The Original Version Of This Article Appeared Here At Moon In The Gutter.
"Cass was the most beautiful girl in town. 1/2 Indian with a supple and strange body, a snake-like and fiery body with eyes to go with it. Cass was fluid moving fire. She was like a spirit stuck into a form that would not hold her. Her hair was black and long and silken and whirled about as did her body. Her spirit was either very high or very low. There was no in between for Cass. Some said she was crazy. The dull ones said that. The dull ones would never understand Cass."
Has there ever been anyone as beautiful as Ornella Muti? So striking she is almost alien, and with a searing intensity that is almost terrifying. Ornella haunts my dreams to this day and she is one of the few people who have inhabited planet earth that I really couldn't imagine being in the same room with, Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Alain Delon, Klaus and Nastassja Kinski are the others that come to mind.
I don't know a lot about Ornella. She was born in Rome in the spring of 55 where I am sure as a young girl she probably haunted every boy she would meet. She modeled throughout her teens and started making movies right as the seventies began. Throughouth the decade she appeared in some of the most memorable and often confrontational films of the period for directors ranging from Joe D'Amato to Franco Rossi. She would began shooting more and more mainstream English language productions after 1980's FLASH GORDON. Ornella did her best work in the seventies and was at the absolute peak of her beauty in the period. Her finest work came especially with one key director, the always controversial and fascinating Marco Ferreri.
I should write a long post celebrating Ornella Muti the actress, as she is clearly one of the most talented on the planet. One glance at her filmography, especially her films with Marco Ferreri, will tell you this. However, that will have to come in the future as I just wanted to celebrate in a few short lines the extraordinary beauty of this woman.
I am not sure who exactly Charles Bukowski had in mind when he wrote the above lines but Marco Ferreri showed his genius when he cast Ornella as Cass in his TALES OF ORDINARY MADNESS. It is a great work and like Ben Gazzara's drunken and lonely poet in the film, Ornella Muti breaks my heart every time I watch it....
So Ciao Bella...occasionally God gets everything right.
For more information on Ornella may I recommend her official website. For those who haven't seen her work with Marco Ferreri I highly recommend tracking them down by any means necessary. The handful of films they made together represent one of the great, if brief, partnerships in modern cinema.
I will be posting more photos of Ornella later this evening to go along with this post...