Black On White

Overview

Tinto Brass directed this curious but visually inventive look at Swinging London during the height of the hippie era, which received its first North American DVD release in this edition from Cult Epics. Attraction (aka Nerosubianco) has been transferred to disc in the widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1, letterboxed on conventional televisions and enhanced for anamorphic play on 16:9 monitors. This release was transferred from a 16mm print provided by director and distributor Radley Metzger (whose company Audubon ...
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Overview

Tinto Brass directed this curious but visually inventive look at Swinging London during the height of the hippie era, which received its first North American DVD release in this edition from Cult Epics. Attraction (aka Nerosubianco) has been transferred to disc in the widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1, letterboxed on conventional televisions and enhanced for anamorphic play on 16:9 monitors. This release was transferred from a 16mm print provided by director and distributor Radley Metzger (whose company Audubon Films originally released the movie in the United States under the title The Artful Penetration of Barbara, the title that appears on screen), and it's no surprise that the image is just a bit soft and the colors sometimes mottled; despite this, the picture is generally clear and the look of this transfer is wholly appropriate to the era, though sometimes the widescreen framings look a bit off. The audio is mastered in Dolby Digital Stereo, retaining the original single-channel sound mix, and the quality is OK for the period but nothing exceptional. The songs, dialogue and narration are in English, with no subtitles of multiple language options included. As a bonus, this edition includes a gallery of lobby cards used to promote Attraction's original release, as well as trailers for Attraction and Deadly Sweet (another Tinto Brass title released by Cult Epics). The disc is also divided into chapters corresponding to the songs by Freedom used in the film, making it easy for fans to find individual cues. Even by Brass's standards, Attraction is no lost masterpiece, but it's served as well as one has a right to expect with this DVD edition, and anyone interested in 1960s sex and sedition will get a smile from it.
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Special Features

Lobby card gallery; Trailers
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
Before he made a name for himself in big-budget kink with Salon Kitty and Caligula and went on to a career as Europe's most tush-obsessed sexploitation auteur, Tinto Brass fancied himself some sort of cinematic rebel, and if 1969's Nerosubianco seems more like a playful goof on counterculture sensibilities than a radical's call to arms, that doesn't make it any less of a product of its time (the late 1960s) and place (London, presumably still swinging). Nerosubianco doesn't have a plot so much as a notion that provides a framework as Brass leaps from one artfully designed but often mildly ridiculous set piece after another -- rock bands play in trees, a beauty salon is filled with women dressed as cows, hippies hand out Mao's "Little Red Book" (one is given a copy of The Autobiography of Malcolm X in return) and hipsters gambol about stylized studio sets -- as a blasé wife from Italy (Anita Sanders) keeps crossing paths with a handsome black man from America (Terry Carter) and finds herself lost in sexual fantasies about him. Brass also punctuates the film with startling stock footage -- ranging from a brutal bullfight and newsreel images from Nazi death camps to the infamous eyeball-slicing scene from Luis Bunuel's Un Chien Andalou -- and constantly cuts back to the less-than-remarkable British rock band Freedom as they slog through one heavy-handed number after another in various parts of the city. The film features very little dialogue and no sync sound, and Brass's touch is about as subtle as a sledgehammer. Still, the film moves along at an enthusiastic pace, the camerawork is crisp, the two leads (who barely function as characters) look good and play well off each other (especially in their periodic soft-core love scenes), and the whole exercise has a playful good humor about itself when it isn't busy Making A Statement (it's significant that the counterculture image Brass dotes on the most is the once-famous poster of Frank Zappa seated on the toilet). It's hard not to get the feeling Tinto Brass had no business making a film about hippies (or interracial romance) when he directed Nerosubianco, but he seemed to be having too much fun with his mildly misguided ideas about them to begrudge what he came up with, and as long as you're expecting a parade a entertaining images rather than a look at a world in flux, viewers should enjoy this as a guilty but satisfying pleasure. Incidentally, while the movie as been released on Region One DVD as Attraction, it was screened theatrically in America as Black On White and under the sublimely sleazy title The Artful Penetration Of Barbara.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/29/2009
  • UPC: 881190007495
  • Original Release: 1969
  • Rating:

  • Source: Cult Epics
  • Region Code: 0
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:20:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 51,890

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Anita Sanders
Terry Carter
Antonio Segurini
Umberto DiGrazia
Freedom
Technical Credits
Tinto Brass Director, Original Story, Screenwriter
Dino de Laurentiis Producer
Freedom Score Composer
Gian Carlo Fusco Original Story
Silvano Ippoliti Cinematographer
Franco Longo Original Story
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Attraction
1. The Better Side [10:13]
2. The Truth is Plain to See [5:06]
3. The Butt of Deception [4:16]
4. Relation [6:54]
5. Childhood Reflections [3:40]
6. We Say No [6:01]
7. You Won't Miss [4:26]
8. Born Again [14:57]
9. Forbidden [12:02]
10. The Game is Over [4:49]
11. Attraction - Black on White [4:34]
12. With You [2:59]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Attraction
   Play Movie
   Song Selection
   Special Features
      Lobbycard Gallery
      Attraction Trailer
      Deadly Sweet Trailer
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