All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. An easy way of seeing how…
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…
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…
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…
this is some of the deepest and best put together characterisation i have ever seen. it is mesmerising how well the film balances the development of the main character's personality with his political beliefs, gracefully showing how they feed off of one another. his place in the meticulously paced plot always feels clear, visceral, and real.
it speaks volumes that the cinematography takes a back seat, because it is also brilliant. however, this is also where i think the film slightly falters. the vast majority of the shots are beautiful and work well, but the film occasionally looks a little too clinical, detracting from its reality, even if it complements its fascistic themes.
my criticisms are both miniscule and debatable. the film is absolute bliss from beginning to end. and what an ending.
The Conformist - arguably Bernardo Bertolucci's masterpiece - works greatly as both a meandering political thriller and a dark psychological character study. It is tinged with a healthy dose of sexual repression and eroticism, highlighting the already complex nature of the characters and situations. It is vastly unpredictable and always intriguing. Moreover, this film has some of the best, most loveliest color cinematography I've ever seen in movies. Every frame is so neatly, beautifully composed, adding on extra layers of crypticism to the already pervading threat of ambiguity and betrayal. An awesome film.
Looks gorgeous but didn't really connect with me. I can appreciate the talent involved though. It just didn't maintain my interest.
The direction makes even the most mundane conversation or interaction fascinating to watch. I'm not entirely sure I understood the film completely, but I will tell you that it has a dreamlike quality that is simply entrancing to experience.
Really a strikingly beautiful film (the incredibly places it was shot and the cinematography).
This thing is a visual feast. There's a scene where two characters talk in an office, one side in shadow, the other with light streaming in that is flat amazing. And if you ever wondered what the phrase "fascist architecture" meant, this should explain it to you.
Quite undecided on this one at this stage. Need another pass and maybe a read of the book. Not a struggle to sit through so much as the parts did not all fit to the sum for me.
Certainly opulent and decadent. Quite the philosophical noir.
Found myself near-nodding off through no fault of the film, and thus incapable of intelligent comment. (What's new, the hecklers yell.) What's laudable from my addled viewing is Bertolucci's rising and falling camerawork (lots of vertical motion in houses and the like), his adroit handling of non-chronological story telling, and the deeply buried pain longing within his protagonist, kept well below the surface.
Can’t say enough good things about Storaro here. The Conformist is truly one of the most gorgeous films I’ve ever seen. His use of light and color is unreal, and his restless camera never sits still for too long in one shot, constantly gliding from one setup to the next. If that were all the film had to offer it would almost be enough.
The story is well told, but I still haven’t gotten to the core of what it’s really all about. The icy attitude of Trintignant’s character permeates the film. We’re kept mostly at a distance – emotion is fleeting though signaled quite clearly by the colors. Overall, though, I found a lot more to like this time. Just the benefit of having seen it before made the film’s interwoven flashback structure a lot easier to navigate.
I didn't really clue in going into The Conformist, but this is actually my first Bernardo Bertolucci film. The guy is a huge name in world cinema (and I'm also really excited to eventually see The Last Emperor) but for whatever reason the guy's alluded me until now. If The Conformist is any indication, I've been missing out. The film is set in fascist Italy and follows a new recruit who is tasked with assassinating an old mentor of his. That plot description rings of certain assassin films, and I do think this film took some inspiration from Jean-Pierre Melville's Le Samourai. However the film doesn't totally play in that realm. This a more abstract mediation on sexuality, fascism, identity,…
The lighting in this film is truly spectacular. The scene in the professor's office as they discuss Plato's "cave" with smoke catching in the sunlight and shadows cast against the walls is marvelous.
The story itself isn't powerful on its own, but the detail and subtext within each character is explored with an excellent and profound touch, and even it's witty moments didn't seem out of place. The contrasting life styles and settings, characters and motives, each add a certain density to the style of the parable-like film. Facisim vs. Freedom, normality vs. Reality, intellect vs. Suppression of knowledge, all play into the morality of the characters and their circumstances leading into the beautiful scene in the woods, and then into its final moments.
Beautiful, beautiful film.
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!