainly looks very lovely here. Hopefully, Tempo d'immagini isn't completely lost and can be rescued from obscurity.

The cast:

Umberto Di Grazia as Joe

Maria Pia Giancaro as Jannette

Dino Mele as The other man

4 kommentarer:

Stephen Grimes sa...

Just came across this interesting article whilst trying to find a bit more info on director Sala,recently got copies of LA PELLE A SCACCHI and LA VIOLENZA E L'AMORE-LA MITA but still no luck with LA NOTTE DELL' ULTIMO GIORNO which is supposed to be very good but ultra rare.

Johan Melle sa...

Thanks, Stephen. This also reminds me that I need to find the time to start updating this neglected blog again. As for Sala, I haven't actually seen *any* of his films myself. His films sound relatively interesting - particularly LA NOTTE DELL' ULTIMO GIORNO, which has Erna Schurer in it - but they're certainly not easily available. As a filmmaker I reckon Sala is even more obscure than Alberto Cavallone.

jhalal drut sa...

good magazine indeed! I got one or two of these.

Johan Melle sa...

Absolutely! I love these all those similar types of magazines (Cinesex, Cinestop etc) but for whatever reason they seemed to disappear around the mid 1970s...