A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.
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>
Alberto Moravia's novel is told from an omniscient point of view. For the film adaptation, Bernardo Bertolucci chose to tell the story more from the viewpoint of the protagonist, whose memories and feelings are deliberately misleading and unreliable. Bertolucci's non-linear approach to the film's timeline only adds to the film's stream-of-consciousness feeling. See more »
When Manganiello and Marcello are talking in the kitchen of the restaurant, the swinging lamp slows, then obviously someone knocks it on two occasions to keep it swinging. 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.
See more »
One of the Most Visually Hypnotic Films I've Ever Seen
Bernardo Bertolucci's stunning early-1970s classic looks absolutely beautiful nearly forty years later. It tells the story of a fascist in 1930s Italy who is assigned to root out and assassinate anti-fascists. As the story develops, we learn that a childhood event played a large role in shaping this man's perception of himself, and that the life he is leading is largely a lie.
The story Bertolucci tells is odd and compelling, but what kept me glued to the television screen was the film's mesmerizing visual style. Bertolucci collaborated with cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, and it's not an exaggeration to say that they create some of the most beautiful images I've ever seen in a film. One might expect Bertolucci to adopt a sombre color palette for telling such a gloomy story, but that's not the case. On the contrary, he opts for lush colors, striking contrasts, and stylized lighting to create a slightly surrealistic environment that's one small step removed from reality as we know it.
A truly remarkable movie.
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