04/27/2015  
Amazing Space: An Audio/Visual Meditation on the Cosmos Blu-ray/DVD/CD on May 26The Sleepwalker on DVD May 12Zombeavers on DVD May 19Daniel Tiger s Neighborhood: It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood on DVD May 26Always Woodstock on DVD Apr 28The Strain: The Complete First Season on Blu-ray & DVD Jun 9A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night on Blu-ray & DVD Apr 21

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Amazing Space: An Audio/Visual Meditation on the Cosmos...
The Sleepwalker on DVD May 12...
Zombeavers on DVD May 19...
Daniel Tiger s Neighborhood: It's a Beautiful Day in th...
Always Woodstock on DVD Apr 28...
Rita Wilson diagnosed with breast cancer ...
Suzanne Somers on elimination from 'Dancing With The St...
The Strain: The Complete First Season on Blu-ray & DVD ...
20 of the Most Hated Women in Hollywood...
DWTS' Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Meryl Davis: Reunited and...



Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Paramount Home Video presents
The Conformist (1970)

"I want to confess today the sin I'll commit tomorrow."
- Marcello (Jean-Louis Trintignant)

Review By: Jon Danziger  
Published: December 05, 2006

Stars: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Stefania Sandrelli
Other Stars: Gaston Moschin, Dominique Sanda, Pierre Clementi
Director: Bernardo Bertolucci

MPAA Rating: R for (nudity, adult content, language)
Run Time: 01h:51m:12s
Release Date: December 05, 2006
UPC: 097360812145
Genre: foreign


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A A-BB- B

DVD Review

Diehard dOc readers by now know well about my little man crush on Vittorio Storaro, and so while this is a terrific movie in many respects, I'm starting with a celebration of its cinematographer. In recent months we've been blessed with tremendous DVDs of some of his best work shooting films like Reds and Apocalypse Now, but his cinematography here may be his very finest hour; having to choose among them is impossible. (It's like deciding between Greg Toland's work on Citizen Kane and The Grapes of Wrath.) Storaro's work is extraordinary, but it's not a stunt; it's always in the service of Bernardo Bertolucci's impeccably told story.

As the title suggests, the film, based on a novel by Alberto Moravia, is about a man who more than anything so desperately wants to be normal. But he's not—Marcello Clerici is pressed into service by the Mussolini government, in 1938, and his pre-war honeymoon in Paris doubles as a mission of international espionage. But this isn't a story in the manner of John Le Carré, but rather a spy narrative that tells us about the suffocation of one man's soul. He seems to be stifled at every turn—by his demanding mother; by his father, whom he visits in an insane asylum; by his randy fiancée and her ostentatious quest for bourgeois status. Bertolucci is happy to bounce around and give us backstory when a more conventional film would go all cloak and dagger on us, so we revisit, for instance, 13-year-old Marcello's fatal interaction with a chauffeur, and witness the disappointment of the lecherous priest receiving his confession because the story isn't more titillating.

Much of the movie can be headspinning, and on first viewing you're never quite sure where the story is headed—it's almost like Bertolucci is cultivating that sense of imbalance in us, and we're learning more about Clerici and his world than we ever would in a more conventional narrative. You always sense his struggle—he wants to blend in, to be like everybody else, but he cannot rise above his interior life of dreams and memories. It's like he wants to be a company man, but can't suppress his individuality sufficiently, which, among other things, doesn't make him a very good Fascist. Though Bertolucci is strong on the power of crowds, too, such a vital element to the rise of Mussolini and his henchmen.

Along with Storaro, Bertolucci has assembled a marvelous company of collaborators. The costumes, by Gitt Magrini, and the production design, by Ferdinando Scarfiotti, work in perfect harmony with Storaro's camera. Jean-Louis Trintignant conveys Clerici's inner turmoil without ever becoming either self-pitying or bombastic; it's a rough central role, a man almost pathologically unable to express what it is that he wants, making Trintignant's work that much more of a triumph. Stefania Sandrelli is occasionally monstrous as Giulia, his affianced, but never so much so to make us recoil. And Gastone Moschin is a solid presence as a Fascist operative, though he may be more familiar to Godfather fans as Don Fanucci, young Vito Corleone's first rival for supremacy in Little Italy.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.66:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: Storaro's work is pretty well transferred here, though the source print, in the first couple of reels particularly, looks somewhat faded and decayed. It's the look that's endemic to many of the color films of the period, so perhaps it's an inevitability; still, it's not the paradigmatic transfer you might hope for.

Image Transfer Grade: B

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoItalian, English, Spanish, French, Portugueseyes


Audio Transfer Review: Almost all of the dialogue is dubbed, as the cornucopia of available audio options suggests; levels of room tone and ambient noise are frequently too high. Still, I'd recommend watching this in Bertolucci's native Italian with subtitles rather than the English-language track.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Portuguese, Spanish with remote access
3 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: Three featurettes, devoted to pre-production, production, and post-production respectively, all feature Bertolucci and my boyfriend Vittorio. The Rise of The Conformist: The Story, The Cast (13m:28s) is about the evolution of the project. Shadow and Light: Filming The Conformist (14m:29s) is an appreciation of the many skilled members of the production team, and The Conformist: Breaking New Ground (11m:03s) is devoted almost exclusively to the editing of the picture. A respectable package, if not a cavalcade of information.

Extras Grade: B

 

Final Comments

A ravishingly well made film about the struggle for the soul of a man who just wants to blend in. The cinematography alone makes this one easy to recommend, though that's only the most prominent of the film's many worthy attributes.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

docuementary, drama, horror, comedy, animation, celebrity, rita wilson, tom hanks, fish in the dark, larry david, television, abc, dancing with the stars, suzanne somers, tony dovolani, suzanne sizzles, movies, angelina jolie, gwyneth paltrow, leann rimes, katherine heigl, jennifer lopez, photos, sway: a dance trilogy, maksim chmerkovskiy, meryl davis, music, barry manilow, gary kief, married, copacabana, brad falchuck, robert downey jr., glee, chris martin, jennifer lawrence, james best, died, sheriff rosco p. coltrane, the twilight zone, andy griffith show, gunsmoke, dukes of hazzard, big bang theory, christine baranski, laurie metcalf, sci-fi, kim kardashian north west, keeping up with the kardashians, kanye west, joni mitchell, morgellons, joni mitchell: in her own words, mary leitao, cynthia lennon, john lennon, cancer, julian lennon, paul mccartney, ringo starr, movie, furious 7, paul walker, james wan, universal pictures, mystery, rolling stones, 15-city tour, keith richards, mick jagger, ronnie wood, charlie watts, san diego, cable, comedy channel, daily show, jon stewart, trevor noag, musical, one direction, zayn malik quits

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store