An Italian man is drawn into the fascist party when he’s instructed to assassinate his former college professor, a vocal anti-fascist living in exile in France during the 1930s. Based on the 1951 novel of the same name by Alberto Moravia.
It doesn’t get better than Bertolucci’s stunning masterpiece (shot by the great Vittorio Storaro), one of the most influential films. It rabidly pursues unresolved tendrils of Italian wartime history with the stylized aplomb of the preceding French New Wave and the American movie brats to come.
There's a reason that Bernardo Bertolucci is considered one of the greats, and The Conformist is a terrific legacy. Terrific surreal story that doesn't go so far that it becomes entirely ridiculous. Mesmerizing cinematography that feels just like a painting. The humor is just subtle enough that you almost forget the presence of it in between moments that are borderline screwball. A true classic.
Bertolucci's film is one of the best designed films ever made. Italy's imposing fascist architecture is used to amplify the oppressiveness of Mussolini's regime. Jean-Louis Trintignant has one of his best roles as a government operative desperate to hide the effects of a history of sexual abuse and complicated sexual attractions. Only by volunteering to commit crimes for the fascists is he able to hide his true self.
Probably my favourite Bertolucci film and the one which bought him to international fame.
All the performances are spot on and Vittorio Storao's camera work gives the film a high gloss sheen .
One to saivour
The fact this was conceived in a linear fashion and then only broken up into the disruptive narrative shape we see in the finished film during the editing stage, just kinda blows my mind. One of the most gorgeously shot films. And Dominique Sanda is crushingly beautiful.
such a waste of time. why attempt carve the rushmore with the spoon? for the sake of it. that is what bertoluuci does in this movie. all the mobilised efforts fall somewhere in a void where useless spectacle strides in an airless aquarium. less unbearable than novecento though.
A very transgressive film about conformity, a very stylish film about the sterile, a very political film about blind patriotism and a very erotic film about abuse: "Irony is the gaiety of reflection and the joy of wisdom." Especially where Bertolucci is concerned. Cinematography and atmospherics are truly luscious; few filmmakers today have the balls to give the camera this much agency.