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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.

Writers:

Franco Arcalli (story), Bernardo Bertolucci (story) | 4 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jill Clayburgh ... Caterina Silveri
Matthew Barry ... Joe Silveri
Veronica Lazar ... Marina
Renato Salvatori ... Communist
Fred Gwynne ... Douglas Winter
Alida Valli ... Giuseppe's Mother
Elisabetta Campeti Elisabetta Campeti ... Arianna
Franco Citti ... Man in Bar
Roberto Benigni ... Upholsterer
Carlo Verdone ... Director of Caracalla
Peter Eyre ... Edward
Mustapha Barat Mustapha Barat ... Mustafa (as Stéphane Barat)
Pippo Campanini Pippo Campanini ... Innkeeper
Rodolfo Lodi Rodolfo Lodi ... Maestro Giancarlo Calo
Sara Di Nepi 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | USA

Language:

Italian | English

Release Date:

30 September 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Luna See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bernardo Bertolucci used many locations around his birth town Parma as links to his other movies and to his childhood. See more »

Quotes

Joe Silveri: Your face is a mess. I'll clean it up.
[starts licking her face]
Caterina Silveri: It's good.
Joe Silveri: Hold still.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Matthew Barry on 'Luna' (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

'La Traviata' Act III, 'Preludio'
Composed by Giuseppe Verdi
Orchestra e Coro del Teatro alla Scala (as Orchestra and Chorus of "Teatro alla Scala")
Conducted by Tullio Serafin
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A riposte to Freudianism?
30 December 2004 | by howie73See 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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