Set in Italy, the film follows the lives and interactions of two boys/men, one born a bastard of peasant stock (Gérard Depardieu), the other born to a land owner (Robert De Niro). The drama spans from 1900 to about 1945, and focuses mainly on the rise of Fascism and the peasants’ eventual reaction by supporting Communism, and how these events shape the destinies of the two main characters. –IMDb
Bernardo Bertolucci proved to be Italian cinema’s great prodigy, making his debut The Grim Reaper at the age of 22, and Before the Revolution at the age of 24; achievements comparable to Orson Welles directing Citizen Kane at the age of 25. He was born in Parma in 1940. He initially followed the footsteps of his father Attilio, a noted poet and critic. His poetry received prizes at competitions and a collection of his work was published while he was still a teenager. But his attention was already diverted to the cinema, especially after viewing Godard’s Breathless. His planned transition from poetry to cinema found an accomplice in fellow poet Pier Paolo Pasolini. A family friend, he regarded Bertolucci as a kindred spirit and tasked him as his assistant on his landmark debut, Accattone. The experience, described by Bertolucci as witnessing “the invention of the cinema” further ignited his own ambitions.
The Grim Reaper was based on a story by Pasolini but the resulting film displayed… read more
Bertolucci delivers his sprawling historical epic, Visconti period attention to a fault, without reneging his trademark flourishes - sweeping kineticism + score, tied to his creeping sensual cause and amplified by the elephantine genre structure undertaken. In his bellicose portrayals of the provincial bourgeois against the repressed partisan peasantry, Bertolucci’s emotive anti-Fascist stance springs subtle as a brick - finishing with direct fourth wall invective - but the heavy-handedness (A.K.A. ‘Sutherland moments’) remain offset by the luxurious, romanticised tableaux.
A look at posters in which actors are absent and the title treatment is king.
1900 has been called “the last neo-realist epic ever filmed,” and probably with good reason. That alone, however, makes it worth the effort to sit through. Clocking in at 315 minutes, 1900 is an intimidating… read review
Quite possibly the least interesting thing I’ve seen from Bertolucci. Film as metaphor can be a wonderfully exciting thing but this is all that 1900 has going for it. The characters are vulgar (which… read review
Probably came as too related to Godfather for most, but I find this epic movie far superior to the rather safe directing of Coppola. Here, there is even better music soundtrack, an amazing dreamy quality… read review