In the lead up to the Venice Film Festival the media and red blooded males the world over where buzzing over the latest “scandalous” cinematographic endeavours of the very beautiful Monica Bellucci. However, much to the dismay of the press and the actress’ voyeuristic fans, the nude scenes in Un Eté Brûlant were more lukewarm than piping hot.
As a result, Monica Bellucci found herself in the very odd situation of having to defend the lack of overtly erotic scenes in the movie. In the lead up to the screening she described her nude scene as “an act of generosity”, yes, one towards art, however, and not towards her adoring male public. Director Philippe Garrel further explains, “showing Monica Bellucci naked [in my film] is like painting a nude.” In fact the composition of the scene is somewhat reminiscent of Francisco Goya’s Maya Desnuda, a daring statement in the earliest decade of the 19th century, but an insignificant amount of shock factor in the 21st century.
Monica Bellucci in Dolce&Gabbana
These statements by the director and his female lead caused a barrage of complaints and accusations claiming that all the clamour and excitement created around what in the end is a mild nude scene, was a blatant marketing stunt. Be as it may, what remains to be discussed is why are the critics, media and public shocked by the lack of gritty sex scenes? Monica may have spoiled her fans with full frontal nudes, daring themes and highly erotic scenes, but she has also portrayed a diverse range of characters in her on-screen past including the Thuringian Queen in The Brothers Grimm and even Mary Magdalene in The Passion of the Christ.
Notwithstanding her continued natural beauty and allure, Monica is a happily married, forty something mother of two. Should we not feel ashamed of the reaction to her chaste nude scenes? In a world like today, where occurrences which in the past would have been relegated to the gutter make front page news on a daily basis, should we not be praising an actress who has made a conscious decision to depart from that sphere?
In light of these considerations, here at Swide we applaud Monica’s new found modesty and look forward to chronicling her future on-screen successes in this new light.
Text by: Valentina Zannoni