In English_Interview Tinto Brass

"First, I check out the butt"

He explored the valley of the dolls and let the Roman Empire burn in "Caligula" - EVOLVER had a chat with the Italian filmmaker on the occasion of his 75th birthday.    30.05.2008

On March 26, the Italian director of erotica, Tinto Brass, celebrated his 75th birthday. Many consider him a sexist and dismiss his films as pure pornography. But that label doesn't do justice to Brass' œuvre- he offers more than naked flesh can show. To elaborate, read part one of our EVOLVER portrait.

But for now, we shall fall silent while Signori Manfredo, Tomaso and Brass converse ...

EVOLVER: A face can lie, a derriére cannot ...
Brass: That's probably the most widespread sentence that I supposedly said.
EVOLVER: It's not from you?
Brass: Honestly? I don't know.
EVOLVER: But you agree with the statement?

Brass: If you don't take it too seriously, yes. A face can be painted over with make-up, conceal its age or impurities; a mouth can spew cruel lies. A butt is definitely more honest than that.


EVOLVER: You are frequently called an ass festishist ...

Brass: There is certainly some truth to that. .. with women, first, I check out the butt. Even if it can't speak - a round behind speaks to me. Of course, I do not consider it detached from the rest.
EVOLVER: You've been in the movie business for half a century. Do you ever think of quitting?

Brass: Let me put it this way: The intervals between my films are getting somewhat longer. Otherwise, I'll keep making movies as long as I live.

EVOLVER: What is your relationship to pornography?

Brass: I don't really have one. Neither have I considered it particularly important to distance myself from pornographers. I already do that by developing the moments ofs lust and desire out of the stories themselves.

EVOLVER: Your international breakthrough in the 70s was in a way connected to the porn-boom...

Brass: The success of "Deep Throat" in mainstream cinemas inevitably openend new opportunities. Out of the blue, one could get a big budget and sponsorship deals for explicit material. That helped me immensely. "Salon Kitty" would have otherwise never been made, at least not in that form.

EVOLVER: And "Caligula" was the overkill version?

Brass: Well, I definitely have nothing to add to "Caligula".

EVOLVER: Be it "Kitty", "Caligula" or "Senso 45" - the decadence of excessive power is a regular theme of your work ...

Brass: That is certainly the case. To me, the point is to stage the dance on the figurative volcano. Because that's exactly what happens when power reaches it's zenith: The protagonists celebrate, and in full knowledge of impending doom the excesses become increasinlgy bizarre.


EVOLVER: Numerous other Italian directors also love the morbid charm of decay; why is that so?

Brass: It suits our theatrically inclined soul. I believe, though, that the final stage of superdimensional power is not an Italian, but a European theme. Currently there are people living on our continent that have experienced the downfall of the aristocratic system and the end of both democracies and fascist dictatorships alike. For movie directors, such transitional periods in particular offer stories that are situated far beyond the mundane in terms of their depravity. Which doesn't count for "Caligula", of course - as we know, the Roman Empire did not fall on account of that emperor.

Don Manfredo & Don Tomaso (Translated by Don Binu)

EVOLVER Reloaded

About EVOLVER - The International BETA Edition

"EVOLVER - Play it again, HAL"


The Austrian web-based magazine EVOLVER is the first (and still the best) online publication by professional journalists and writers in the German speaking countries. For more than eleven years now (since autumn of 1996), the EVOLVER editors provide their readers with exclusive stories, specials, reviews and opinion columns from all areas of pop-, cyber- and subculture - from Hunter S. Thompson to "Bastard Pop", from Nick Tosches to Frank Miller, from original trash novels to a comprehensive history of porn movies. 



In English
Vienna noir

Dark Vienna

While the Austrian Film Museum is vacationing in sunny Italy, the Filmarchiv Austria is offering a shady alternative: a journey into a dark Vienna, home of spies, killers, disreputable barmaids, psychotic perverts, Nazi loyalists and taxi drivers with no passports. Thomas Fröhlich travels in time from the year 1949 to 1974 and encounters some seedy characters.  

In English
Movie Review: Watchmen

Vigilante Blues

The pressure to succeed was enormous, as were the expectations: Zack Snyder dared try his hand on comic fandom's holy grail - and his attempt manages to capture the complexity and atmosphere of the original in moving pictures.  

In English
DVD-Special: Vietnam movies

You're in the Army now!

In "Tropic Thunder", director Ben Stiller sends three wimpy Hollywood actors to vietnam. EVOLVER tells you which memorable genre characters we'd most likely take along on patrol - and which ones would stay home. Lock and load!  

In English
Movie Review: Dead in 3 Days 2

Desperately seeking Mona

The first one managed to become Austria's most successful film of 2006. Now the sequel sees slasher heroine Nina venture into the Tyrolean snowdrifts. Unfortunately, that leaves us viewers somewhat frosty.  

In English
Interview Sabrina Reiter

Bloody Snowdrifts

Andreas Prochaska's "Dead in 3 Days" was not only a good horror movie, but also the most successful Austrian film of 2006. Recently, the sequel was released ... EVOLVER met leading lady Sabrina Reiter and spoke to her about this installment, her beginnings as an actress and her favourite horror movies.  

In English
Book review: Al Ewing - I, Zombie

The deader the better

A new series of paperback originals called "Tomes of the Dead" combines flesh-eating zombie fun with other genres - such as historical novels, British gangster melodrama and hardboiled private eye adventures ... Let´s start watching the zombie detective!