Sunday, January 08, 2006

Decadence


There's a fragrance of the XIXth century decadent literature floating in the atmosphere of
ll tuo vizio e una stanza chiusa e solo io ne ho la chiave (Your vice is a locked room and only I have the key, 1972 - Sergio Martino/Ernesto Gastaldi).

First this title, outrageously long, twisted and complex, which was actually taken from a dialogue between Rassimov & Fenech in Martino's first Giallo: The strange vice of Mrs. Wardh. A reflections of the twisted mind games at work in the film.

Then, the figure of the decadent writer, uninspired and bitter, who despises the others as well as himself, living in the memory of the past, in adoration with the incestuous souvenir of his mother - who from the start is described both as a Lady and a whore -, driving a somptuous 1930s black and deep blue BMW 327 and dedicated to making his wife miserable.

Also, the decaying manor, which precious furniture the writer is forced to sell as he's progressively running out of money, his mother's ancient dress secretly worn by a young black beauty tragically murdered a moment after, the masochistic wife whose life seems to be an endless tunnel of pain, and
the beautiful cousin Floriana whose bisexual tendencies serve her materialistic purposes.

Not to forget Bruno Nicolai's great score, chamber music with a typical 70s erotic flavour, which distills a distinguished yet sleazy feeling to it all.

The inner violence and ambiguity of the character's relationships, and the colours, the style, the costumes, the sounds it's wrapped in make the atmosphere of this huis-clos completely suffocating.
Like a world about to collapse.


Despite being underrated, "Your vice is a locked room and only I have the key" is an original take on Giallo by Sergio Martino & Ernesto Gastaldi. Find it here.
And for the soundtrack, it's there.

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