(aka "Senso '45" )


directed by Tinto Brass
Italy 2002


Erotica director Tinto Brass updates the Camillo Boito story (previously adapted by Luchino Visconti as SENSO with Alida Valli and Farley Granger) to World War II Venice. Anna Galiena plays Livia, the wife of a ministry official (Brass regular Antonio Salines), who is so desperate to get back to Venice to meet her lover Nazi officer Helmut Schultz (Gianni Garko) that she has agreed to offer her body to her husband's knowing friend Ugo (Brass regular Franco Branciaroli of THE KEY, ALL LADIES DO IT, and THE VOYEUR). The story of their meeting and torrid affair is rendered in colorful flashbacks while the framing story is in black and white. As with TRASGREDIRE, Brass and his cinematographer (this time, Daniele Nannuzzi - son of the great Armando Nannuzzi - with second unit photography by previous Brass DP Massimo de Venanzo) eschew the soft focus look of Brass' earlier films shot by Silvano Ippoliti in favor of a sharp and colorful palette.

Although likely produced on a modest budget, the film looks lavish. Like Brass' CAPRICCIO, SENSO '45 is still explicit but Brass has largely reigned himself in for this more mainstream picture. The film does not recall Visconti's SENSO so much as his own spin on World War II decadence THE DAMNED (1969) with a dyed-blond Garko resembling Helmut Berger (though he doesn't do a drag Marlene Dietrich here). Galiena, Garko, and Branciaroli are excellent as members of a jaded, decadent middle class who play both sides of the war (Helmut buys erotic art pieces from a Jewish dealer, Ugo has multiple ID cards to get him and Livia through various roadblocks, Livia is literally sleeping with the enemy).

Eric Cotenas


Theatrical Release: 12 April 2002

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DVD Review: Arrow Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Arrow Entertainment

Region 0 - PAL

Runtime 2:01:48 (4% PAL speedup)

1.78:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.59 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo)
Subtitles English (burnt-in)
Features Release Information:
Studio: Arrow Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Arrow Catalogue
• Behind the Scenes (8:12; 4x3)
• Italian Theatrical Trailer (1:12; 4x3)
• Tinto Brass Interview (24:22; 4x3)

DVD Release Date: 2 Jun 2003

Chapters 12



The Arrow disc may be a port of the Italian disc with added burnt-in subtitled. It is not in its original aspect ratio. The film's end credits state that it is meant to be screened at 1.66:1 but the Arrow disc is cropped to 1.78:1 (this is a problem with a few of the anamorphic video transfers of Brass' films including transfers of TRASGREDIRE which also states its intended aspect ratio of 1.66:1 in the closing credits) and there are some noticeable instances where the tops of heads are cropped off. That said, it is an excellent transfer.

Although the Italian disc has 5.1 audio, the UK disc has 2.0 stereo audio which is still quite enveloping. Ennio Morricone's score comes through beautifully. There is a 20+ minute behind the scenes featurette featuring interviews with Brass and stars Anna Galiena and Gianni Garko in which Brass talks about the source novel and life in Venice during WWII. The "Tinto Brass Interview" segment is actually for the film TRASGREDIRE/CHEEKY (it is featured on the Italian disc of that film as well as the US releases) and the subtitles garble the name of that film's star Yulia Mayarchuk.

 - Eric Cotenas

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Region 0 - PAL


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