Monday, June 27, 2011

Il conformista (2011 digital restoration L'Immagine Ritrovata, Minerva RaroVideo, Paramount)

IT/FR/DE © 1971 Mars Film Produzioni. D+SC: Bernardo Bertolucci. Based on the novel (1951) by Alberto Moravia; DP: Vittorio Storaro; Op.: Enrico Umetelli; ED: Franco Arcalli; PD: Ferdinando Scarfiotti; Co.: Gitt Magrini; M: Georges Delerue; S: Massimo Dallimonti; Cast: Jean-Louis Trintignant (Marcello Clerici), Stefania Sandrelli (Giulia), Gastone Moschin (Manganiello), Dominique Sanda (Anna Quadri), Enzo Tarascio (professor Quadri), Fosco Giachetti (il colonnello), José Quaglio (Italo Montanari), Pierre Clémenti (Pasqualino Semirama detto Lino), Yvonne Sanson (madre di Giulia), Milly (madre di Marcello), Giuseppe Addobbati (padre di Marcello), Christian Alegny (il fiduciario Raul), Benedetto Benedetti (il ministro), Alessandro Haber; P: Maurizio Lodi Fe’ e Giovanni Bertolucci per Mars Film (Roma), Marianne Productions (Parigi), Maran Film GmbH (Monaco); Pri. pro.: 22 ottobre 1971. DCP 2K. 118’. Col. Versione italiana. [English subtitles]. From: Cineteca di Bologna. Restauro digitale de L’Immagine Ritrovata in collaborazione con Minerva RaroVideo e Paramount. Monday, 27 June 2011 at 22.00 Piazza Maggiore (Bologna, Il Cinema Ritrovato). Introduced by Gian Luca Farinelli. Alla presenza di Bernardo Bertolucci [wheelchair bound].

Catalogue: "[Strategia del ragno and Il conformista] share the theme of betrayal, a past that returns and the weight of the father figure, with the difference that in Il conformista the son, Trintignant, betrays Professor Quadri (the father figure), while in Strategia del ragno Athos the father is the traitor. Both, however, deal with parricide based on a past and a memory. In Il conformista the memory is of French and American film from the ‘30s, while Strategia del ragno was fed by real childhood memories (…)."

"I shot Il conformista leaving it open to the possibility of telling it chronologically, like the novel by Moravia. Right from the start I was fascinated by the possibility of using the car journey as the film’s “present”, a kind of vessel for the story. In other words, the main character travels in his memory as well. For this reason I shot a lot of material for Trintignant’s trip. With a great editor like Kim [Arcalli], bit by bit you can see the structure of the film materialize as it is created. A film’s structure is only outlined by the screenplay. It begins to exist and manifest itself during filming. But it is during the editing phase that it takes shape definitively." Bernardo Bertolucci, in Enzo Ungari, Scene madri di Bernardo Bertolucci, Ubulibri, Milan 1982."

"This is not the place to meticulously analyze how and to what extent young Bertolucci – between a freedom bordering on healthy insolence and trimming that was necessary – changed the figures and facts filling the four hundred pages of Moravia’s novel and reducing it to less than two hours. Suffice it to say that the eighty pages of the prologue (…) are turned into a short sequence, interspersed with hallucinatory, distorted visual effects, one of the dominant stylistic features of the film. (…)."

"Sex and fascism are the two extremes of Il conformista. Or, if one prefers, the pulp and the skin. Conformist Marcello thirsts for normality to cover his unspoken, feared sexual ab&wormality. He becomes a fascist because he sees in fascism a collective myth to which he can sacrifice his own disorder, what makes him different from the others, in a mirage of order. He kills for fascism under the illusion of redeeming a previous crime with a criminal but legalized action. It is evident that Marcello is a fascist by chance, in reality he is a conformist: his conformism is fascist, but it could be another kind in different historical circumstances. It would be easy to reduce the film Il conformista to being a film “about” the fascist, as a costume, neglecting its powerful criticism of a class and of a generation". Morando Morandini, Il conformista, in In viaggio con Bernardo." Il cinema di Bernardo Bertolucci, edited by Roberto Campari and Maurizio Schiaretti, Marsilio, Venice 1994.

AA: There was a warm welcome for Bernardo Bertolucci who came to introduce the restored version of his first big international production. I stayed to sample the beginning of this 2K DCP presentation at close range, from the middle distance, and from afar. I sensed a digital video look in the presentation, but in the Piazza Maggiore open air circumstances I cannot be positive about the quality of the image.

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