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Before the Revolution (1964)
"Prima della rivoluzione" (original title)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  12 May 1964 (Italy)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,162 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 23 critic

The study of a youth on the edge of adulthood and his aunt, ten years older. Fabrizio is passionate, idealistic, influenced by Cesare, a teacher and Marxist, engaged to the lovely but ... See full summary »

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Title: Before the Revolution (1964)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Adriana Asti ...
Gina
Francesco Barilli ...
Fabrizio
Allen Midgette ...
Agostino
Morando Morandini ...
Cesare
Cristina Pariset ...
Clelia
Cecrope Barilli ...
Puck
Evelina Alpi ...
The little girl
Gianni Amico ...
A friend
Goliardo Padova ...
The painter
Guido Fanti ...
Enore
Enrico Salvatore ...
The priest
Amelia Bordi ...
The mother
Domenico Alpi ...
The father
Iole Lunardi ...
The grandmother
Antonio Maghenzani ...
The brother
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Storyline

The study of a youth on the edge of adulthood and his aunt, ten years older. Fabrizio is passionate, idealistic, influenced by Cesare, a teacher and Marxist, engaged to the lovely but bourgeois Clelia, and stung by the drowning of his mercurial friend Agostino, a possible suicide. Gina is herself a bundle of nervous energy, alternately sweet, seductive, poetic, distracted, and unhinged. They begin a love affair after Agostino's funeral, then Gina confuses Fabrizio by sleeping with a stranger. Their visits to Cesare and then to Puck, one of Gina's older friends, a landowner losing his land, dramatize contrasting images of Italy's future. Their own futures are bleak. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Italy...is the place where they've made an art of everything - especially love!

Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Details

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Release Date:

12 May 1964 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Before the Revolution  »

Filming Locations:

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bernardo Bertolucci was only 22 when he made this film. See more »

Quotes

A friend: Remember, Fabrizio: one can't live without Rossellini.
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Connections

References Vertigo (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

Avevo 15 anni
Performed by Ennio Ferrari
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User Reviews

 
Very early flawed but interesting work by Bertolucci
24 December 2013 | by (US) – See all my reviews

While hailed as many as a masterpiece (or near), I struggled with Bertolucci's 2nd film, made when he was only 23, although I am a fan of his in general. Beautifully shot, great use of music and unconventional editing, the film is excellent on a film-making and craft level (although it perhaps borrows too liberally from leading film-makers of the era, especially Godard, Antonioni and Resnais).

The story of a young bourgeois man trying to come to terms with his tear between his attraction to communism and his desire for an easier life leads him into an incestuous affair with his somewhat older aunt. I found it's themes somewhat muddled, alternating between being heavy-handedly spelled out, or so obtuse I wasn't sure what a given scene was saying.

The acting in particular seems a bit all over the place; understated to the point of flatness in one scene, and then almost theatrically over the top the next. At the end I felt glad I'd seen the film, but it didn't stick with me the way Bertolucci's first film "La Commare Secca" or his third "Partner" did. ("Partner" deals with some of the same themes, but in a far more playful, often comedic way). There was a film-school sort of pretentiousness and emotional distance in "Before the Revolution that kept me from feeling moved or from being led to think deeply about the ideas.

That said, I am willing to revisit it and see if my reaction changes, and certainly I enjoyed Bertolucci's already masterful use of image and sound, even if the ends he was using them to were a bit muddled.


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