6.7/10
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41 user 35 critic

Luna (1979)

La luna (original title)
While touring in Italy, a recently-widowed American opera singer has an incestuous relationship with her 15-year-old son to help him overcome his heroin addiction.

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(story), (story) | 4 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Caterina Silveri
...
Joe Silveri
Veronica Lazar ...
Marina
...
Communist
...
Douglas Winter
...
Giuseppe's Mother
Elisabetta Campeti ...
Arianna
...
Man in Bar
...
...
Director of Caracalla
...
Edward
Mustapha Barat ...
Mustafa (as Stéphane Barat)
Pippo Campanini ...
Innkeeper
Rodolfo Lodi ...
Maestro Giancarlo Calo
Sara Di Nepi ...
Concetta (as Shara Di Nepi)

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Storyline

Recently widowed American opera diva Caterina takes her teenaged son Joe with her on a long singing tour to Italy. Absorbed in her hectic work in various Verdi operas around Rome, Caterina is soon shocked to discover that her troubled and lonely son has become a heroin addict. Her desperate attempts to wean the youth off the drug result in an incestuous relationship, but also in a possibility to reunite Joe--maybe even herself--with his real father, whose existence she has kept a secret from him. Written by Markku Kuoppamäki

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Catherine & her son share a desire that will shock you. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

30 September 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Luna  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Theatrical feature film acting debut of Matthew Barry who had previously worked in television and off-Broadway. Barry has gone onto work as both a casting director and an actor. For this movie, Barry answered an advertisement in the show business trade journal "Variety" which had been placed by director Bernardo Bertolucci's casting agent for the role of the son in this film. Barry was selected as one of ten finalists from several dozen youthful aspirants to be interviewed by Bertolucci. After Barry's first reading of a scene, the competition was narrowed down to three contestants. Barry went screen tested in the semi-finals with actress Jill Clayburgh, and, after a second test, won the role. See more »

Quotes

Joe Silveri: I want to be inside you.
Arianna: How?
Joe Silveri: Help me get my jeans off.
[She does this, more forcibly than he had expected]
Joe Silveri: Christ! You didn't have to pull them all the way off. Now yours.
[He watches her with adoration as she undresses]
Joe Silveri: You look better than Marilyn Monroe!
Arianna: And now?
Joe Silveri: Now we kiss.
[Which they do, very passionately]
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Biography: Fred Gwynne: More Than a Munster (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

'La Traviata' Act III, 'Preludio'
Composed by Giuseppe Verdi
Orchestra and Chorus of "Teatro alla Scala"
Conducted by Tullio Serafin
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User Reviews

 
A riposte to Freudianism?
30 December 2004 | by See all my reviews

Not many discuss Bertolucci's La Luna as one of his most challenging films but I beg to differ. In 1979 I presume the film's campy allure had not been registered but today it's all to be seen; call it kitsch or ironic, but la Luna encapsulates two worlds Bertolucci tried to negotiate in most of his films - the world of appearances and surfaces against the inner world of the protagonist. La Luna plays both against each other as a masquerade, because what we think we are getting is not what we really are seeing. Bertolucci presents the first part as a post-Freudian fable in late 70s Rome where an Opera singer and her son indulge in an Oedipal relationship. Bertolucci then introduces the lost but real father to the scene as if to eradicate Freudian psychoanalysis as a spurious retelling of Greek myth. It seems the son only wants his father's recognition and love, while the mother is marginalized. It's a very masculine thesis for Bertolucci, one that reinforces the illusory fundamentals of Patriarchy, while negating the matriarchal as a mere bypass to the final journey(father's love).

Jill Clayburgh's acting is off-key most of the time but this unwittingly invests the film with its latter-day camp quality, while Matthew Barry looks dazed and confused throughout the entire film. Rome is undoubtedly the best part of the film as well as the sumptuous visuals that capture its sun-drenched beauty and decaying but grand monuments.


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