The iconic mask of female suspicion depicted above comes from an excellent piece of Italian cinematography, Il Volponei. The woman, a well meaning, fundamentally honest but utterly naive mayor is being propositioned. She's being propositioned by a rich man's valet. She's being propositioned to fuck the rich man. Yes, that's her "I'm about to be whored out by my husband" face. She's Italian, what do you want.
The idea is that some guy is acting the dying old man, for the benefit of a bunch of degenerates who vie for inclusion in his will. And vie they do, to comedic if unflattering extremes. Just how far would one go ? It'd be immoral not to sleep with the old man, says the valet. Think of all the good things a good young girl such as Francesca might accomplish with all that dough. Think of the highly moral, selfless act of comforting the dying. With your cunt. (Hey, I happen to agree, it is a nice thing to do if one's benevolently inclined).
The film squeezes all the mileage that could be extracted out of the dying old man premise, with baroque insistence and roccoco complexity. Certainly not a bad way to pass the time, doubly so should one fall a little on the misanthropic side of the misanthropy - idiocy scale.———
- 1988, by Maurizio Ponzi, with Enrico Montesano, Paolo Villaggio, with a script closely enough following Ben Johnson's play. [↩]