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A weak-willed Italian man becomes a fascist flunky who goes abroad to arrange the assassination of his old teacher, now a political dissident.
PTAbro's World Tour Stop 5: Italy
This is the story of a coward. In The Conformist, the blame for cowardice is shown not to lie completely with accused, but neither does he come close to being acquitted either. Jean-Louis Trintignant's Clerici, as the titular conformist, only wants to fit into the society he lives in, Mussolini's fascist regime. He wants so badly to belong somewhere, anywhere, that he's willing to kill his stand-in father (an old professor), just to be granted the right to marry a woman he doesn't really love (the adorably flapper-ish Stefania Sandrelli) in order to attain some sense of 'normalcy.'
The state of society (as warped and twisted as it seems today), events in Clerici's past…
Too-good-to-be-true first time viewing. The Conformist is a quiet character study like Le Samourai but with the content reversed: Marcello is desperate to be as cool as Jef, and in his desperation he constantly reveals how uncool he actually is. His frantic belief in the big Other belies his lack of belief in himself. Through this psychological drama, the film aligns fascism with a kind of impotence and repressed sexuality. The cinematography is also all-time great status (primarily shot composition and color palette, but also the DP's mysterious ability to shoot as if his massive film camera were a weightless nothing he can manipulate as he pleases). I would have immediately rewatched it if not for a prior engagement to see Rebecca on the big screen; but there's always tomorrow.
Surely a contender for the most beautifully photographed film to grace the screen, Bernado Bertolucci's 'Il Conformista' is truly a wonder to behold. Wrapped in an 'every frame as a picture in a coffee table book that I would happily peruse every day' is a tightly woven tale of political intrigue set against the back-drop of fascist Italy, where Marcello Clerici (Jean-Louis Trintignant) travels to Paris to deal out Mussolini's idealogy in the form of an assassination on his former College Professor Luca Quadri (Enzo Tarascio).
The narrative is fragmented with flashbacks, demanding the viewer keep up, whilst drowning us exsquisite cinematography that drops us in a world of trenchcoats and fedora's (channelling Melville), porcelain beauties (Dominique Sanda, Stefania Sandrelli)…
As a collectivist, I am very much for belonging. I am a big fan of community spirit and of togetherness. The distinction between my personal brand of collectivism and fascism, or one of many, is in the difference between conformity and acceptance. I look out on the diversity of the world, and I think how amazing it all is. I want everyone to see their differences, accept them, and appreciate them in others. In fascism, conformity is the rule. They see differences out there, and they want to quash them. They want to dress in uniform, metaphorically and often literally speaking, and destroy that which doesn't fit.
There are collectivists, communists, socialists, who hew closer to conformity than acceptance, in…
The fact that Bernardo Bertolucci directed The Conformist when he was only 29 years old is important not only as a sort of historical wonder or bragging right, but also as an insight into his portrayal of Italian Fascism. In taking his film back to 1938 from 1970, Bertolucci was rewinding to a point in time he had never personally seen or lived through (he is in a sense Marcello's child), and he was therefore necessarily creating it out of received information, distorted by the present and by his own personal understanding. This is not to say that it's a necessarily inaccurate portrayal (maybe it is and maybe it isn't; like Bertolucci, I wouldn't know), but rather that instead of…
Fascismo as the weakling’s favored refuge is the simple theme behind the obfuscating Viscontisms, a vision suffused with perfume and poison. Il dottore is a civil servant (Jean-Louis Trintignant) introduced like a Melville gangster, his desperate need for the "impression of normalcy" is explained to a sightless ideologue in the midst of a radio recording session. (Glimpsed through a vast glass pane, the immaculate Art Deco studio circa 1938 would morph into Lynch’s "Sixteen Reasons" incantation in Mulholland Drive.) The past holds a fateful brush with an Uranist chauffeur (Pierre Clementi); the present promises marriage to a petit bourgeois nitwit (Stefania Sandrelli) and all the mediocrity that entails; an alternate future might include escape with his old mentor’s bisexual trophy…
I'll start with the usual disclaimer: I have a really hard time with dubbed films. It's a long, strong tradition of Italian cinema, one that changed only in the last 20 years. Pretty much all Italian masters didn't care about direct sound, and made their actors say whatever they wanted in whatever language they felt more comfortable, because the dialogue would be dubbed in post-production anyway. I just hate that. It takes me out of every movie, even the great ones.
Il Conformista is a good film, with an important subject, delivered by a great director. Does that make it a great film? I'm not sure. The 60's counterculture aspects of a story set during Mussolini's fascism sound very appealing,…
If there is one thing I immediately thought after watching Bernardo Bertolucci's The Conformist, it is this: blind, or misguided, faith in any ideology is a dangerous thing. It can lead to one doing things that rob you of your identity and individuality, and you are turned into a vehicle for said ideology rather than living your life as a human being. To me, The Conformist is not only a brilliantly written film, it is also one that is technically excellent and everything just adds up to a greater cohesive wholeness that makes this film feel like perfection to me.
The acting is solid, especially from Jean-Louis Trintignant as our protagonist Marcello Clerici, the cold-hearted fascist who will do whatever…
I'd be lying if I said I totally understood it, but I'd also be lying if I said I didn't enjoy it.
RD-- GC-- 1/28/2016
Bertolucci’s The Conformist is the epitome of the phrase: ‘everything is sex and politics’. Audiences discover that not only did Marcello suffer from a childhood sexual trauma, but his new wife Guilia did as well. While Guilia tells the story of her rape to excite Marcello during their train ride to Paris, Marcello has internalized the incident. His entire life has circled around Lino. Every calculated move that Marcello makes is to absolve the wrongdoing from his childhood.
Ironically Marcello joins the fascist forces in order to seek social redemption for his homosexuality and childhood “sins” only to discover the fascists are taking part in the deeds that they are set on exterminating. Inside the walls of…
Bernardo Bertolucci's The Conformist (1970) is a marvel of psychological cinema. It's also impeccably shot by Vittorio Storaro, with barqoue camera work, film noir lighting and the use of fascist-era modern architecture crafting an at times expressionist experience. Jean-Louis Trintignant is also excellent as a guy entombed in his own sense of inferiority, searching for something to believe in and finding that he can't muster the enthusiasm.
A movie whose superficial technical brilliance (the cinematography/lighting) hits immediately, but only gradually reveals its staying power as an excoriating excursion into the diseased psyche of the human race.
Trintignant's Marcello Clerici is a relatively new official recruit to Italy's fascist party, tasked with assassinating a dissident living in Paris with his young wife. Bertolucci pulls no punches displaying Clerici as a despicable individual - just the sort of passive, malleable weak-will that allows such a brutal government to arise in the first place. A hypocritical endorsement that provides just enough leeway for mental gymnastics to remove one from having to live with the consequences of their non-action.
Bertolucci believes a man is still guilty in a murder if he…
A beautifully made film from director Bernardo Bertolucci.
The Conformist is a visual masterpiece, with its irresistible beauty growing with every elegantly composed shot.
Normality is an illusion, the pure moving abnormality of the film's form tells us that. Its view on society is idiosyncratic yet accurate, and far from self-indulgent, which makes The Conformist such an enticing and beckoning experience. Marcello becomes more than a character, he becomes the centerpiece of Bertolucci's vast and strange iconography that is displayed by the film. This iconography is shape-shifting, hard to pin down, but involves shadows, actor movement as accentuated or contrasted by the camera's movement, light that feels like an observer in subjectivity; but perhaps most prominent is the compositions Bertolucci constructs that accentuates the ostracism of a subject (as isolationism is a key theme).
Many shots I would frame and put on my wall in an instant. This film captured and dipped its paintbrush in light like no other film.
lots of friends, lots of betrayals
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!