You can count on Mondo Macabro to fear­less­ly dive into areas of inter­na­tion­al cult cin­e­ma where oth­er com­pa­nies would tread light­ly.  With their release of Private Vices, Public Virtues, they’ve not only tack­led the work of a direc­tor who is most­ly for­got­ten in the U.S. but also picked one of his wildest and most privvpubv-blucon­tro­ver­sial titles.  To their cred­it, they’ve cre­at­ed a release that is as eye-open­ing as the film itself.

The trans­fer used here is tak­en from the neg­a­tive and offers a rich­ly col­ored, care­ful­ly detailed image.  It cap­tures that glossy, hazy look of this film, a style so unique to the ‘70s, with great skill.  Both English and Italian mono tracks, the lat­ter with English sub­ti­tles, are offered in loss­less form.  Each track offers a clean, robust sound free of dis­tor­tion.

There’s also a potent lit­tle set of extras includ­ed here for those intrigued by this film’s blend of social cri­tique and stylistic/carnal indul­gence.  Here’s a break­down of what you can expect…

Michael Brooke on Miklos Janczo (16:34): crit­ic and his­to­ri­an Brooke cov­ers a lot of ground in a com­pact run­ning time here.  He walks the view­er through the Hungarian director’s career, with dis­cus­sions of sev­er­al films and the salient styl­is­tic and the­mat­ic char­ac­ter­is­tics of his work.  Private Vices gets a lot of dis­cus­sion here as a kind of turn­ing point in his career and there’s some inter­est­ing com­men­tary on how Janczo shift­ed his artis­tic focus mul­ti­ple times in the lat­ter half of his career to keep it afloat.  Overall, it offers a nice mix of intel­lec­tu­al con­tent and film buff enthu­si­asm.

Giovanna Gagliardo Interview (30:53): this in-depth sit­down allows the film’s screen­writer and assis­tant direc­tor to go through the expe­ri­ence of mak­ing the film from mul­ti­ple angles.  She starts off with info on the real inci­dent that inspired the film and how they fic­tion­al­ized it before get­ting into how the spir­it of the 1970’s influ­enced the film, how the writ­ing process involved a lot of rework­ing, the sub­stan­tial influ­ence the loca­tion had on the film­ing and the com­plex nature of her work as an assis­tant direc­tor.  There’s lots of great behind-the-sce­nes detail here as well as thought­ful mus­ings on the film and its themes.


Pamela Villoresi Interview (19:18): a charm­ing inter­view with a mem­ber of the film’s act­ing ensem­ble.  Her com­ments are warm and suf­fused with nos­tal­gia as she dis­cuss­es how the film cap­tured the free­dom of the time in which it was made.  She offers a lot of mem­o­ries from the shoot, includ­ing obser­va­tions on her cast­mates and the chal­lenges of shoot­ing the crowd sce­nes.  She also has some inter­est­ing the­mat­ic thoughts, plac­ing the film’s abun­dant nudi­ty in the con­text of an Austro-Hungarian tra­di­tion of cel­e­brat­ing the body and dis­cussing how the film had an over­rid­ing sense of death that con­trast­ed with a light­ness in how it pre­sent­ed the day-to-day life of its pro­tag­o­nists.

Other extras: a the­atri­cal trail­er, the always-col­or­ful Mondo Macabro pro­mo reel

To read Schlockmania’s film review of Private Vices, Public Virtues, click here.