When I was young and going through puberty, I used to love the foreign erotic films on cable television so much more than the overt and bland hardcore pornography of the US. The foreign films not only had stories and plotlines but they were just sexier. There was always more lingerie and the suggestion of sex was more powerful than just flat out coitus. Tinto Brass was always considered a well-respected European erotic filmmaker. Although he may be best known for his notorious work on “Caligula”, his films “Miranda” and “The Key” were considered erotic masterpieces. They took place during World War II and the women were empowered.
In 1992’s “Cos์ Fan Tutte” aka “All Ladies Do It”, the leading lady Diana Bruni (played by Claudia Koll) is in love with her husband Paolo (played by Paolo Lanza) but loves to have erotic encounters with other men. At the same time, she tells her husband about these encounters as if they were fantasies. Since he thinks they are just Diana’s imagination, he gets extremely excited. The theme of anal sex also plays an important role in the film. The entire film is a feast for the eyes with female and male nudity and wonderful shots of women in thigh high stockings, garter belts and other lingerie. While “Cos์ Fan Tutte” may not be as sexy or as stylish as other Tinto Brass movies, it still manages to be very sensuous and fun.
A majority of the movie is basically a flashback that takes place during the early 1990s. Diana sits at her desk and wishes for her husband to return. She writes a letter to an advice column in an Italian women’s magazine. The movie then goes back and tells her story. From a pretentious female poet to a seedy “pirate of love” who love women’s behinds, the characters are colorful to say the least.
The encounters get more and more intense and sexual as the film goes on. At first, it is just pinch and a kiss or a touch here and a touch there. Soon, it becomes full adultery. Alphonse, the pirate of love who loves female’s bottoms, (played by Franco Branciaroli) is disgustingly seedy but very educated at the same time.
Diana inherits an apartment in Venice and her time away from her husband is not only filled with Alphonse but her own cousin too! Diana discovers that her aunt (who left her the apartment) was just as sexual, if not more. Inspired by this, Diana set off on new adventures. Once Paolo finds out that these so-called fantasies are real, he leaves her. The sexual encounters reach their pinnacle when she goes to an outside rave, takes ecstasy and basically goes on a sexual rampage. The C&C; Music Factory song “Everybody Dance Now” is altered and a different, more sexual version, is used as the theme. By the end, she is strung out, drunk, sexed out, used, abused, and with her breasts exposed.
The dynamic of the marriage and the infidelity along with feminine liberation is extremely interesting. His wife’s so-called fantasies excite Paolo with other men but he cannot stand it when they are true. The film also asks questions about the roles of men and women. Diana works at a lingerie shop where her boss is constantly touching her and trying to have sex with her. It is pure sexual harassment. Tinto Brass even makes an appearance as he comes in with a young lover. He is just as touchy with the ladies who work at the store.
The themes of fidelity and marriage are the most serious issues. Paolo is furious about Diana’s adultery but refuses to have sex with Diana’s sister when he is tempted (even though his body tells him yes). The film basically asks the question: Can a woman be satisfied with just her husband? In the film, the concept of adultery is basically looked upon as a cultural taboo.
Even though conclusion is cute and somewhat unbelievable, the viewers want the couple to live happily ever after. In real life, many couples would not last in a relationship like this one. While Paolo must accept Diana’s liberation, he is happy just to be with her.
Claudia Knoll is exceptionally beautiful while many may think of her as a “bimbo”. The viewers must keep in mind that this is not a typical movie. This is an erotic film. There’s a difference. Knoll is voluptuous and extremely sexy, especially when she is wearing lingerie that accentuates her breasts and hips. She has both a naive quality to her as well as a slightly perverted quality too.
Brass truly is a master of erotic foreign film. Even though “Cos์ Fan Tutte” is much more blatantly sexual than some of his other films, there is an artistic beauty to all of his work. The scenery of Italy and Vienna is magnificent. Brass is a master at picking wonderful locations. While the scenery and music in “The Key” is much more beautiful, “Cos์ Fan Tutte” still has a signature Brass style. In this unrated version, there are many shots of both the male and female body parts but penetration is never shown. Still, the average movie fan may be surprised with all of the nudity.
“Cos์ Fan Tutte” aka “All Ladies Do It” is much more of a fun foreign erotic film than the passionate relationship stories of past films by Brass. Cult Epics re-released the Unrated version of this film on DVD along with stills, an interesting Tinto Brass interview, outtakes, and other minor bonus materials.
While the subtitles may turn some American viewers off, the sound of the spoken Italian language is so beautiful. Knoll’s real voice is sexy and fun loving. A dubbed version would never be able to project that. While the transfer is much more clean and clear than “The Key” or “Miranda”, the DVD is not as clear and crisp as the typical US film. As a film, “Cos์ Fan Tutte” is much more modern but less artistic and stylish than other Tinto Brass films. If voluptuous Italian women having wild affairs in sexy lingerie is your thing (like it is mine), “Cos์ Fan Tutte” is a fun and sexy film by a master erotic foreign filmmaker.