BRUNO MATTEI WEEK: Cicciolina Amore Mio (1979)

Ilona Staller was born in Hungary but came to Italy and found fame as a salacious radio hostess, taking the name Cicciolina or “Little Cuddly One.” Her show on Radio Luna, Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?, found her speaking on, well,mostly matters of sex and referring to her male fanbase as cicciolini or little tubby boys.

Cicciolina went out of her way to be sexually ahead of her time, appearing topless on regular TV in 1978 and doing her first adult film, Telefono Rosso (Red Telephone) in 1983 and then traveled to the United States to appear in The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empress, a movie that featured an HIV-positive John Holmes.

That’d be enough to be a pretty big star, but she also entered the world of politics, getting elected to the Italian parliament from 1987 to 1991. She also started a political party, Partito dell’Amore (Party of Love) with fellow porn star Moana Pozzi. Then, in 2012, she formed the he Democracy, Nature and Love Party (DNA), which advocated reopening brothels, a minimum wage for young citizens and the legalization of same-sex marriage.

She also released several albums and was famously married to pop artist Jeff Koons, which ended with her taking their son and him destroying all of the sexually explicit Made In Heaven sculptures of her.

In this film — directed by Bruno Mattei as Jimmy B. Matheus!* — Cicciolina makes fantasies come true through her radio show. One of her biggest fans, Riccardino, is obsessed with her and it begins to destroy his relationship with his girlfriend Gianna. However,Cicciolina decides to being all three of them together to fulfill everyone’s fantasies.

Nearly every time we see our heroine, she’s bathed in neon light or riding a horse nude or making love to men with no faces while some wonderful jazz plays. There’s also a scene where she’s nearly assaulted by three men, after which she says that rape is the fault of women who allow it to happen, which, well…woah. I mean, this movie has a very strange relationship with women who are forced to make love and then end up liking it.

Sure, we’ve had sex symbols in the United States, but we never had Cicciolina.

*With Amasi Damiani and Riccardo Schicchi.

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