17. jun, 2015

Why I'm In Love With Rosalba Neri

Rosalba Neri never got as famous as her Italian counterparts Sophia Loren & Gina Lollobrigida to name a few, but she got my undying love. Now don’t get me started on her cheekbones, catlike eyes, fashion sense and her just overall gorgeousness. Frankly, I could watch Rosalba doing her laundry for an hour. The joy with Rosalba is that she gets naked within seconds, displaying no worries at all. And it never gets sleazy somehow, because she is so damn classy. Her sensuality just leaps from the screen and smacks you in the face. She played a multitude of roles in many genres, sometimes going from bad girl to pure heroine with equal skill, in a career that came close to 100 films. She remains a top obsession amongst Euro-film fantatics, as she appeared in many top cult movies of the 60s and 70s, mainly in highly-charged sexual roles. She was born on June 19, 1939 in Furli, Emilia Romagna, Italy. As a teen, Rosalba won a beauty pageant and decided to pursue the study of acting at The Center for Experimental Cinematography. In the mid fifties, she decided not to move to America to learn about Method Acting, even if such an opportunity arose. Her first film experience was The Penguins Watch Us in 1955. Small roles soon followed in local Italian productions. In 1960, she got noticed for participating in a couple of historical epics, namely Cleopatra’s Daughter and Esther and the King. The latter was mostly directed by Mario Bava but credited to Raoul Walsh. Her career continued following the popular trends of the times, going from peplum, spaghetti westerns, spy films, sexploitation, horror and most notably in the giallo film genre, where her stunning presence graced such films as Slaughter Hotel, Amuck!, The Girl in Room 2A and The French Sex Murders. Her work for my favorite director Jess Franco includes Lucky The Inscrutable, 99 Women - one of the first 'women in prison' films, The Castle of Fu Manchu & Marquis de Sade's Justine. The ultimate Rosalba Neri film for many people is Lady Frankenstein, which clumsy dubbing and ludicrous script she transcends with her perverse sensuality and evilness, but for me the ultimate Rosalba Neri flick is Top Sensation (1969) witch teams her up with that other Euro Cult Goddess Edwige Fenech. You simply can't go wrong with those two women! Rosalba had a daughter in 1964, Francesca Neri, still working today as an actress and who also has quite an intriguing list of film credits… and her mom’s good looks. In 1974, Rosalba could be seen in The Arena, an amazing tale of female gladiators starring Pam Grier. Rosalba shot her last film in 1976, Il pomicione and she made her final appearence in Olga e i suoi figli, an Italian TV mini-series (1985). What more can I say? Yes, I worship Rosalba, she just rocks it like a hurricane.