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293 Ratings

The Spider's Stratagem

Strategia del ragno

Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci
Italy, 1970
Mystery, Drama


Athos Magnani, a young researcher, returns to Tara, where his father was killed before his birth, at the request of Draifa.

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The Spider's Stratagem Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci
The father’s actions influence the son’s – and, dare I say it, vice versa. In the hands of other directors, this might have dissolved into a Brechtian wank, an eat-your-vegetables dissolution of narrative suspense and viewer interest, but Bertolucci manages to make the story more involving through his formal play. The film takes on a dream logic that pulls us in further. It helps, also, that the movie is visually ravishing.
November 22, 2017
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The Spider’s Stratagem works first as a marvelous snare… The elliptical editing grows especially confusing when the flashbacks begin, as Giulio Brogi plays both Athos Magnanis, the better to confuse the past for the present. The hall of mirrors simultaneously disguises and betrays the truth that this is a story about optics.
April 02, 2014
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Bertolucci’s companion piece to The Conformist, pointedly analytical and lushly abstruse, like a vision dreamt by the discombobulated protagonist at the weed-covered railroad where the trains no longer run on time.
November 11, 2013
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