Luna / La luna (1979)

4.0 out of 5

As a fine, artistic, work of cinema, Bernardo Bertolucci's Luna is certainly a work worthy of the time of exploitation film fans. It features, after all, a fantastic mainstream supporting role for Eurocrime favourite Tomas Milian. Though, while this work from the director of The Last Emperor may be a little outside of the comfort zone of genre film fans it does feature a child heroin addiction and mom-on-teenage-son incest theme for all those sick puppies out there. It also features Veronica "Martha" Lazar out of The Beyond, the prolific Franco Citti and Fred Gwynne from The Munsters. However, real stars of the film are the American mother and son pairing portrayed by Jill Clayburgh and Matthew Barry who are top notch as the dysfunctional family.

For culture-vultures the score features opera performed by Maria Callas and Plácido Domingo. Mere mortals who are not into that sort of thing may prefer the brief Bee Gees interlude of a disco dancing homage to Saturday Night Fever. That's, after all, in there too.

Despite the themes of the Sins Within the Family variety this cannot be lumped in with the likes of Blue Jeans or Lover Boy any more than Devil in the Flesh can be placed within the sexploitation milieu. It's too good for that. Too stylish, too clever and far too polished.

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