Come Have Coffee With Us

 

Come Have Coffee With Us

[aka: Venga a prendere il caffè da noi]

Written by Alberto Lattuada, Adriano Baracco & Tullio Kezich

Based on the novel by Piero Chiara

Cinematography: Lamberto Caimi

Art Director: Vincenzo Del Prato

Editor: Sergio Montinari

Music: Fred Bongusto

Produced by: Maurizio Lodi-Fe

Directed by Alberto Lattuada

1970

 

Cast:

Ugo Tognazzi

Francesca Coluzzi

Angela Goodwin

Milena Vukotic

Jean-Jacques Fourgeaud

Antonio Piovanelli

Valentine

 

Production:

Theatrical: Mars Film

Video: Raro Video USA

 

Video:

Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 (Anamorphic)

Codec: MPEG-2

Bit Rate: Moderate-Low (5.5~6 Mbps)

Runtime: 100 minutes

Chapters: 11

Region: 0 / NTSC

 

Audio: Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono

 

Subtitles: Optional English

 

Extras:
• Interview with Film Historian Adriano Apri (12:10)
• 16-page illustrated booklet with critical essays and photos

 

Presentation:

DVD clamshell case: DVD x 1

Release Date: December 6, 2011


 

Introduction:

On December 6, 2011, Raro Video USA is releasing the first of two films by the classical film director Alberto Lattuada (1914-2005): Come Have Coffee With Us (Venga a prendere il caffè da noi) from 1970, and on January 17, 2012: The Overcoat (Il Cappotto) from the early part of his career (1952).


           

 

The Movie: 7.5

Emerenziano (Ugo Tognazzi) is a fastidious, middle aged tax inspector looking for a rich woman with whom to retire and feed him with good food and sex. He courts three recently orphaned, maiden sisters. While the townspeople make fun of his eccentric ways, he marries one and takes the others as mistresses. While other men in his position might be wary of their good fortune, Emerenziano becomes - how shall I say it - overextended, with predictable results.


           


Lattuada’s very proper sex farce somehow manages to make its audience salivate as it indulges Italian mores and practices. What it lacks in skin its imagery is packed with double meanings. . . complete with a sprightly 60s score and a Tom Jones feasting scene.  Tognazzi is superb.  The sisters (Francesca Coluzzi, Angela Goodwin and Milena Vukotic) are even better.  There’s a subplot that centers on the shady intentions of a young rake (Jean-Jacques Fourgeaud) that doesn’t help the plot much but offers some tantalizing foreplay.


           

 

Image: 9/8

Raro has outdid itself in a letter perfect DVD transfer.  Colors are rich, contrast is dynamic, blacks are deep with excellent detail, flesh tones are natural, image is sharp and well resolved.


           

 

Audio & Music: 5/7

Even though the lip sync is quite a bit better than many Italian movies of the period, dialogue still sounds looped without consideration of venue and is thin and tiny, like the men are having their testicles squeezed and the women are being threatened with - well, you get the idea. The effects are clear but dislocated from the action - in short, there is almost no sense of true ambience. The music is usually jaunty and properly provocative.  I’ve heard much worse from this period.


           

 

Extras: 7

In place of an audio commentary, Raro offers a 12-minute introduction by the actor/director/writer Adriano Apra.  Apra had nothing to do with this film but he was a contemporary of Lattuada and is an articulate observer of cinema from a number of perspectives.  (It was Apra, by the way, who supplied the excellent commentary Fellini’s Circus for Raro Video’s I Clowns and for Delitto d’Amore.)  In his interview he discusses the work of Lattuada and the themes of Venga a prendere il caffè da noi and how the director underscored story, character and context through his technique.  The picture quality of this feature is rendered in a bloodless color - or rather, the lack of it.  The translation/subtitles are good however. 

 

In addition, Raro includes a 16-page booklet with, among other things, a lengthy critical discussion by Adriano Apri that covers some of the same ground as in his video interview, but amplifies it as well.


           

 

Recommendation: 8

An amusing, and somewhat atypical sex farce by the Italian director Alberto Lattuada.  Picture quality is superb.  Adriano Apra‘s introduction to the director's work is worth your time.  Recommended.

 

 

Leonard Norwitz

© LensViews

December 21, 2011



           



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