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“Monica Bellucci” by Monica Bellucci with Introduction by Giuseppe Tornatore – Book Review

Monica Bellucci, Implied Nude, Book, Cover, black rubber, bra, black rubber bra, italian actress, italian, modelMonica Bellucci” is a joyful and sensual montage of Monica Bellucci’s 20 years in front of still cameras. 

This is a story told in photos, of Monica’s life as model and muse.

For Monica, with youthful eyebrows as yet uncoiffed, her star journey began at 13 when she first agreed to model for a local photo enthusiast.

You may know Monica for her portrayals of the sexy siren opposite the likes of Tom Cruise in ‘Bram Stoker’s Dracula‘ or as the sensually full-lipped woman who, in a swank mens’ bathroom, pressures Keanu Reeves into sharing a passionate kiss in Matrix Reloaded.

Predating her Hollywood Movie Stardom, Monica enjoyed a very successful fashion and glamour modeling career, which includes covers on many magazines like Elle Esquire, CG Italia, etcetera and has involved shooting in exotic locals like Paris, Rome and Monte Carlo.

In short, Senorita Bellucci is one of Italy’s most succesful contemporary models and actresses.

Giuseppe Tornatore, directed Monica in Malena (2000), wrote some of the few words in “Monica Bellucci” by way of a brief one page intro.  Perhaps you recall him for his Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for Cinema Paradiso ?

Not to be outdone, Monica also has written one (1) page where in she shares that in youth, she daydreaming to the works of photographers like Helmut Newton, Bruce Weber and Richard Avedon …

“But, I never had the body of a model.  I was tall, but not tall enough, and curvaceous without ever wanting to be thin…”

“… I’m like a muse who enjoys watching an artist portray her and who lives only through the people who describe her form.”

These two short quotations represent a significant portion of the written word in “Monica Bellucci“…

First and foremost, “Monica Bellucci” is a book of photographs of Monica Bellucci as model.   There are practically no candid shots, or movie promo images.

“Monica Bellucci” contain beautiful production ready images, which have Monica, usually as the sole model, and spanning the 20 years of her career as model.

Superb photographs, of the persona of Monica Bellucci as Muse, form both content and context.   Otherwise, there are the barest minimum of words present or required.

Among the many excellent images, a favorite is the low key shot © Gian Paolo Barbierri.  Here we see Monica looking at us, the camera, nude, standing behind a transparent pool edge, mystery added via a smattering of water born teasers.  Superb!

Monica Bellucci, Gian Paolo Barbierri, Nude, behind, Transparent, Pool, Bathtub, GlassMonica Bellucci” provides the viewer a large window through which we are allowed to see and enjoy how Monica the Muse lives, through the camera’s eye of several world-class photographers:

    • Ruven Afanador
    • Richardo Aujard
    • Richard Avendon
    • Gian Paolo Barbieri
    • Kate Barry
    • Chico Bialas
    • Michel Comte
    • Francesco Escalar
    • Fabrizio Ferri
    • Hans Feurer
    • Pamela Hanson
    • Dominique Issermann
    • Douglas Kirkland
    • Peter Lindbergh
    • Ali Meisel
    • Frederic Meylan
    • Jean Baptiste Mondino
    • Helmut Newton
    • John Nollet
    • Josh Olins
    • Sante D’Orazio
    • Vincent Peters
    • Paolo Roversi
    • Bettina Rheims
    • Ferdinando Scianna
    • Isabel Snyder
    • Tyen
    • Oliveriero Toscani
    • Ellen Von Unwerth
    • Albert Watson
    • Bruce Weber
    • James White

These photographers are lions of the fashion and glamour world.

Currently, for example, the works of Tyen, Unwerth and Watson are heavily represented in the “Beauty Culture” free exhibition running through November 27, 2011 at the prestigious Annenberg Space for Photography museum in Los Angeles, California.

If you happen to attend the exhibit, you will notice a circa 2008 color capture of Monica by Tyen.

The exhibit is nothing like about being an homage to our marvelous Miss Monica, where the Bella Bellucci is present in cameo only.

The exhibit is about iconography and imagery of ideally beautiful and beautified women in modern culture generally.   Thus our Madonna Bellucci plays her museful role in beauty culture.

In contrast, “Monica Bellucci” is intimately and specifically Monica Bellucci in art, fashion, glamour and nude photographs captured by photographer after gifted photographer.

At 240 pages, 13.25″ x 10.25″ x 1.25″ in size, and almost 5 pounds in weight, we have a hefty book chock full of captivating images of a sexy sultry Senorita Bellucci.

This is first and foremost a photo book.  Monica often literally is dripping sensuality in page after turning page.

There are perhaps 10 pages or fewer of text.  A couple pages of introductions.  Some pages of copyright information and the like, plus a page or two of photo credits…

A few more pages of blank white space, perhaps with just the name of the credited photographers…

The rest of the book is mainly one and two page spreads of lovely images of Monica Bellucci.

The closing vignette, after these many luscious image of our most sultry seductress, are two vignettes of a mature Monica, rounding out her modern femininity, as Madonna.    On pages 248-249, Monica is maternally embracing her baby daughters Deron and Leonie.

“Monica Bellucci” is $60 retail if you can find it.  Good luck trying.

Monica Bellucci” was available new, with a one (1) to three (3) month wait, at Amazon for $ 37.80, and remains immediately through Amazon resellers’ network for prices often exceeding $ 100.00 by clicking here.

I bought mine on Amazon new for $37.80* with free shipping … Yay!

If you gotta have it, it’s scarce, so go ahead and pay.  If you can wait, Amazon seems to come through.

When I bought my new copy, it only took 2-3 weeks to arrive and was well worth the wait and purchase.

With the pricing inverted the way it is for used versus new copies, this volume is acting like a collectible … Ya think?

*( 9-4-2011 update, “Monica Bellucci” remains available via Amazon, though no longer discounted.  Whether new or used, “Monica Bellucci” has become highly collectible, as has pricing. )

If you love fantastic photography of this very glamorously beautiful model, shot by one amazingly talented photographer after another, “Monica Bellucci” might be your gotta-have-it volume.

Order now, it will arrive in the mail soon.

To find “Monica Bellucci” volumes new or used on Amazon, click here.

For a listing of Books Reviewed on, click here.

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