Monday, November 23, 2009


My thought about films is that too often they show mechanisms that in real life do not exist.

Sometimes, however, they can be useful to understand how a Reality was perceived in a given historical period. It’s the case of "To bed... or not to bed" ("Il Diavolo") Italian film made in Stockholm in 1963.
The filmmakers have taken the character of Alberto Sordi and transported it in Sweden, working closely with reality, changing the canvas according to what the environment suggested. The theme is always the play boy attempt, almost de rigueur in speaking of Italians abroad. The director is Gian Luigi Polidoro, who already had directed “Swedish Girls”, an intelligent comedy about the relationship between the male Latin and the female Scandinavian.

This time the protagonist is not an Evil Woman, but an absolutely common person. On this occasion Sordi waived harsher tones of his palette, he composed a kind of Italian less sinister than usual: with moral and religious concerns, with small complex. In the movie nothing so special happens.

The merchant Amedeo arrives in Sweden, stations in a small town to get a tooth pulled out, is surprised by the open minded mentality of the girls in Stockholm, participates in the evening of the Nobel Prize, has an innocent flirtation with a beautiful married woman, faints after having a sauna together with a girl, attends a party car on a frozen lake and other small adventures.

Obviously it always ends with no sex, as a certain convention wants, but he is filled with a sweet amazement for what happens around him. In a country where women do not know the shame, he feels he is the Devil, a kind of good guy-husband, who could not sin without pulling out the picture of his wife, who faces a frank and spontaneous approach by a woman like something that erases everything which gives taste to love relationships in the Latin countries. So in the end, aside from a smiling and good-natured film, we see a successful, objective comparison of mentalities.

What emerges watching the film 46 years after its implementation is that Sweden is always the same, beyond the bullshit about globalization and changes in socio-cultural characteristics of peoples and countries.

The story could take place in 2009 and there would be nothing to say about it. The same types of events happen to the same types of people when they are in the same territory, at the expense of the time factor

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