Until Death Do Us Part - Jonas

Khamis, Mac 05, 2009

#215. Berita Filem : Italian sex-comedy director dies

ROME – Italian director Salvatore Samperi, best known for erotic comedies that challenged the morals of Italy's middle class, has died at age 64, his family said Thursday. Samperi died Wednesday, said his brother Jadran Samperi, declining to give the cause of the death. The director died in his house on Lake Bracciano, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Rome, according to the ANSA news agency.

Samperi's movies offered a social critique of the Italian bourgeoisie, often through the lens of sex. Critics say his best works explored the forbidden passions and relationships within middle-class families as a way to show what he saw as their decadence and hypocrisy.

In what is considered by many critics his best movie, "Grazie, Zia" ("Thank You, Aunt"), Samperi tells the story of a rich young man who engages in a sexually charged relationship with his aunt. The movie, released in 1968, marked Samperi's directorial debut at age 24.

The movie "translated the anxiety and unrest of the time into an accessible movie," film critic Fabio Ferzetti wrote in Il Messaggero newspaper Thursday.

Samperi's biggest success came a few years later, with "Malizia" ("Malice"), which turned Italian actress Laura Antonelli into an erotic icon, thanks to her role as a sexy, socially climbing maid. The 1973 movie was seen as scandalous but was also a commercial hit and became a cultural sensation.

Born in the northeastern Italian city of Padua, Samperi briefly studied literature and philosophy before turning to cinema. His career also included flops, including a sequel to "Malizia," made about 20 years after the original.

Samperi had failed to score a success for many years, and recently he had worked primarily for TV.

Samperi is survived by his wife and a son. A funeral is scheduled for Friday, his brother said.

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