Sunday, July 19, 2009

What Have You Done To Solange? / Cosa avete fatto a Solange?

The Italian Giallo films are perhaps not best known for being the most sophisticated cinematic creations of all time. Characterised by murder, mystery and sex, they equate more or less with our idea of a thriller, pulp-fiction Euro-cine. But with more sex.

It came as a surprise then just how good What Have You Done To Solange? was. On paper, admittedly, it looks as smutty, crass and trashy as you could expect from a Giallo (or any low-budget offering from the trash-flick capital of Europe): it's set in a Catholic girls school full of illicitly promiscuous teens, a teacher (the Italian professor, no less) is courting his pupils behind his wife's back, girls are getting killed with knife-wounds in unpleasant places and an unknown girl -the Solange of the title- is the link...

But that's where I have to stop giving away the details. Because, as much as it may come as a surprise, What Have You Done To Solange? is actually a pretty good film. The mystery is surprising, the story is tense, well-paced, interesting. You actually WANT to know what's going on.

Sure, the girls only seem to have conversations whilst taking communal showers, sex is entirely central to the plot: this is certainly no genre-defying masterpiece, but is entertaining and worth watching as a film. And not just softcore Italian trash...

An extra piece of trivia: the film is almost unnoticeably dubbed; the creators had intentions on the English-speaking markets, where dubbed films do poorly, and made everyone speak their lines in English, their strong accents were dubbed over, but their lip movements match the English.

As if all of that wasn't enough to convince you, the film is soundtracked by the inimitable Mr Morricone...

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