In episode thirteen, Kat and Samm return to discuss Miklós Jancsó’s neglected 1976 film, Vizi privati, pubbliche virtù aka Private Vices, Public Virtues, which has recently been restored and will soon be released on Blu-ray by Mondo Macabro. Based on the Mayerling Affair from 1889, when the Crown Prince Rudolf, heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, committed suicide with his mistress, Jancsó’s film ponders what could have transpired if Rudolf did not kill himself, but was murdered. Here, Rudolf (the beautiful Lajos Balazsovits) is a rebel and is determined to fill his days with sex, partying, scandal, and blackmail in an attempt to embarrass his father and eventually overthrow the government. The episode explores how this explicit, visually sumptuous film — which includes everything from orgies and incest to anal sex and bestiality, among other surprises — has been unfairly neglected for too long.
But a discussion of Private Vices, Public Virtues is just the tip of the iceberg, and Kat and Samm also offer a retrospective of Jancsó’s catalogue in general, particularly his earlier Hungarian films and his time in Italy, and explore the themes that recurred throughout his career: sadism, nudity, horses, political repression, folk singing, candles, and men in uniform, among others. Also discussed are other sexually explicit films from 1976 — like Walerian Borowczyk’s La marge and Serge Gainsbourg’s Je t’aime moi non plus — and films with similarly transgressive content, like Tinto Brass’s Salon Kitty and Caligula.