Italy, 1970, 111 min, 2K DCP, Dir. Bernardo Bertolucci, Rated R, Italian with English subtitles, Kino Lorber

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The Conformist

Sunday, 8/1 & Tuesday, 8/3

"[The Conformist] places young Bernardo Bertolucci in the front ranks of Italian directors and among the finest film-makers working anywhere. In this dazzling film, Bertolucci, 30, manages to combine the bravura style of a Fellini, the acute sense of period of a Visconti and the fervent political commitment of an Elio Petri (Investigation of a Private Citizen) with complete individuality and, better still, a total lack of self-indulgence." —Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

In Mussolini's Italy, repressed Jean-Louis Trintignant, trying to purge memories of a youthful, homosexual episode—and murder—joins the Fascists in a desperate attempt to fit in. As the reluctant Judas motors to his personal Gethsemane (the assassination of his leftist mentor), he flashes back to a dance party for the blind; an insane asylum in a stadium; and wife Stefania Sandrelli and lover Dominique Sanda dancing the tango in a working class hall. But those are only a few of this political thriller's anthology pieces, others including Trintignant's honeymoon coupling with Sandrelli in a train compartment as the sun sets outside their window; a bimbo lolling on the desk of a fascist functionary, glimpsed in the recesses of his cavernous office; a murder victim's hands leaving bloody streaks on a limousine parked in a wintry forest. Bernardo Bertolucci's masterpiece, adapted from the Alberto Moravia novel, boasts an authentic Art Deco look created by production designer Ferdinando Scarfiotti, a score by the great Georges Delerue and breathtaking color cinematography by Vittorio Storaro.


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