This is How to Revolt Against an Evil Empire! “Private Vices, Public Virtues” review!

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On the countryside of a 19th century central European empire, Crown Prince Rudolf resides at his manor estate with his nanny, faithful servants, and armed guards. However, the Prince abstains from being stately and goes against his father’s, the Emperor’s, wishes. Instead, the pan-sexual Prince frolics through life with his two lovers, his half brother and half sister. Their apathetic about the Emperor’s inclinations and enjoying the carnal pleasures, juvenile games, and the ecstasy of free-spirit inducing drugs with their communal aristocratic friends and feral manor servants. The Prince plans to humiliate his stern father by hosting the biggest festivity with dancing and champagne, laced with uppers that has his guest losing their clothes and parading amongst the grounds in a merry-go-round of uninhibited jovial madness that sends his the Prince’s father into an uproar that calls for the execution of his son and his lovers.
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The 1976 “Public Vices, Public Virtues” is a circus of eroticism with a belly full of symbolism and ambiguity. Hungarian director Miklós Jancsó has developed a masterpiece from a script co-written with Giovanna Gagliardo that’s loosely based off the infamous 19th century murder-suicide known as the “Mayerling Incident,” which involved Prince Rudolf, the Crown Prince of Austria and the son of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria. Jancsó, called “the greatest Hungarian film director of all time” by his peers, maintains elements of the tragically historical event and morphs it into a melodramatic comedy penned with singsongy dialogue and communicated through various performances of the arts.
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Fellow Hungarian Lajos Balázsovits encompasses the lead role of Prince Rudolf who ravages the screen with a lighthearted and uncut male nudity performance that sets an artistic and ethereal tone of beauty, of love, and of revolt. Alongside Lajos Balázsovits comes cult actors such as Tinto Brass regular Franco Branciaroli (“The Key,” “The Voyeur” which he was spectacular), Teresa Ann Savoy (“Salon Kitty,” “Caligula”), Laura Betti (“A Bay of Blood”), and “Night Sun’s” Pamela Villoresi to be at Jancsó disposal to be free to unclothe in a joyous protest against a ruthless and steely ruler. The mutton chops of Emperor Franz Joseph make a resembling appearance as part of the lucrative backdrop for the boisterous sexual revolution that stormed the cinema markets and Balázsovits fully submerges into a pan-sexual role, gladly submitting himself to women, men, and even his goggly-eyed Nanny, Laura Betti, who gets to touch the royal scepter in more ways than one.
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The co-produced Italian and Yugoslavian “Public Vices, Public Virtues” has an astonishing production value for soft core erotica. The elaborate, detailed wardrobe and authentic appeal to recreate the 19th century era is stunningly breathtaking and highly infatuating to be in the midst of an amorous atmosphere. With the costumes and manor home, the cash flow trends toward the amount of extras casted to prance and dance in an everlasting parade of jubilance. “Inglorious Bastards” and “The New York Ripper” composer Francesco De Masi displays his brass, as in brass instruments, continuously conducting a marching tune to the aristocratic orgy that doesn’t attest to a viewer allurement, but does put into place a bit of pizzaz into the melodrama. De Masi’s soundtrack compliments the nursery rhymes and classical scores that round out this Filmes Cinematografica and Jadran Film production.
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Proclaimed the wild side of world cinema, Mondo Macabro releases “Private Vices, Public Virtues” on a glorious restored and uncut Blu-ray region ABC release. The original negative restored and transferred to a single layer BD25 displays a vibrant 1080p and progressive widescreen presentation. I’m amazed at the retaining of the natural coloring, the amount of spacial depth, and prolific details that doesn’t display a hint of compression artefacts and maintains very low digital noise interference, especially in the black levels. The LPCM audio contains an English dub track and an Italian track with optional English subtitles on both. The digitized analog audio clearly expresses itself without hisses, pops, or other types of disruption. Mondo Macabro stuffs this Blu-ray with exclusive bonus material including three interviews with writer Giavanna Gagliardo, actress Pamela Villosesi, and film historian Michael Brooke. The original theatrical trailer and Mondo Macabro previews bring up the bonus feature rear. “Private Vices, Public Virtue,” to the naked eye, is 104 minutes of a frisky spectacle of the utmost buffoonery, but in the trenches, the Miklós Jancsó film is a Hungarian filmmaker’s undercurrent of inspiration and revolution against oppression and Mondo Macabro just highly defined the era!

Grab “Private Vices, Public Virtues” on Blu-ray!

It’s a Dog-Evil-Dog World. “White God” review!

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Lili and her mixed breed dog, Hagen, are best friends and are inseparable. When Lili’s mother and stepfather travel to a three month conference in Australia, she is dropped off to live with her humdrum father who takes a special disliking toward canines, especially mutts. After Lili and her father get into a heated argument about the friendly Hagen, her father forces Hagen out of the car and leaves him at the side of the road to defend for himself. Hagen goes through a series of misfortune adventures: being chased down by merciless dog catchers, being abused to train for a dog fighting circuit, and narrowly escaping being euthanized by a local dog pound employee.

“White God” is a hybrid film from Hungary by director Kornél Mundruczó. Part canine drama and part vicious animal thriller, “White God” is equivalent to the string of 1980 films where the day of the animal comes to snout and man takes an unwanted step down from the dominance hierarchy. With stunning cinematography of Hungarian landscape and an uncanny look at two terrific animal actors, “White God” deserves to be one of the top foreign films in the United States and one of the better movies to be have been released from Hungary in the last few years.
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Mundruczó, who also had a pen-ship hand in the screenplay, tightrope-walks that fine line between drama and horror and with familiar collaborating co-writers Kata Wéber and Viktória Petrányi, “White God” is no different. The story molds Hagen, the leading dog actor, into the displaying of a human personality and expressing human-like feelings. Hagen, a once lovable, dependent, and faithful companion to 13-year-old Lili, is forced to defend for himself, learning that the real world is nothing like the cozy comforts of his adored Lili who catered to his every whim. When Hagen reaches that breaking point of when enough is enough, he becomes the “Rise of the Planet of the Ape'” Caesar to “White God,” breaking free his fellow mutts, constructing a ruthless canine army, and seeking vengeance on all who took advantage or mistreated him by severing their throats from the rest of their necks. The film quickly becomes bloody with mauled bodies and the sharp turn from a sad “Marley & Me” to a “The Breed” thriller, proceeding with a smooth transition without much notice.
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Luke and Body, the two unwanted mixed breed dogs that were adopted to play Hagen, are well trained, delivering emotion that told the downfall story of Hagen and expressing a physical acting style very rare in animal actors. The production company also adopted from the pound a record breaking 274 dogs for the final scenes, a massive undertaking that shouldn’t go unnoticed. The same kind of enthusiasm can’t be said about the human actors. The young and beautiful Zsófia Psotta portrays an unsympathetic, robot-like Lili and she’s suppose to be heartbroken and devastated by her father’s rash decision to discard Hagen; instead, she dissolves back into her normal mundane routine after a few feeble attempts to locate Hagen and adhering to her father’s commands with prompt attention. If my father scraps my loved pet to the curb, I would be insanely mad for months, ignoring him until he couldn’t take it. There also must be a Hungarian law or code about mutts as their fondness in the film is on the lower end of the totem pole and where tenants must pay a fee for owning them or put them down for a single bite on hand. Many other countries do have an out of control mutt population problem and “White God” feels about right when concerning that system of controlling the mutt population.
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“White God” doesn’t claim to be an intense when-animals-attack horror movie, but serves as a beautifully blended sub-genre film, shot and edited with the intention of classing up, and slightly educating, an issue that warrants attention of an unwanted dog’s mistreatment. I wasn’t able to cover the DVD or Blu-ray release as Magnolia just provided, very generously I might add, a streaming link and with streaming links, the quality wasn’t up to par and didn’t include any extras. “White God” feels like a PETA over-executed attempt to make cruelty to animals a horrifying act that will cost you your life in the end.