This had been a holy grail of mine for years. You see, in the 70's a lot of films were just plain hard to see and so you heard things and it ricocheted about in your imagination for months, sometimes years building your visions and expectations up. I think it was on Sneak Previews that I first heard about this. Siskell and Ebert slammed it saying it didn't make a lot of sense, was boring and had this part where Jill Clayburgh makes love to her 18 year old son. WHAT!!!!!
What heterosexual 12 year old boy in 1979 DIDN'T have a thing for Jill Clayburgh. Silver Streak was on HBO every single day that year. I even sat through An Unmarried Woman because the little monthly 2"X6" slick magazine paper guide (does anyone remember those?) said it had nudity and when we were in 6th grade we'd sit through anything that had nudity in it no matter how boring.
Anyway, this was impossible to find on VHS in the 80's probably because they had no way to market it and no video store owner was going to take a chance on it because who would rent it outside of a big city, and I was far from anywhere anyone would have read The New Yorker or cared about the Critereon Collection.
It finally popped up on cable in 1999. I had my roommate tape it for me. He thought I was crazy. I asked him about the mother-fugging in it and he said she just gave him a lame handjob through the sheets. Fuh-que Siskell and Ebert -- $%#@ exaggerators!
Years later, now that all the mystique about this film has evaporated and I can now see it for what it is. It really is a beautiful stylish film that takes chances and gets into some dark territory. Jill Clayburgh is an opera singer living in New York who gets called away to live in Italy. They day they are going to leave her husband, none other than Fred "Herman Munster" Gwynne gets killed in a car accident.
Her and her son Joe, who kinda looks like Leonardo de Caprio in Basketball Diaries, go to Italy where he chases girls and gets on heroin. Mom, of course, gets involved and tries to get him off it. She goes crazy and takes off all her clothes in front of her best friend, but it could be a body double the way it's shot.
There's a lot of fighting, flirty cat and mouse chasing, and Joe tracking down his real father, which is the root of his junk addiction. Not great but still a hell of a lot more interesting and thought-provoking than The Avengers (2012).
You can see the whole thing here: http://www.3moviesonline.com/La-Luna
Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci, if you care and 142 minutes long.