Controversial and provocative, Tinto Brass is one of the most well-known filmmakers of the 1960s Italian Avantgarde cinema.
Although his films are known for their risque elements, he usually incorporates them in a tasteful and artistic way.
Tinto Brass reached the peak of his popularity in the 60s and 70s, as he was even offered the chance to direct what would later become Stanley Kubrick’s classic, A Clockwork Orange.
In recent times, however, many interesting movies directed by Tinto Brass have fallen into obscurity. Therefore, in this article, we’ll be taking a look at the top five forgotten Tinto Brass movies.
5 Best Tinto Brass Movies
Tinto Brass is a legendary Italian director who revolutionized the Yakuza genre. His movies are defined by their controversial and explicit nature.
A Clockwork Orange is his most famous movie, which was nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. However, this article isn’t about him. This article is looking at five of his lesser-known works. I have no doubt you will enjoy them after reading this article…
#5. Capriccio (1987)
A common setting in many of Brass’s films is World War II and particularly the aftermath of said conflict.
In 1987 Capriccio, Brass delivers a racy drama about a married couple that longs for the memories of their lost loves.
Jennifer and Fred are a couple of Americans who met during service in World War II on the Italian island of Capri. In 1947, they decide to return to Capri. in hopes of rekindling their relationship.
What they do instead is meet their former lovers that they left behind on the island but soon find that time changes people in mysterious ways.
Not only was the film directed by Tinto Brass, but it was also his own adaptation of the 1956 Italian novel The Capri Letters.
Even though the film is about a failing marriage, Brass definitely didn’t draw any inspiration from his life for this film.
The Italian filmmaker might be known for his more risque films, but he was married to the same woman, Carla Cipriani, from 1957 until she died in 2006.
#4. The Howl (1970)
Released in the wake of the Cultural Revolution caused by the Summer of Love, The Howl is a surrealist comedy that reflects the values and core aspects of the trippy world of 60s pop culture.
Shot in 1968, Brass would famously say of The Howl that it was a film not about 1968 but of 1968. Indeed, the movie is definitely a product of its time, a window to the moment that defined the entirety of the 60s and the entire counterculture movement of the hippie youth.
The plot of the film centers on Anita, a student activist that radicalizes herself after she’s abused by police officers after a demonstration.
This pivotal moment in her life makes her rethink everything about who she is, including canceling her marriage with her fiancee, Berto.
What follows next is a colorful parade of bizarre characters and political commentary that only Brass could have dreamed of. Being a member of the Italian radicals political party, Brass is no stranger to left-wing politics.
In The Howl, the filmmaker tried to capture the counterculture movement of the 60s in all its outlandishness, and the result is a mixed bag of cultural references and off-color sequences that definitely are not for the faint of heart.
#3. Yankee (1966)
The spaghetti Western is a key component of the history of Italian cinema. Riding on the coattails of Sergio Leone’s Fistful of Dollars trilogy, a wave of Italian filmmakers decided to adopt Leoni’s style into their own stories of American Cowboys and bandits.
Tinto Brass contributed to the genre with 1966s Yankee offering his take on the spaghetti Western phenomenon. The film follows a man simply known as Yankee, a bounty Hunter of the Wild West.
Yankee arrives at a town where a crime boss known as Grande Concho rules overall. Hoping to get a substantial bounty If he rids the town of the crime boss, Yankee decides to take on the feared gang by himself.
The original script for Yankee took heavy inspiration from 1964, a fifth Full of Dollars. Seeing as Leoni’s film was an international success, it would be obvious that any Western had to follow its proven formula.
Brass, however, didn’t agree, and he rewrote the entire script of the movie, giving it a more classic comic book style akin to the Old West serial comics he used to read growing up.
#2. The Flying Saucer (1964)
Another great example of Tinto Bratz’s versatility is his 1964 movie, The Flying Saucer. This sci-fi comedy features Italian comedian Alberto Sordi playing four different roles, the main one being that of a Police Inspector.
The officer grows exasperated as he has to listen to some eyewitness reports concerning a possible UFO and its female pilot.
Like many of Brass’s movies, The Flying Saucer is actually a satire of the Italian way of life. Featuring characters such as a military police officer, an alcoholic priest, and a corrupt count, Brass delivers a witty critique of Italian society, particularly that of Brass’s home region of Venetto.
While many SciFi movies of this period were the usual B movie types, The Flying Saucer sets itself apart by being shot in a mockumentary style.
#1. Chi lavora è perduto (In capo al mondo)(1963)
In capo al mondo, also known as Chi lavora è perduto, meaning who works is lost. This is Tinto Brass’s directorial debut. In his first feature film, Brass focuses on a day in the life of Bonifacio, a young antisocial designer.
To make ends meet. Bonifacio has applied for a job, but his psychological evaluation isn’t until the next day, giving him enough time to roam the streets of Venice to contemplate his past.
Through flashbacks, we see Gabriella, Bonifacio’s former girlfriend, and also we take a look at just how turbulent their relationship was.
Just as tumultuous was Bonifacio’s relationship with his two friends, Claudio and Kim. Claudio acts like a voice of reason in many aspects of Bonifacio’s life and his Communist philosophy seems to tell Bonifacio that he should accept his job, even if he’s not that sure about working.
This underground classic defies society at its core and is an excellent piece of Avantgarde coming-of-age cinema. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t divisive, evidenced by its user score of 6.2 out of ten on the IMDb website.
This was our top 5 list of the best Tinto Brass movies ever made. the 5 Greatest Forgotten Tinto Brass Movies.
Do you agree with our list? If you have any suggestions or comments please shoot them down in the comments below.