Rare Old and Young sex scenes from Mainstream movies

Nana (1970)


Nana (1970)
This adaptation of Emile Zola's novel "NANA," is about the sexual liaisons of a woman who through her relationships with different men, enjoys a life of pleasure and luxury. However, her lavish life-style does not always bring happiness.

Mac Ahlberg's version of the classic story NANA is a truly beautiful to look at but empty film. Though forgotten -no reviews but my late one in IMDb, it is important historically as the high water mark in production values for soft-core sex projects right before XXX features revolutionized the industry.
Film's U.S. release in 1971 was spotty so I (as a Clevelander) had to wait over 40 years to see the movie, after jotting it down on my Want List way back then. It answered a question for me: why has Mac Ahlberg, director of I, A WOMAN, never achieved the respect accorded (especially latterly as porn is being re-evaluated by film buffs worldwide) to his peers Joe Sarno (INGA) and Radley Metzger (THERSE AND ISABELLE and so many others).
The answer in NANA is that despite the beauty of Ahlberg's visuals and the lushness of the studio sets in Copenhagen where it was shot, the characters remain empty, with actors generally staring and posing for the camera, not unlike Hitfchcock's famous dictum that "actors are cattle".
This film was very likely inspired by the success of Metzger's similarly genre-oriented hit CAMILLE 2000, which it even outdoes in lushness. My favorite director of photography back in the early '70s, Andreas Winidng (RIDER ON THE RAIN, Tati's PLAYTIME, Costa-Gavras' SPECIAL SECTION) does a stunning job in making the beautiful Anna Gael (Metzger's discovery as ISABELLE) as NANA look even better, and unusual in porn the film stages frequent Vegas- style musical production numbers befitting her role as a night club and movie sex star.
But the age-old premise of all men attracted to her and mere playthings for the self-centered sort-of-courtesan plays out more like tableaux than dramatic scenes. The editing is technically OK in the Klubb Super 8 DVD I watched (which has pristine visuals), but the scenes and sequences don't flow -there is no real dramatic arc to the characters. We have a story presented as a fait accompli, meant by Ahlberg to arouse the viewer's prurient interests but otherwise just sitting there like a museum piece to be admired, in a precursor to today's standard "look at that great shot!" cinema of Scorsese, Fincher and so many other "hot" directors.
Cool describes Gael's performance, a porcelain doll of perfection. One reason I was so anxious in 1971 to see the movie was the casting of Gillian Hills opposite her, a British personality whose film career I have followed. I thought she was terrific in Georges Franju's much-derided LA FAUTE DE L"ABBE MOURET, perhaps her best screen role while having bit parts in such classics as BLOW-UP and A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. She is in the history books singing the hit single "Zou bisou bisou" in 1962, immortalized in a cover on "Mad Men" almost 50 years later.
But Hills is wasted here, sharing a lesbian sex scene (of course) with Gael but more of a hanger-on than primary character in Nana's jet set milieu. Theme of the movie is the emptiness of these rich and famous celebrities, still just as true today as in Hollywood myth, though today's celebs from Bono to George Clooney to Brangelina have added saving the world to their list of accomplishments.
Casting of the men in Nana's life is very poor - none of them are impressive physically or acting wise and none have any name recognition value for film audiences. If the Swedish and French producers had gone one step further and augmented NANA's obviously sizable below-the- line budget with star names, say a Hardy Kruger, Alain Delon (impossible) or given Winding's just-previous assignment Charles Bronson, then the picture might have gone somewhere other than the cinema trash heap.
In a pivotal role as Nana' s youngest lover Georges, a nonentity Gerard Berner was cast who looks something like Bruce Robinson, later an interesting director but whose acting career peaked opposite Isabelle Adjani in Truffaut's ADELE H. Where are the romantic leads like Sami Freys or character actors like home-grown Per Oscarsson for this picture? Instead we have lame performances by Lars Lunoe and Keve Hjelm as her hissable sugar daddies and even worse the film's not-too-talented choreographer (the production numbers are heavy on skin but stink) Rikki Septimus as her go-to stud Rikki.
Soundtrack was recorded in English but except for recognizable voices, like that of Hills, has the sort of white noise otherworldly quality of Continental films of the period aimed at the international market, such as Visconti's English-track versions. The Klubb DVD has the unusual feature of including about three seconds of hardcore penetration footage during one of Gael's love scenes involving an erect cock entering Nana that is obviously the work of doubles but is very well matched to try and fool the viewer.
Since the film was shot in a studio in Copenhagen, a city where hardcore porn was being made in 1970, ahead of the rest of the world, this footage may well have been part of the original final cut rather than added later as was the case with so many "hot versions" of '70s films starring the likes of Ornella Muti, Janet Agren or Sirpa Lane.
So I would advocate a video release using quality elements of NANA for the U.S., as it is of unusual value in appreciating the sexploitation porn films in the crucial period of the dawn of the 1970s, when all hell broke loose.


Language: swedish

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 01:36:14 min / 720x576 / mp4 / 1.22 Gb


NANA-1970.avi



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