Friday, October 10

Special Engagements Archive

The Conformist

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New Digital Restoration October 10–13!

Il Conformista (1970) dir Bernardo Bertolucci w/Jean-Louis Trintignant, Stefania Sandrelli, Dominique Sanda [111 min; DCP; in Italian and French with English subtitles]
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 boasts an authentic Art Deco look created by production designer Ferdinando Scarfiotti, a score by the great Georges Delerue (Contempt, Jules and Jim) and breathtaking color cinematography by Vittoria Storaro, who supervised this director approved restoration. – notes from the Film Forum, NYC

“Transports you into a world of pure style! Intriguing as The Conformist is as the reconstruction of one vexed historical moment – the late 30s – it is even more evocative of another, the late 60s and early 70s, when cinema seemed to be entering a period of decadence that was also a second youth.” – A. O. Scott, The New York Times

★★★★★ “Juggling past and present with the same bravura flourish as Welles in Citizen Kane, Bertolucci conjures a dazzling historical and personal perspective, demonstrating how the search for normality ends in the inevitable discovery that there is no such thing.” – Tom Milne, Time Out (London)

“Carries with it a rejuvenating jolt of youthful creative energy, the memory of a time when movies were the most important art and their creative possibilities seemed endless.” – Dave Kehr


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