Somewhere near the top of a long list entitled Things No One Wants from Pop Culture sits the following entry: “softcore porn movie about Silvio Berlusconi’s bunga bunga parties directed by the dude who did Caligula.” Such a movie seems like an all-around BAD IDEA, and yet, speaking to a small herd of reporters on Saturday, the 80-year-old softcore porn auteur Tinto Brass said that he’d love to make some Cinemax-appropriate Berlusconi porn. He’s even got a title picked out — Thank You, Daddy. Ewwwww.
Did you vomit, just then? If you didn’t, perhaps you need to be reminded that Silvio Berlusconi, the former Prime Minister of Italy, was recently convicted of having sex with an underage prostitute and (spoiler alert!) using his political influence as the prime minister of a country to cover it up. Actually, that does sound like some Caligula shit right there, doesn’t it? If a softcore porn movie must be made about Berlusconi’s tumble from a position of immense power, then maybe Tinto Brass, the subject of a documentary currently playing at the Venice Film Festival, is the man to do it.
Then again, gross. Berlusconi’s very public, very shameless transgressions don’t even have the temporal exoticism of having happened a long time ago in a pagan empire far, far away. We probably don’t even know what Caligula look like, or even that he was the psychotic, sex-crazed emperor of popular imagination (some of the most referenced historical sources, like Suetonius, had their own political agendas, and in writing lurid accounts of Caligula’s rule long after Caligula’s reign, were actually currying favor with current regimes, or simply relying on outdated, unverified gossip from the imperial archives). Making a semi-serious “artful” Berlusconi movie on some level glorifies the sexually exploitative behavior of a clearly corrupt and unrepentant politician. There are enough movies and TV shows blasting panegyrics to the male anti-hero’s untamed libido (ahem, Californication) — we don’t need yet another one.
Plus, does anyone really want to see which actor Brass somehow convinces to play Berlusconi? What if Robert De Niro signed up for it? He’ll be in anything! His script-selecting process seems like a bingo drawing.
Image via AP