From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Maladolescenza (German title: Spielen wir Liebe, French title: Jeux interdits de l'adolescence, English title: Playing with Love or Puppy Love) is a 1977 film directed by Pier Giuseppe Murgia.
Cast and crew
- Directed by: Pier Giuseppe Murgia
- Book: Pier Giuseppe Murgia
- Camera: Lothar Elias Stickelbrucks
- Music: Giuseppe "Pippo" Caruso, Jürgen Drews
- Music Editing: Grandi Firme della Canzone
- Company: Petra Cinema 23/Seven-Star/Petra Cinematografica spa
- Scriptwriter: Peter Berling
- Dialog: Dieter Geissler
- Italian version: Barbara Alberti & Amedeo Pagani
- Cinematography by: Elias Lother Stickelbrucks
- Color Pictures: Technospes Spa , Roma, Italy
- Production Management: Günter Prantl
- Costume Designer: Isolde Jovine
- Audio: Alexander Hillebrand
- Assistant Camera: Wolf Bachmann & Horst Zagolla
- Decorator: Helga Wandl
- Assistant Director: Anita Rakosi
- Film Editing by: Inga Seyric
- Producer: Franco Cancellieri
- Countries: Italy, Austria, Germany
- Lara Wendel as Laura
- Eva Ionesco as Silvia
- Martin Loeb as Fabrizio
- Xylot as Iro - the dog
Laura (Lara Wendel) and Fabrizio (Martin Loeb) have been meeting summers in the forest by her parents summer home. Fabrizio's favourite game is "King of the Forest" with Laura as his queen. This summer new aspects enter into the plot as the kids are growing up. The film well represents them as part child, part adult. Part naive, part knowing. Laura is falling in love with Fabrizio and vise-versa.
Fabrizio has also been developing a cruel streak to his personality. He excelerates his torment of Laura in many ways, including tying her up and putting a snake on her and killing a pet bird. One day they climb the "Blue Mountain and discover ancient building ruins. Exploring these they find a cave. Inside, Fabrizio seduces Laura.
Fabrizio's cruel streak is boosted by his new sexual confidence. At one point he turns their second love-making with her into a somewhat over the borderline attempted rape scene. He does relent when she makes it clear she is not interested. I got the impression she would have complied if he proceeded romantically as he had before, but this was him taking her, not seducing her. She stays with him, asking, "Why can't you be gentle?"
Things go from bad to worse when they meet Sylvia (Eva Ionesco). Unlike the previously virginal Laura, Sylvia is well versed sexually and truly sadistic. Using both of these qualities, Sylvia draws Fabrizio into her 'world'. Sylvia quickly replaces Laura as Fabrizio's queen, demoting Laura to servant and victim, though there is also friendship. Laura, reluctant to leave her old friend and new lover, sticks around and becomes the target of the duos ever progressing cruelty. At one point, the duo 'hunt' Laura with bows and arrows and at another, pretend to throw her off a high ledge.
At the end of summer, with the girls talking about going back to school, Fabrizio takes Sylvia to the ruins for the first time. All three of them go into the cave to escape a thunderstorm and Fabrizio pulls the same stunt on Sylvia that he pulled on Laura, pretending to be lost, to get the girls to stay the night with him. Sylvia breaks down revealing what a little girl she really is. Fabrizio repeatedly begs Sylvia to stay with him forever. In the morning, Sylvia is still lost in the cave and rejecting Fabrizio's pleas to stay with him. She becomes hysterical and he stabs her. It is the only way he won't lose her. He stays with the dead body and gives Laura the flashlight so she can find her way out.
This movie is an excellent example of the cruelty of childhood games. It is also a true representation of kids exploring their sexuality. It is no more pornographic than many R-rated movies with sexual situations and nudity. The controversy is due to the girls age, both 'sexually mature' twelve-year-olds.
- "Maladolescenza" (02:23)
- "L'incubo E Il Serpente" (02:12)
- "Citta Segreta" (01:59)
- "Il Labirinto" (02:40)
- "Re E Buffone" (00:50)
- "La Villa Misteriosa" (01:06)
- "Silvia" (01:25)
- "Caccia A Laura" (01:40)
- "Il Sopravvento" (01:07)
- "Cara Adolescenza" (02:01)
- "Scambio Di Consegne" (02:29)
- "Ninna Nanna A Nascondino" (02:07)
- "Silvia E Fabrizio" (01:59)
- "Identificazione" (03:26)
- "La Villa Di Notte" (01:13)
- "E Gia Autunno" (01:19)
- "Adagio Per Oboe" (01:06)
- "La Notte Dell'attesa" (02:13)
- "Maladolescenza" (02:44) Alternate Take #1
- "Silvia" (01:10) Alternate Take #1 Harpiscord & Orchestra
- "Maladolescenza" (02:55) Il Recinto Dei Giochi
- "Silvia" (02:28) Alternate Take #2 - Music Box
- "Il Labirinto" (Part 2) (01:10)
- "Silvia" (01:29) Alternate Take #3 - Solo Flute
- "Maladolescenza" (01:54) Kamasutra
- "Scambio Di Consenge" (02:28) Alternate Take
- "Silvia" (02:02) Alternate Take #4 - Harp & Orchestra
- When Maladolescenza came out, it was decried as child pornography almost immediately, and the film was banned or heavily cut in many countries. The uncut and unfogged version is considered legal in some countries today, such as Austria where the company "X-Rated" released it as a DVD in 2004, but it was declared illegal in Germany on July 28, 2006.
- After this movie, Martin Loeb's career was ruined and he made only one more film. Lara Wendel continued as an actress, and Eva Ionesco jumped to near-stardom and has made many films after this.
- The poem at the end:
"Please, tell me, do you want to be my playmate?
Do you want to play for ever and ever?
Do you want to feel yourself important with childlike spirit,
to sit seriously at the head of the table,
to pour skilfully wine and water,
to throw pearls, to be happy for nothing,
and to wear old dresses with nostalgia?
Please, tell me, do you want to play the game of life,
of the snowy winter, of the endless autumn?
Shall we drink tea - the ruby tea making yellow smoke -
without saying a word?
Do you really want to live keeping your heart pure,
being silent for a long time,
being sometimes scared 'cos November is coming,
and 'cos the street sweeper is a poor sick man
who whistles under our window?
Do you want to play the game of the snake, of the eagle,
of the long journeys, of the the train, of the ship,
of the Christmas, of the dream,
of all the nice things of the world?
Do you want to play the game of the happy lover?
Do you want to pretend to cry,
and to play the game of the coloured funeral?
Do you want to live, to live for ever,
to live in that game that has become so real?
Do you want to lie on the ground covered in flowers,
and do you want...
...do you want to play the game of death?"
Akarsz-e játszani? (Do You Want to Play?) by Dezső Kosztolányi
Italian translation by Edith Bruck
English translation from Italian by Peter Neal from IMDb