Not my favorite of Bellocchio's work, but well worth seeing if you like him
Bellocchio's variation on "If ", is even more surreal and bleak than Lindsay Anderson's vision of a boy's school as a metaphor for larger society. Here it's a school of spoiled rich out of control kids stashed away by their families (fathers mostly) in a school run by dark hearted priests. It's hard to tell which group is worse, as both tussle for control of the school and each other.
Beautifully shot (as are all Bellocchio's films). The film has the Church clearly starting to lose it's corrupted influence, but it's not like we have much to be cheery about in the thought of these rich young thugs running the world either.
The surprising thing is how much of this is quite funny. The themes may be depressing, but the individual characters and their actions are often darkly comic (sometimes too much for me, one boy's voice has been dubbed with something that sounds like Mel Blanc created it for a cartoon. Amusing at first, then grating).
Some will hate this it is repetitive and grim and adolescent. But then, the young Bellocchio might argue, so is the world and those who run it.
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