The Film (2/5)
Attraction(Nerosubianco) much like his prior film The Howl(L'Urlo) feels like it is channeling the free spirit of the 1960's on film. Also, like The Howl the narrative in Attraction seems to take a backseat to the visuals and moods that director Tinto Brass is attempting to create. When I watched the Howl it felt as if it were a William S. Burrough's novel adapted to the screen. Not so much for the content, but by the way the narrative was presented sort of like Burrough's early work with his Nova Tetralogy, which utilized a style he came to define as cut-up. Simply put Attraction feels like Fassbinder's Ali: Fear Eats the Soul directed by William S. Burroughs.
The film concerns itself with a housewife named Barbara(Anita Sanders) who is left by her husband at a park. She finds herself stalked by an anonymous black man(Terry Carter) who she finds herself sexually attracted to. The film deals with that attraction, and the fears and desires it brings. However, in the hands of Brass it is not quite that simple. Attraction as a film felt more like a highly stylized sexual dream then an actual movie.
I had gone into this film having liked the Howl, and was excited to continue my exploration to Brass' Oeuvre(at that point I had only seen Caligula). When I got this film from Cult Epics it came pretty high on my watch pile. When I did watch it felt simply like more of the same. It was like he had applied the non-narrative of the Howl to a relationship drama.
Unfortunately, this didn't work for me, I think what I liked about the Howl and films of it's ilk is that they are purely visual, and the atmosphere those visuals create. Attraction feels like The Howl if it were solely concerned with a very artful, yet juvenile understanding of human sexuality.
Cult Epics has presented Attraction(Nerosubianco) in a 1:77:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer derived from a 16mm print source. This print is supplied by Radley Metzger, and is part of Cult Epics Radley Metzger collection. The print is full of scratches, grain, and print damage, however, this does not take away from the film, and actually helps supply a bit of the atmosphere the film relies so heavily on.
The DVD also includes an English mono soundtrack which is similarly full of grain, hissing, and various background noise. Also, the dialogue is quite low in the mix, while the music (supplied by the band Freedom) is quite loud. Normally, this would distract from the film, however, the narrative is not driven by dialogue, and therefore not much is lost in the mix.
Cult Epics DVD of Attraction is fairly slim on the extras side. It features trailers for Attraction and Brass's giallo Deadly Sweet. It also includes a lobby card gallery that advertises the Columbia Pictures release of the film. There is also a song (instead of scene) selection option which allows you to go to a part of the film by selecting the song you wish to hear.
This film is not quite my cup of tea. I enjoyed his prior film the Howl quite a bit, however, this one was a bit lacking. I would, however, recommend it to fans of Brass, and film fans that enjoy films that rely more on visuals than narrative like Herzog's Fata Morgana/Lessons of Darkness/Wild Blue Yonder or Godfrey Reggio's Qatsi trilogy.