Riso Amaroi is, other than a pun (riso can be laughter or rice in Italian, see how clever, ha-ha ce-am mai ris) pretty fucking retarded in the direct. The overt structure's one of those two couples things, but vehehehery contrivedly composed. There's the Stakhanovist "good guy", a retiring sergeant who Mary Sues so hardcore he leaves marks on the props, opposite an incomprehensible "bad guy" of the pantsuit tradition. Opposite them, there's two women : a budget Dietrich, about as unconvincing as Velveeta, and a full blast Mangano, ex child-prostituteii, engine revving to red. The former's a "reformed" bad girl therefore now absolutely good ; the latter's in touch with her feminity therefore no good, therefore the good guy gets stuck on her (but then thinks better of it) while she submits to the bad guy even though the good girl still loves him except then she changes her mind and...
The value, such as it is, of this post-war famine-era production is circumstantial and coincidental. For one thing, the shocking chanting for the pregnant woman on delivery's doorstep, whereby she's sung as a male hero would be (if he were dying)... I mean here, listen to this :
Francesca: Bisogna fare qualche cosa. Portiamola fino all'argine! La in fondo. Avverti l'altre squadre! Canta!
La Gabriella ci manda a dire... che l'e tutta insanguina'.
Noi la sendiamoiii come in un letto, la sopra al greto di sabanzan'iv.
La Gabriella, la disperata, un mal d'amore lui l'a lascia'v
Noi la [???] dolorvi
Sangue d'amore e di dolore [???]
It's truly something the fuck elsevii -- under the unyielding, endlessly relentless rain, barefoot in the mud, hidden beneath those makeshift hoods / disused sacks, the female worms reconstitute the original swamp. They don't exactly become one, they don't exactly become nothing, they just pullulate atrociously, vaguely aggregating into something perhaps like an abstract ant queen, I suppose, one of those monstrous absurdities with the modified abdomen, capable of laying thousands of eggs at a time. I can scarcely recall to memory any length of film coming even remotely close in terms of female dehumanization. There's even the three parces there, fucking with a long thread!
But leaving all that aside, for we neither hate nor fear womenviii, the "bad girl" uses for a shit test... you won't guess what! She, if turned on sufficiently, prods the would-be mating male with a switch ; if he takes it from her and whips her tits, she's enslavedix. If not, she's unreceptive. This'd be as close to BDSM as any film ever made ever came, and on top of it the thick tribadistic overtones of the whole production are almost endearing. Girls who love girls and only put out for the males that beat them properly, I mean what the fuck more could you ask for.
- 1949, by Giuseppe De Santis, with Silvana Mangano, Doris Dowling and Vittorio Gassman. [↩]
- You think you'll ever have good actresses in a world where no children are coerced into selling themselves for sexual usage ? Hahahah. Goof duckin' luck with that! How the fuck is it supposed to work, even ?! [↩]
- Yes, I'm aware there's nominally a "t" in there. If it doesn't get enunciated, what do you want me to do ? Care ? [↩]
- Da fuck is that, anyways ?!
Let it be said in passing that I've reviewed every available notation of what the fuck these women are yakking about, each and EVERY one. The Italians are apparently quite content with "MONDINE CANTANDO" as the most possible leyenda either needed or even possible here ; and this proves indelibly they're a sort of Argentines, a despicable inferior race of untermensch.
How, just the fuck HOW can anyone pretend to scholarship in Italian while this thus stands ?! [↩]
- The Gabrielle, the desperate, a malus of love he left her [with]. Both an evil and a suffering and a sickness and a misfortune and everything else. Malum in se. [↩]
- This verse is sung in chorus, poorly recorded in a recording poorly preserved, I have no fucking idea what the fuck they say ; nor does anyone else. Perhaps something to do with open arms and fresh water ? Maybe ?
Tell me more about women, and how they're people, why don't you.
I want to know what the fuck it is they said. [↩]
- I just wish I could offer complete writeout above instead of the fragmentarium actually available. [↩]
- This is, I am coming to suspect, the principal difference between the "progressive" and the conservative : one actually, organically fears what the other merely disdains. They're both revulsed by the female common denominator, yes ; but the pantuit must make "all girls" "something else", he can't just pick and choose humans among the herd. For him, the continued existence of even a single exemplar of the representative female yields unbearable nightmares of vomit and horror. An infantile worldview, basically. [↩]
- She hints amply, too -- her principal curiosity as to her love interest, and thus the one question she asks her rival, is whether he beat her! [↩]