Film Scouts Diaries

1996 Montreal Film Festival Diaries
Montreal Diary - Day 5

by Henri Béhar

Monday, August 26, 1996

Sex. The day belongs to sex, and Rupert Graves strikes again. His performance in "Intimate Relations" is in sharp contrast with the biker-messenger he played in "Different for Girls" a couple of days ago. Here he is a sailor who finds more than a room in Julie Waters' house in the 'burbs. What starts as a sexual romp (with Waters and, potentially, her teenage daughter) turns to the darkest comedie de moeurs as Waters just won't let go. It's funny, chilling, and the arc of Graves' performance a high wire act.

Lina Wertmuller's "The Nymph" is two films rolled into one. It headlines Stefania Sandrelli, she of Bertolucci's "The Conformist" fame, as a red-hot "madre" who can't resist a uniform and has an eye and a hand for weighty crotches. (Hey, this is, after all, the same Lina Wertmuller that gave us "Swept away..." and "Seven Beauties"). But Sandrelli dies mid-movie (yes, while having sex), and the second part deals with her daughter. More accurately, since this is Southern Italy at the end of last century, with the daughter's virginity, real or remade. No details are spared (stains on the sheets and all), but somehow, the Doris-Dayization of the "fanciulla" is a tad more boring than her mama's gleeful agitation.

In keeping with the tone of the day, Puelo decided we should all go for a spicy meal.

Time for you to meet Puelo. In his mid-twenties, he has the face of a cat who's lived five times over and, like cats, plans to have nine (more) lives. The face is round, the smile wide, the eyes mischievous and naughty. The whole attitude shouts "Let's go party!" He knows Montreal inside out. Nothing shocks him and, more importantly, nothing fazes him. Best companion you could find.

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