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Nerosubianco (1969) - Tinto Brass

Nerosubianco (1969) - Tinto Brass

Soundtrack LP cover of Nerosubianco (1969) - Tinto Brass
image sourced here.

The soundtrack to the cult 1968 avant-garde movie from Tinto Brass. Freedom was formed in the late summer of 1967 by two ex-Procol Harum members, Ray Royer and Bobby Harrison. Before Freedom had even had time to prove their worth by composing a single measure of music, Brass commissioned them to write fourteen songs for Nerosubianco. According to enthusiasts of psychedelic rock, these are the only songs by Freedom that were any good and they are now considered among the cream of the crop of the genre. A minor classic of late-sixties psychedelia. --http://www.moviegrooves.com/shop/nerosubianco.htm [Apr 2005]

Still from Nerosubianco (1969) - Tinto Brass
image sourced here.

This is where the creators of MTV got all their ideas. But nothing I’ve ever seen on MTV comes close to the mastery of this original from the late 1960s.

After Heart in His Mouth, producer Dino De Laurentiis offered Brass a chance to make a smaller and even more daring film. Brass chose to update a script he had written in early 1964 immediately after completing Chi lavora č perduto. He had apparently become enamored of the avant-garde filmmakers and decided to one-up them all. He again hired his friend, cartoonist Guido Crepax, to draw the storyboards and to create graphics. Shooting began in October 1967 and the result, NEROSUBIANCO, which premičred at the Cannes festival in May 1968, was a carefully wrought and meticulously structured orgy of free-association. To help explain what is or isn’t going on, disembodied voices occasionally break through saying, in both Italian and English, “Qualcosa come un sogno” - “Something like a dream.” A song goes further: “Didn’t you know that your misty eyes haven’t seen? They’ve been telling lies in dreams.” Anticipating Brass’s later works, the visuals, and even more so the voice-overs, are bluntly sexual-more blunt than even we today are accustomed to experiencing. --http://www.geocities.com/busterktn/tinto4.html [Apr 2005]

...Author of such works as Ca Ira, L’Urlo, Drop Out and La Vacanza, Tinto Brass—second only to Carmelo Bene in eccentricity of style—here employs a non-narrative cut-up technique involving all manner of editing devices, freeze-frames and negative effects, in a film shot on location in London by an obviously resourceful cameraman. One suspects that it must have been pretty incoherent in its original form, but as presented here with extensive cuts, it is an incomprehensible shambles, neither sexy enough for the exploitation market nor fashionable enough for art houses.... John Gillett via Monthly Film Bulletin, November 1973, p 230:

A fellow in Sweden then sent me a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of a severely censored Italian broadcast of NEROSUBIANCO, and I was mesmerized. Predictably, I watched it about twice a day every day for the next week. In spite of its slight narrative and its few long takes, and despite its use of less than 25 cameras per take, it’s the closest thing I have ever seen to the movie I had wanted to make: scrambled, rapid-fire, free-association imagery and editing, often coming close to mimicking the human thought process. I re-read the reviews, and I wanted to find the critics who wrote them so that I could throttle them. How could they not recognize that this was perhaps the most revolutionary movie of all time? And perhaps the most exciting? Regardless of poor promotion and bad reviews, how did this movie fail to find an audience? Why didn’t the counterculture embrace it as their cinematic banner? Various scholars cite the works of Kenneth Anger, Bruce Conner, and other experimental filmmakers as the direct ancestors of MTV. No no no no no! They write such things only because they have never seen NEROSUBIANCO, which was the true grandparent of the phenomenon. The film’s production manager, artist-poet-photographer-filmmaker-videomaker Nick Saxton, went on to pioneer the music-video phenomenon. I have not seen his works, but I would be genuinely surprised if they bear much resemblance to the pitiful garbage that MTV and other such stations have been insulting us with for two decades now. --http://www.geocities.com/busterktn/tinto8f.html [Jul 2004]

see also: Nick Saxton's imdb profile here.

see also: Nerosubianco's imdb profile here.

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