In 2010 we presented a 40th anniversary screening of The Conformist, the favorite film of one of my favorite directors who had been the subject of a full retrospective in July 2004. Watching the film again, I marveled at the lyricism of Bertolucci’s direction and the full range of his golden age craftsmanship—the elaborate tracking shots, the opulent color photography, the ravishing art deco costumes and sets, the striking compositions, and such amazing set pieces as the Sandrelli-Sanda tango and the horrific assassination in the forest. A dark tale of moral betrayal based on a 1951 novel by Alberto Moravia, The Conformist unfolds against a sharply observed backdrop of political corruption and brutality. In a strikingly original performance, Jean-Louis Trintignant stars as the title character Marcello, a repressed, upper class intellectual whose desire for conformity—the result of a childhood trauma and a growing recognition of his homosexuality—compels him to marry a silly, middle-class girl and to become a bureaucrat in Italy's new Fascist government. Told in an interlocking series of flashbacks that mirror the inner workings of Marcello's mind and create an aura of impending doom, the film builds to a devastating climax.
Bing Theater | Included in double-bill, $5 admission for this film only | Tickets: 323 857-6010 or purchase online.