Italy, 1930s. Marcello is haunted by the death of a homosexual who he thinks he has killed. The fear of conforming himself to the majority pushes him to join the Fascists and to marry Giulia, a bourgeoise who perfectly represents his social ideals. He will find himself as an accomplice in the assassination of Luca Quadri, his former college philosophy professor, an intellectual opponent of Mussolini who has taken refuge abroad. –Cannes Film Festival
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
Storaro's cinematography is so impeccable that I almost didn't care about the rest. Trintignant is brilliant and classy, but his character - unlike Delon's in Il Samouraï - don't captivate. In a way, I'd prefer the film on backwards: After having given up on his conformism in the pursuit of normality and on the fascist ideals he never believed, Marcello discovers himself a homosexual, in the arms of Pierre Clémenti.
This week: a new edition of Interiors, Adrian Martin on Justin Bieber, Kurosawa meets Herzog, Godard & Milius, Brody on Malick and more.
It's a big day for lists, actually, but let's begin with MoMA's Bernardo Bertolucci retrospective, opening today and running through January
Manoel de Oliveira turns 102 today and, as Vitor Pinto reports in Cineuropa, the Portuguese are celebrating with a re-release of his debut
Based on its title, and a one-line synopsis in Halliwell's Film Guide, this movie (Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, Elio Petri
A cold, bleak ambience provides the perfect environment for Bernardo Bertolucci’s shocking, mesmerizing take on sexuality, politics and identity. It’s a film shrouded in secrecy and suspense, existing… read review
Il Conformista is the story of a moderate fascist. A fascist by proxy. A fascist who only wants to be a fascist because it is what everyone else does. He is not a sly, cunning or unpleasant man as… read review
BERNARDO BERTOLUCCI’S “CONFORMIST” (1971)
When we think about “fascists” we imagine an authoritarian person who crudely believes in extremist political doctrine. But what about the polite, delicate… read review