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Bertolucci’s breakthrough classic reimagines Alberto Moravia’s 1950 neo-realist novel, scrutinising Italy in the grip of institutionalised fascism. Once a promising intellectual, newlywed Marcello (Jean-Louis Trintignant) rises through the ranks of Fascist Italy’s administration and prepares to settle into a comfortable middle-class existence – but not before he is dispatched to Paris to murder Luca Quadri, his former professor now turned dissident. Complicating matters is the professor’s beautiful wife, as Marcello grapples with not only a possible double assassination, but the crumbling of a normalcy he has long craved. A furious energy simmers through the film’s truly unforgettable scenes: a wedding night on a train, Marcello’s wife and her lover dancing the tango, a limousine ambushed in a wintry forest. This visually intoxicating critique of politics and class returns to the big screen in a digital restoration supervised by cinematographer Vittorio Storaro.
WINNER: Best Film – David di Donatello Awards 1971
NOMINATED: Best Adapted Screenplay, Academy Awards 1972
Tuesday 17th September
Italian and French with English subtitles