Paprika (1991)

A young eighteen year old girl becomes Paprika, a prostitute, in order to raise money for her boyfriend. Paprika, played by the beautiful Deborah Caprioglio is the creation of the auteur of sexy Mr Tinto Brass who delights in displaying his lead in various states of undress and from all angles.

Unlike the surreal Belle de Jour this film does not deal with foibles of the bored but, despite the fact that Paprika clearly learns to enjoy her work, it is a largely economic calculation. Paprika is in this for the money.

Being a Tinto Brass movie it is pretty sexy and incredibly well shot but the lighthearted and frivolous aspects of the film do not mean that the oldest profession is romanticised without criticism as issues such as pregnancy, abortion, violence by pimps and the occasional john and venereal diseases are all explored. The sex is treated matter of factly, as to be expected, though at it's heart this postwar brothel flick is a fluffy and light cinematic soufflé.

In his final feature film British actor John Steiner, more commonly a typecast villain, is completely barmy as an off his head cocaine snorting aristocrat and there is the briefest of blink and you will miss it appearences by Eugénie de Sade star Paul Muller.


Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics