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Woman Times Seven [DVD] [2008]

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The third is a modern sex farce about a beautiful UN translator who has become so jaded about men that she has idolized her platonic relationship with a gay roommate. Meanwhile she reads poetry in the nude and invites two playboy dignitaries to her bed while she shows them slides of modernist paintings. the handsome men humor her bizarre quirks while trying to get the other to leave, a testament to men putting up with any amount of femcrazy to get laid. You have never taken a risk for me, ever!" she whines at him. It's a fun, farcical dig at high finance and haute couture that makes its pointed digs with gentle good humor. Shirley MacLaine gets the chance to show off her acting talent in seven different roles ranging from a mousy homemaker to a translator-turned-vamp, a shrewish society lady, and a middle-aged Parisian pursued by a strange man. Sometimes she is more effective than others; she reveals her talent for dancing as well as nonverbal comedy. The film is quite risqué for the late Sixties, as it has her appearing nude in one of the sequences, although director De Sica ensures that she is most tastefully shot, revealing nothing of her charms for lascivious viewers. The scenarios in WOMAN TIMES SEVEN all deal with adultery and the relationships between the sexes. Reading the premises of each, they feel like prime opportunities for dark comedy: a meek housewife tries embodying her husband's silly sexual fantasies in the flesh, two lovers squabble over how they should carry out their suicide pact, a widow is seduced behind her husband's funeral procession, a faithful wife is tempted by the handsome detective her jealous husband hired to trail her, etc. However, they don't play very funny, despite the best efforts of MacLaine and her court of co-stars. I can't quite put my finger on why. Humor is indeed subjective, but I found a lot of the humor fell flat. I either found the characters too annoying or too pathetic to laugh at, and sometimes the comedy was just stupid (the one with the nude translator just felt so juvenile). Shirley plays the lead in seven different stories in Paris in different love situations. The best one is the sixth, a marvellous travesty of Marcel Carné's "Le jour se lève" with Jean Gabin and Arletty, and almost identically in the same squalid hotel, where Shirley and Alan Arkin intend to do themselves in, but there are arguments about it. This is great fun and Cesare Zavattini and Vittorio de Sica at their best. The other episodes are rather uneven, but the second one, where Shirley comes home to find her husband (Rossano Brazzi) in bed with another woman, whereupon she runs out in the streets in a panic and happen to a bunch of prostitutes in the park, who decide to help her, while her husband comes running out in the streets after her in his pyjamas, is also well written. The tendency of the others is that you will eventually get a bit tired of finding only Shirley MacLaine in all of them - there is a little of Anita Ekberg in the last of them, but not much. All other characters are subordinate.

She goes home to her husband Victor and gives him the drill. She looks out of the window; her admirer is sitting in the snow on a bench in the park. The man phones the flat from a call box and has an odd conversation with Victor, then walks off, leaving only his footprints. Lord Lucan, later to be suspected of murder, unsuccessfully screen-tested for a role in the film. After that failure, he declined an invitation from Albert R. Broccoli to audition for the part of James Bond. [5] Reception [ edit ] The film was shot in Paris. Wardrobe was supplied by Pierre Cardin, jewelry by Van Cleef & Arpels, furs by Henri Stern and hairdressing by Louis Alexandre Raimon. Variety wrote: " Woman Times Seven means a seven-segment showcase for the talents of Shirley MacLaine, playing in tragicomedy and dramatic fashion a variety of femme types. MacLaine is spotted in many different adult situations, and largely convinces with each switcheroo." [7] Box office [ edit ] Woman Times Seven is a collection of vignettes about seven random women (not adultery, as the synopsis claims) all played by Shirley MacLaine, and all the women are different. That's the whole point, they are different - one is shy, one is a prude, one is a bitch, one is even boring! They end up in different situations, some ridiculous, some poignant. There is no over-arching thread or moral to bind them together. They are character studies more than plots, something American audiences may not appreciate. Some vignettes are left unresolved, some are broad comedies, some are bittersweet. If you are waiting for the punchline it isn't always here, but sometimes it is, leaving the overall flow bumpy and uneven.There are two types of movies that came out of the 1960s: strange, experimental films and lusciously colored films that made later generations ask, "Were the sixties really like that?" Woman Times Seven is a mixture of both, which would be a reason to watch it, if you're interested in different types of classic films. The movie has beautiful costumes, lavish colors, and oddly 60s music; and at the same time, it's strange and experimental. Seven completely unrelated short stories—each about infidelity—are played out, all starring Shirley MacLaine! She really is darling, so if you want to see her in various wigs and furs, and with beautiful expressions from heavily made up eyes, you won't want to miss this one. The next two segments are similarly thin plot devices. Maria Theresa (MacLaine) finds her husband with another woman and decides to find a man on the street to be unfaithful with, even if she has to be a prostitute for a night. It's a bit shaky in its exposition but manages a few laughs. Then, as Linda, we see rather a great deal of MacLaine as a brainy nudist who leads two horny men to her apartment to discuss art and poetry. Other than getting naked (in ways that shield her from us if not the guys), Linda doesn't make much with the time given her, and the sequence limps to a wet, predictable conclusion. Edith goes shyly into her husband Rik's study, where he is smoking his pipe with his Great Dane by his side, he reads his latest chapter about his fictional creation: Simone. Woman Times Seven ( Italian: Sette volte donna) is a 1967 sex comedy anthology film directed by Vittorio De Sica. It consists of seven segments, all starring Shirley MacLaine, most of which deal with aspects of adultery.

The fourth character is the dull housewife who feels she must compete with the unrealistic fantasy woman of her husband's novels. She begins to embody the outlandish descriptions, wearing wigs and costumes, laughing and singing and being so impetuous that everyone begins to think she is having a mental breakdown. This is the first episode that feels like a real story arc, moving from awkward comedy to a heartbreaking moment as she realizes she has gone too far, crying out "I'm not crazy , I'm just in love!" Eve, a fashion diva, is horrified when her arch-rival Mme Lisiere is photographed in what her husband had promised was an exclusive creation for her alone. The article mentions that Mme Lisiere intends to debut the dress at the opera that night. Eve calls Mme Lisiere and asks she alter the dress in some small way, a request which Mme Lisiere denies. Woman Times Seven was the first of what was intended to be three films made by Joseph E. Levine, producer Arthur Cohn and Vittorio De Sica working together. [2] As Levine and De Sica had critical and financial success with the films Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (1963) and Marriage Italian Style (1964), Levine asked De Sica for a similar film, and De Sica used some sketches made by his collaborator Cesare Zavattini as the basis. [3] The first choice for the lead role, Natalie Wood, declined the role. [4] WOMAN TIMES SEVEN is one of those portmanteau films beloved of filmmakers of the Fifties and Sixties linked by an abstract theme or authorial voice. In this case, it is adultery.Other than MacLaine, the common elements in the film are the score, the Paris setting, and a common thread of romantic hopes found wanting. The subtitle mentions "7 Stories Of Adultery," which is more than a bit of exaggeration. I won't spoil the ending, but this truly was a pure, finely crafted story, which says more about women, their needs, hopes, desires, fears and fantasy's, in fifteen minutes, than most movies do in two hours. The last, and by far best sequence, features a woman named Jean (MacLaine) who alternately laughs at and lusts over a man (Michael Caine) who follows her around the City of Light to her husband's apartment. "He's got that little-lost-boy look going for him," purrs Jean's more worldly companion Claudie (Anita Ekberg). The sequence ends memorably and cleverly, but really benefits from a second viewing, once you have learned the Caine character's secret. Our last look of MacLaine staring out a window at footprints in the snow has an affecting beauty all its own. Shirley MacLaine's performance, interpreting 7 women as different as it can be, is quite breathtaking. The quality of the mini-stories is uneven, some have aged rather badly in my opinion: Funeral Possession, Super Simone and Suicides. Others still provide a real entertainment and great fun: At the opera, Amateur night, and especially the last one, Snow, also starring Michael Caine, with a quite magical and fairy atmosphere. This was clearly the best part!

But then the makers would argue it was intended as a joke, which is scuppered in that it doesn't make you laugh. You could see why MacLaine and all her famous co-stars wanted to work with De Sica, as even at this stage he had some clout in the international arena, but it was only she who was offered very much interesting to do as the others barely registered. You go, hey, it's Michael Caine, but then he doesn't get any lines, or go, hey, it's Alan Arkin, but then the subject of a joint suicide comes up in his section and you don't feel much like giggling. Elsewhere, former Tarzan Lex Barker was a pretentious writer concocting a ludicrous fiction about his ideal woman who a dowdy Shirley wishes to live up to, making herself silly in the process, again, there's a germ of an intriguing notion but it's underdeveloped when there's barely ten to fifteen minutes to do it justice. Only the anecdote that Lord Lucan apparently auditioned for a role has Woman Times Seven remembered much today, but if you wanted to see what pseud trendsetters considered sophisticated in 1967, here it was. Music by Riz Ortolani. However, the reason I call this review "woman minus six", is that the movie is completely redeemed by the seventh and final story, called "Snow". A simple story, the most beautifully photographed in the streets of Paris, shows two best friends, Maclaine and Anita Ekberg on a shopping day, being pursued by what they believe to be a young smitten wannabe lover. In sweet simple scenes you follow the "suitor", (played with elegant grace by Michael Caine… and without one word of dialogue!) as he seems to pursue these two women. When they decide to split up after lunch to see which one he truly is after (although Ekberg does say: "Maybe he wants us both, he could be one of those moderns) Maclaine. to her joy, finds that he continues to follower her. So many of the endings have this kind of self-satisfied "shrug" to them. A sort of "oh well" sensibility that seems more cop-out than pseudo existentialism. It's always a bit sad when you remember a movie for so long, with such joy, and then finally when it comes out on DVD and you rush to view it, well, as Mr. Wolfe likes to say: "You can't go home again". I first saw this movie as a little boy, sneaking into the neighborhood theater. "Woman's Times Seven" was, after all one of those "foreign films" (though not really), and I was told that no self respecting all American boy should see it. So I was there the first day it opened. For a little boy, seeing Shirley Maclaine reading TS Elliot in the nude, or running around with heart-of-gold prostitutes was enough to proclaim this a masterpiece. For some strange reason this was a movie that didn't find its way onto regular TV, or even cable (or perhaps I just missed it), and only recently came out on DVD. So it remained as a great film in my mind all these years.Furious, Eve enlists the aid of her husband's company. The head of research and development at her husband's fashion house suggests planting a small bomb in Mme Lisiere's car. Her husband is not happy with the plan but nevertheless goes ahead with it. They witness the sabotage and Mme Lisiere's driveway, and go on to the opera house. The next episode clunks. MacLaine and Alan Arkin are lovers trying to negotiate a suicide pact but keep coming up with excuses to not go through with it. The dialog feels improv, and it all takes place in realtime in one room, like a one-act play or a TV skit. It's a case where the vignette before it is so lavish and fun this scene drags in comparison. The concepts of adultery in the film have a European flavor. For example, Vittorio Gassman's character reminds Clinton Greyn's character that divorce is, at the time of filming, impossible for an Italian. The second character is a prudish wife who after discovering her husband and her best friend in bed, runs out of the house vowing to have sex with the first random man she meets. Instead she finds sympathy in a group of prostitutes who exchange war stories about love and men. For all their sexual experience they don't seem to have a better grasp on relationships, and an instant sisterhood bridges their social divide. The last three sequences are the heart of the film's charm and lasting power, each comedic in different ways, each giving MacLaine worthwhile characters to play. Eve is the rich consort of a captain of industry, so bent on making a big splash at the opera in a new gown that she arranges for a bomb to go off in the car of a fashion rival. Her husband is suitably aghast.

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