21 March: The Conformist

Bernardo Bertolucci | Italy 1970 | 107 mins | Italian with English subtitles

Our Italian season continues with Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1970 masterpiece, a film noir set in 1930s Italy in which the astonishing cinematography is the star of the show.

Marcello Clerici (Jean-Louis Trintignant) devotes every fibre of his being to pursuing what he believes to be a normal life. Through a friend, he is recruited by Mussolini’s ruling forces to assassinate his old university professor, Quadri, the head of an anti-Fascist movement. In a series of flashbacks, Clerici is tormented by the past, and as he wrestles with his conscience, he also struggles with an infatuation with the professor’s wife Anna, who only seems to have eyes for Giulia.


“One of the most referenced and extraordinary films in cinema history.” LITTLE WHITE LIES

★★★★★ “Funny and frightening, seductive and satirical, ridiculous and tragic, this remains Bertolucci’s greatest film.” EMPIRE

★★★★ “Rarely has cinema been so daring or freighted.” GUARDIAN

★★★★★ “It’s a dazzling film, dated only in its sense of passionate intellectual engagement, which seductively balances its seditious syllabus of politics, philosophy and sex with a serio-comic tone.” TIME OUT

“A visual masterpiece with some of the best use of light and shadow ever in a motion picture. This isn’t just photography, it’s art — powerful, beautiful, and effective. There’s a scene in the woods, with sunlight streaming between trees, that’s breathtaking to behold.” REEL VIEWS