A glorious exercise in style, to the extent that it may very well be one of the best shot movies I've ever seen. Every shot is perfect and evocative. It is also a well done commentary on fascism and conformity (hence the title), as well as time and being left behind in it. So, so, so, so much better than his Oscar winner The Last Emperor.
To be quite frank,it was much better then what i expected it to be,and i tip my hat at the truly awesome and atmospheric cinematography that was done by Vittorio Storaro.That coupled with a impressive showing of directing from Bertolucci makes this a really memorable and standout film...perhaps even Bertolucci's best.
Stylish and captivating. The use of violet blue embodies the emotional fragility of the lead. We feel his sadness and confusion. The camera work was superb and captured the coldness of Fascism. Using slits of light through the movie created a sense of imprisonment which we visualize through the leads performance. Got lost in the plot once or twice but narrative was strong. Loved it.
Both a decadently stylish noir-inspired film & a disappointingly lacking psychological thriller, with the discrepancy between the two made all the more noticeable by Bertolluci's clear mastery of visual storytelling technique. His form, easily sophisticated enough to subsume the complex content, instead leaves the most compelling bits behind. Might, paradoxically, have been stronger with a less interesting story. 3.5
"A normal man? For me, a normal man is one who turns his head to see a beautiful woman's bottom. The point is not just to turn your head. There are five or six reasons. And he is glad to find people who are like him, his equals. That's why he likes crowded beaches, football, the bar downtown..."
A solid document of the exploration of human frailty. A warning too; as weak and flawed as we are as a species, we end up supporting dictatorships as readily as we follow any other system, and we are none the better for it. There are flaws. Not the shooting or the acting which are at times exhilarating, but the writing. Marcello is too enigmatic and the gilt a little too stylish for such tarnished subject matter.
I would never call this film one of my favourites. But it is gorgeous and there's a lot there to think about when it's over. There also some magnificently staged scenes, some that are even highly emotional in their coldness. This being my second viewing, and with a deeper understanding of Italian history this time around, I appreciate it more, but I still can't bring myself to identify with it.