This story opens in 1938 in Rome, where Marcello has just taken a job working for Mussollini and is courting a beautiful young woman who will make him even more of a conformist. Marcello is going to Paris on his honeymoon and his bosses have an assignment for him there. Look up an old professor who fled Italy when the fascists came into power. At the border of Italy and France, where Marcello and his bride have to change trains, his bosses give him a gun with a silencer. In a flashback to 1917, we learn why sex and violence are linked in Marcello's mind. Written by
Dale O'Connor <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When young Marcello shoots up Lino's room, the squibs are clearly visible in the walls before they explode. See more »
[to Manganiello on the phone]
It's me, yes. Everything all right?
What do you mean, they're gone? You mean she's gone, too?
I'll be waiting in front of the hotel.
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This is one of few films in which every artist's performance peaks and falls into place: Trintignant (Z (1969), le Secret (1974)) at his best, Bertolucci's best picture so far, and Vittorio Storaro's best cinematography (besides Apocalypse Now). Their cooperation seems to pay off very well (Novecento (1976), Last Emperor (1987)) as they apparently enhance each other's work. With their brilliance they almost turn Marcello into a hero, while he is actually an anti-hero in this non-linear story. It's not only an entertaining personal tragedy, it's also a political thriller with very distinctive music. I couldn't imagine life without Il Conformista anymore (like Amarcord and some other masterpieces).
Always beautiful, never sentimental: poetic from minute to minute. The compositions, lighting and camera-movements made me breathless: I've never seen so much poetic power in one film. Watch for instance the camera's movement to behind the tree when Manganiello searches for Marcello in the small park @ 68 min. And for instance the hand-held scene near the end. Or the camera placements when Marcello comes approaches his mother's house. Actually the entire film is a big poem. See for yourself :-)
I was lucky enough to see this one in a theater just two months after seeing it first (dec 2000). If you have the chance, go see it on a big screen. If you like the looks of this you will probably like 'Una giornata particolare' (1977) and 'Amarcord' (1974) too.
Why o why can't we vote 11 :(
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