Saturday, September 22, 2012

60'S FOCUS : LO STATO D'ASSEDIO - STATE OF SIEGE ... 1969

CINEGAI
Presents
 
LO STATO D'ASSEDIO

Starring
JOAN COLLINS as Roberta
MATHIEU CARRIERE as Lorenzo
FAITH DOMERGUE as Anita
ANTONIO CENTA as Console
FRANK WOLFF as Vallauri
MASSIMO SERATO as Crusich

           Cinematography - Mario Carbone  Edited by Romeo Ciatti  Music by Robby Poitevin 
                     Screenplay by Gianfranco Galligarich  Produced by Felice Testa Gay
                                                      Directed by Romano Scavolini

Hard time fall on a wealthy shipbuilding family as the recession hits and labour unrest escalates. When Lorenzo returns home from college, he forms an unhealthy interest in his mother, while resenting his father and seducing an older family friend, Roberta! After he is rejected by the student protest movement, he is seduced by a gay man, Crusich. On the picket line at the shipbuilding docks, one of the workers in despair commits suicide by diving into an empty holding tank! As the strike continues, the family break under the strain and their wealth is diminished. A family in turmoil..Caught up in a State of Siege!

AKA :  " BESIEGED (USA) ... STATE OF SIEGE ( EUROPE) .. L'AMORE BREVE (EUROPE)

    (c)  1969   CINEGAI      82 MINS   COLOUR ....

This art house style film was shot on location in Trieste and in Gorizia in a house where Ernest Hemingway wrote "A Farewell To Arms" and it was directed by Romano Scavolini, a dedicated communist! Scavolini despised Hollywood films and ordered his cast to remain straight faced on camera, with no smiling! Ironically today he is only remembered for his 1980 gory slasher, the notorious "Nightmare". This once banned shocker bears all the trademarks of Hollywood schlock, albeit on a low budget, although to be fair there is definately no laughs in this contoversial film.
Joan had to do her first nude scene in this film and it did not help that they had to do it in artic conditions! She had to do the scene with a much younger actor Mathieu Carriere. To get them through it they were given a bottle of brandy by the director to somehow warm them both up! But all it did was make them drunk and unable to shoot the scene. There was nothing sexy about it as Joan had to put on layers of tights, socks and leg warmers. She also decided to put camera tape on her chest to try and protect her modesty! This was fine until it was time to take it off and the tape had stuck to her like glue, needless to say she was sore for days after! The film also starred fifties star Faith Domergue, who incidentally was employed as an interpreter on Joan's earlier film "Decameron Nights", this was her first Italian film. Faith recalled a few years ago..
" The film had a very interesting script, where I play a Trieste socialite, a beautiful and desirable woman of good family. Joan Collins plays my best friend and Mathieu Carriere plays my son, who is eighteen and in love with his mother! The director was communist and the film was built around the social collapse of Trieste. It was shot in half Italian and half English. Joan and I had some semi-nude scenes in the film and we both agonised over how we were going to shoot them! I thought Joan was sensational in the film and I had some scenes with her and she helped me a great deal, a very generous person and much more experienced. In one scene with Joan, I am speaking to her about the affair my son is having with someone, not knowing it's Joan's character, Roberta. Both of us are dressed beautifully, while I show Joan around my mansion. Being a shallow woman and proud of my wealth, I had to show my jealousy of my son's affair, was difficult for me to convey. But Joan was wonderful in helping me creat that!"
The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival, but it was not a commercial success. It is seldom seen anywhere but it was at one time available on Video in Canada under the "L'amore Breve", in Italian language only..Hopefully it will turn up at some stage on DVD.. Watch this space!

(c)  2010 ...   Mark McMorrow..

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