Italy, 1973, 129 min, 2K DCP, Lina Wertmüller, Not Rated, Kino Lorber, Italian with English subtitles
"A breathtaking film ... executed with high-pitched passion, romance, and dazzling energy." – Paul D. Zimmerman, Newsweek
The titular forces are incarnated in Love and Anarchy's two female protagonists, prostitutes in an elegant brothel in 1930s Rome at the height of the fascist regime. As a member of the resistance, Salome (Melato) embodies Anarchy and is the contact for southern peasant Tunin (Giannini) who comes to the big city to assassinate Mussolini. At the bordello, Tunin is smitten by Salome's younger colleague Tripolina (Lina Polito), the embodiment of Love. Out of Tunin's contradictory commitments to the two women, and their differing demands of him, Wertmüller fashions a dark and politically astute comedy of the clash between desire and will that earned Giannini the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival.
Director Lina Wertmüller emblazoned her name in the pantheon of Italian cinema reinventing the narrative forms and character types of her country's comedy. The passionate invectives against social, cultural and historical inequities at the heart of her mid-1970s masterworks The Seduction of Mimi, Love and Anarchy, Swept Away and Seven Beauties helped the pictures find an appreciative audience, especially in the US, where they broke box-office records for foreign films, made Giancarlo Giannini and Mariangela Melato an indelible screen couple, and secured Wertmüller an Oscar nomination for Best Director - the very first woman named for this category. Lovingly restored to their original full-length splendor, the return of these four beauties is a timely reminder of what we've missed all these years.
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