Don Giovanni

Screening on Film
Directed by Carmelo Bene.
With Carmelo Bene, Lydia Mancinelli, Gea Marotta.
Italy, 1971, 35mm, color and b&w, 73 min.
Italian with English subtitles.

Although this Don Giovanni includes snippets of the music from Mozart’s opera of the same name, the film is not a staging of the opera but rather a radical re-working of the Don Juan legend. After a prologue that alludes to the many conquests of Don Juan, the rest of the film concentrates on a peculiar kind of love triangle, in which the mother of a young girl competes with the Don for her daughter’s attention. Bene’s Don Giovanni could be considered a “queer” film, mounting as it does a satiric attack on several of the institutions of modern sexuality: binary gender difference, the nuclear family, the machismo of male sexual prowess, and the Oedipal complex itself.

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Inutile: The Cinema of Carmelo Bene

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