Boccaccio 70 (1962)

2.0 out of 5

Just as the 2002 portmanteau Three Extremes dissipated the talents of Takashi Miike, Fruit Chan and Park Chan-wook, this earlier collection had a similar effect on three directors of perhaps higher critical acclaim. The collective cinematic accomplishments of Federico Fellini, Vittorio De Sica and Luchino Visconti rank as high as any other, but here all inspiration seems lacking.

The three short films, which include such leading lights as Sophia Loren, Anita Ekberg and Romy Schneider address important issues such as censorship, sexuality and moral conduct are pleasant enough, but given the talents involved, come across as film-making by numbers. De Sica has fun running his camera over Loren's frame, but any erotic charge is lacking. Even an Attack of the 50 Foot Woman pastiche can only raise the interest level a little.

The Italian version contained an extra short, filmed by Mario Monicelli, but even if this was of La Dolce Vita-like quality, the collection could not truthfully be recommended to all but the most serious fans of the directors involved.

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