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While scouting out apartments in London for her Venetian boyfriend, Carla rents an apartment that overlooks the Thames. There she meet the lesbian real estate agent Moira and Moira's ex-husband Marion.
For more about Cheeky! and the Cheeky! Blu-ray release, see Cheeky! Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on September 30, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Director: Tinto Brass
Writers: Tinto Brass, Silvia Rossi
Starring: Yuliya Mayarchuk, Jarno Berardi, Francesca Nunzi, Max Parodi, Mauro Lorenz, Leila Carli
» See full cast & crew
Cheeky! Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, September 30, 2012
Italian director Tinto Brass' "Trasgredire" a.k.a "Cheeky" (2000) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Cult Epics. The supplemental features on the disc include an original trailer for the film, behind-the-scenes featurette, and a collection of stills from the film. In Italian or English, with optional English subtitles for the main features. Region-Free.
While looking for an apartment in London, Carla (Yuliya Mayarchuk) meets real estate agent Moira (Francesca Nunzi), who has recently divorced her husband. Moira offers to show Carla a chic apartment with a beautiful view of the River Thames.
The apartment turns out to be exactly what Carla has been looking for - a spacious place with plenty of light in a quiet area. But she can't afford it. Moira, who has already fallen madly in love with Carla, offers to help her with the rent. Then she kisses her. Surprised but excited, Moira kisses her back. The clothes quickly fall off.
In Italy, Carla's handsome boyfriend, Matteo (Jarno Berardi), visits her father to pick up a very important journal and Carla's favorite panties, which she desperately needs. While going through her things, Matteo realizes how much he misses Carla's beautiful smile and soft skin. So, he decides to pay her a visit in London.
Meanwhile, Moira confesses to Carla that she has fallen in love with her. The confession confuses Carla because she prefers men. She does not mind being with Moira and experimenting but does not want to be in a serious relationship with another woman. Nevertheless, when Moira invites her to come to her party, Carla immediately accepts.
The party is a lot like an unofficial gathering for swingers - men and women play games and then make love. There is also an interesting contest - after a close examination the men pick the woman with the most beautiful bottom. During the contest Carla is seduced by Moira's ex-husband, Mario (Max Parodi), who loves Venetian women. Moira becomes upset but Carla invites her to the apartment and the two quickly leave the party. The night ends up with fireworks.
On the following morning, Matteo appears with his duffel bag. When the naked Moira comes out of the bathroom he becomes upset, but Carla makes it up to him. He decides to leave anyway - only to again realize in a nearby park that he cannot live without Carla's beautiful body.
Cheeky a.k.a Trasgredire follows the same simple formula virtually all of Tinto Brass' films follow – the 'plot' is as straightforward as it could be and the camera spends a great deal of time studying the bottoms of beautiful young women who love to take off their clothes. There are also the mandatory splashes of humor here and there that, in addition to the nudity, make Brass' films worth seeing.
In the short behind-the-scenes featurette included on this release Brass quickly points out that unlike their faces women's bottoms never lie, which is why he loves to observe and film them. Having followed the Italian director's career closely, I think that he truly means it. I also think that this is one of the key reasons why his films are never vulgar (the possible exception being Salon Kitty, which is shot in a specific way to look kitschy) - he sees beauty where most people nowadays don't or are ashamed to admit that, like Brass, they also like what they see. I am not trying to imply that Brass is a great, tragically misunderstood director, but what he does with his camera truly isn't that much different from what many Renaissance painters did with their brushes hundreds of years ago. After all, not all of them were masters.
The acting is decent. Mayarchuk is slightly more enthusiastic than she should be but the lovely Nunzi has the right attitude for this film.
Also worth mentioning is that Cheeky has an unusually good soundtrack courtesy of the great Pino Donaggio (Brian De Palma's Dressed to Kill, Blow Out, Body Double, Nic Roeg's Don't Look Now).
Cheeky! Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Tinto Brass' Cheeky arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Cult Epics.
The presentation is average at best, which is exactly what I expected it to be. The overwhelming majority of Tinto Brass' films that appeared on DVD - from I Am What I Am and The Howl to Miranda, The Key and Paprika - had various issues and it seems like distributors in Europe and North America are still using the old masters that are in circulation. The lone exception is Salon Kitty, which uses a high-definition transfer struck from a newer master.
Generally speaking, excluding most of the close-ups where light is in abundance, the film looks quite soft. Clearly, there is moderate filtering applied from start to finish. I should mention, however, that it was more than likely applied when the master for this release was created some years ago, before the DVD release of the film appeared on the market. Color reproduction is also quite weak but not overly distracting. On the positive side, there are no traces of severe sharpening corrections. Also, there are no large cuts, damage marks, or scratches to report in this review. Now, while this Blu-ray release may seem rather disappointing, it actually offers some pretty obvious improvements over the old R1 DVD release of the film, also courtesy of Cult Epic. The improved compression, in particular, eliminates the macroblocking patterns during the darker scenes (the party sequence), and colors are also far more stable. Detail is also clearly improved, though, again, these improvements are easy to see because the transfer the DVD release uses is very poor, not because the high-definition transfer excels convincingly in the key areas we typically address in these reviews. (Note: This is a Region-Free Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you will be able to play it on your PS3 or SA regardless of your geographical location).
Cheeky! Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There are two standard audio tracks on this Blu-ray disc: English Dolby Digital 2.0 and Italian Dolby Digital 2.0. For the record, Cult Epics have provided optional English subtitles for the main feature.
The fact that the release does not come with lossless tracks is rather disappointing, but once again not surprising. More than likely Cult Epics simply did not have the proper files to offer anything better.
The Italian track has a limited dynamic amplitude, but it is well balanced and free of serious background noise and hiss. The dialog (which features some dubbing) is clean, stable, and easy to follow. There are no pops, cracks, or sudden audio dropouts to report in this review. The English translation is very good.
Cheeky! Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Cheeky! Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
I like Tinto Brass' films a lot. I think that he is the last Italian director whose films still have some of that humor and style that made the Italian sexy comedies so popular in Europe during the '70s and '80s and bits of those subversive elements classic Italian exploitation films had before the genre self-destroyed itself. It is true that since 2000 Brass' films have not been as exciting, but they are still perfect to see very late at night. Cheeky is one such film. There is nothing groundbreaking in it, but there is plenty of charm - and, of course, beautiful women. If you are a fan of Brass' work, you should consider picking up this Blu-ray release. It offers some upgrades in visual quality over the old R1 DVD release - but not because it uses a new high-definition transfer, rather because the DVD release is quite poor. If you are not a fan of Brass' work, you probably want to experiment with a different and better looking genre film, such as Radley Metzger's The Image.
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Cheeky! Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Tinto Brass' Cheeky! Heading to Blu-ray - July 5, 2012
Independent distributors Cult Epics have revealed that they are planning to bring to Blu-ray Italian director Tinto Brass' Trasgredire a.k.a Cheeky! (2000), starring Yuliya Mayarchuk, Jarno Berardi and Francesca Nunzi. The preliminary release date set by the distributor ...
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