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Reviewed by Ranjit Sandhu
I swooned when I saw this. I almost wanted to go to France and find Anna Biella so that I could propose to her. This intensely moody experimental 1h20min film begins with a French modern-dance class preparing to go to Rome, but Giulia is mysteriously singled out not to go on the field trip.
Dancing is only one of Giulia’s ambitions. Rebelling against her religious-wacko sister Christine and their religious-wacko mom (Tina Aumont, who still looks gorgeous at the age of 50), Giulia aspires to be an actress. I so much admire kids who can talk back to their parents when they need to. She goes to an audition but discovers nothing more than a casting couch. After a few minutes of playing along, she scrams, but promises her casting director anything he wants the next night. The next night is the highlight, for this is when we witness Giulia moonlighting as a live-sex-act performer at a Parisian strip club. (No faking anything during this lengthy sequence. But no graphic close-ups either, thank goodness. I’m sure this was done in one take and with a real audience.) She invites her sleazy casting director to join her on stage, but in his jealousy and shock he chickens out and leaves. Now, here’s my confession: When I was a teen, nudity and sex on film were a major turn-on. I’m no longer a teen, and nudity and sex, scripted and posed, no longer do anything for me at all. But then I saw this scene—and I melted.