Tormented by twisted desires, a young man takes drastic measures to rid his grotesquely dysfunctional family of its various afflictions in this astonishing 1965 debut from Marco Bellocchio. Charged by a coolly assured style, shocking perversity, and savage gallows humor, Fists in the Pocket was a gleaming ice pick in the eye of bourgeois family values and Catholic morality, a truly unique work that continues to rank as one of the great achievements of Italian cinema. —The Criterion Collection
Born in Piacenza in 1939 from a family of the upper middle-class, he attended the Liceo of the Barnabite Fathers; in 1959 he abandoned his studies in philosophy at the Catholic University in Milan and enrolled at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia (The National Film School in Rom). Then, in London, he followed courses in cinema at the Slade School of Fine Arts, graduating with a thesis on Antonioni and Bresson. He made his debut in full-length films with Fist in His Pocket (I pugni in tasca) (1965), considered one of the best first works in the history of the Italian cinema. In this great film, the rebellious tendency of the young is skilfully expressed in terms of revolt against family and normality, through the story of a young man who decides to exterminate two members of his own family. His next film, China is Near (La Cina è vicina) (1967), marked a turn towards comedy, in the clash between bourgeois hypocrisy and the vain ambition of the fake revolutionaries… read more
Intriguing. What cruel intentions. The shots are so crisp! The funeral scene is superb. Sick bastard...
Between the sound design, editing, art direction and impenetrably black humor, this is definitely my favorite Italian film.
In the run-up to their presentation of Head (1968) at 92Y Tribeca on December 18, a screening introduced by Eric Lefcowitz, author
For me what worked for the film was just how fucked up the family really is. Between, how the mother was killed, and the way that character reacted after that happened, made the film worth watching… read review
A film that is, in the end, about those that are expendable; presented under a veneer of complicity, in the case of Augusto and Giulia, and insanity, in the case of Alessandro.
The Antonioni… read review
This film portays a disturbed family with issues who are constantly fighting with each other and have problems living a happy life. The only ‘normal’ family member is Augusto, who is also the only… read review