Original title: Prima della rivoluzione
Director: Bernado Bertolucci
Cast: Francesco Barilli, Adriana Asti, Allen Midgette
Italy 1964 | Black & white | 112 min | Drama
Avaliable on: DVD, DCP
The story centres on the emotional and political conflicts within a young man, Fabrizio, who is contemplating joining the Communist Party. But his personal life is even more unresolved, as he breaks away from his planned marriage to a perfect bourgeoise and becomes incestuously involved with his alluring aunt (Adriana Asti). Bertolucci’s obsession for politics and cinema is openly expressed through this alter-ego and in the extraordinary freedom of his camerawork and editing. There are heartfelt allusions to the history of filmmaking – a cinephile friend cries out ‘One cannot live without Rossellini’, while an erotic love scene echoes Jean Vigo’s L’Atalante – as well as to the city of his youth, with a climactic sequence at the opera that is breathtaking in its sweep and intensity.
– David Thompson