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The Conformist


The Conformist images courtesy of Paramount Pictures
The Conformist
Bernardo Bertolucci, 1970


Alberto Lattuada, 1962
Thu, July 29, 2010 7 PM
"Not just a politically engaged film but also a stylish thriller.... One of the most influential of postwar films."—Stuart Jeffries, Guardian (U.K.) on The Conformist

Among the most acclaimed art-house hits of the 1970s, The Conformist stars Jean-Louis Trintignant as a repressed intellectual who becomes a flunky for Mussolini's Fascists in the 1930s. Ordered to assassinate his old college professor in Paris, he combines that trip with his honeymoon and finds himself in the midst on an unsettling sexual triangle (or quadrangle). Vittorio Storaro's captivating cinematography was a major influence on the look of The Godfather. With Dominique Sanda and adapted from a novel by Alberto Moravia. (111 mins., 35mm)

The dark comedy Mafioso follows a Milanese factory manager who returns to his hometown in Sicily for a family vacation only to be asked by the local crime boss to perform a hit for the mob. Alberto Lattuada, a popular and eclectic filmmaker who codirected Variety Lights with Federico Fellini, is less known to U.S. audiences than many of his compatriots. According to critic Andrew Sarris, he has been a "grossly underappreciated directorial talent," whose work deserves wider viewing and reassessment. Phillip Lopate (in an excellent essay as part of the Criterion Collection’s Online Cinematheque) praises the many "delicious touches" he brings to this film, as well as the "vivacity" of his direction. (105 mins., 35mm)

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