In Mussolini’s Italy, repressed Jean-Louis Trintignant, trying to purge memories of a youthful, homosexual episode–and murder–joins the Fascists in a desperate attempt to fit in. As the reluctant Judas motors to his personal Gethsemane (the assassination of his leftist mentor), he flashes back to a dance party for the blind; an insane asylum in a stadium; and wife Stefania Sandrelli and lover Dominique Sanda dancing the tango in a working class hall. But those are only a few of this political thriller’s anthology pieces, others including Trintignant’s honeymoon coupling with Sandrelli in a train compartment as the sun sets outside their window; a bimbo lolling on the desk of a fascist functionary, glimpsed in the recesses of his cavernous office; a murder victim’s hands leaving bloody streaks on a limousine parked in a wintry forest. Bernardo Bertolucci’s masterpiece, adapted from the Alberto Moravia novel, boasts an authentic Art Deco look created by production designer Ferdinando Scarfiotti, a score by the great Georges Delerue and breathtaking color cinematography by Vittorio Storaro.
Restored in 4K by Cineteca di Bologna in collaboration with Minerva Pictures under the aegis of Fondazione Bernardo Bertolucci at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, from the original camera negative. With funding provided by Ministero della cultura and “A Season of Classic Films”, initiative promoted by ACE – Association des Cinémathèques Européennes for the Creative MEDIA programme of the European Commission.
Opens May 13 in Chicago at the Music Box Theatre for one weekend only.