Col cuore in gola (1967)

The original title of this movie translates as With Heart in Mouth, but it was also released under several alternative titles, including I Am What I AmDeadly SweetEn cinquième vitesse (In Fifth Gear), Dead stop – Le coeur aux lèvres (Dead Stop – The Heart to the Lips), Con el corazón en la garganta (With My Heart in My Throat), Heart Beat and Ich bin wie ich bin – Das Mädchen aus der Carnaby Street (I Am What I Am – The Girl from Carnaby Street.

Bernard (Jean-Louis Trintignant) discovers Janes (Ewa Aulin, Candy) standing over a dead body in a London nightclub and instantly believes that she has to be innocent. Her father has recently been killed in a car accident, but Jane thinks that he was killed because of a blackmail scam gone wrong. And that body? The blackmailer.

He protects her from a series of shadowy men — including a dwarf — and the police that are following them both as they go deeper and deeper into the darkness that is her life. So does the control that he thinks he has over her life, but Jane is the kind of hurricane that has seemingly destroyed many a man before.

Man, this movie is something else. Tinto Brass directed it and it looks part comic book, part documentary, shot with hidden camera and wild zooms. It’s as 1967 as it gets and I mean that in the best of ways, with loud fuzzed-out music, pop art sensibility, switches from black and white to color and moments where Aulin’s beauty threatens to shatter whatever reality exists on film. Guido Crepax, whose comic Valentina was the basis of Baba Yaga, drew the storyboards and his art appears throughout the movie.

Brass’ only giallo, this feels more Antonioni than Bava. And yeah, it may go on a bit too long, but when it’s on, it’s on.

Now, to be up front, Aulin was all of sixteen when she made this and she has some semi-nude scenes. If that offends you, you can choose not to watch this.

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