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BEFORE THEREVOLUTION

Director: BERNARDO BERTOLUCCI

112 minutes| Italy| 1964| Subtitled| Black and White| D-Cinema


EXCLUSIVELY AT IFI

It’s 1964. Twenty-two-year-old Bernardo Bertolucci has already written a film for Pier Paolo Pasolini and published his first poetry collection before delivering this extraordinary coming-of-age story, which melds a freewheeling Godardian aesthetic with the tyro filmmaker’s soon-to-be-trademark blend of sex and politics.
Set in Bertolucci’s home town of Parma, the central ideological dilemma in Before the Revolution is obviously autobiographical, as Francesco Barilli’s Fabrizio tries to square the left-wing ideals in his head with his stultifyingly bourgeois surroundings, until the neurotic and seductive Gina (Adriana Asti), his mother’s younger sister, shows him that it’s possible to escape convention. Bertolucci brings genuine sincerity to this political ferment, but even more notable is the film’s lyricism and sensuality, positively bursting from the galvanising combination of restless camerawork, frisky jump cuts and eclectic soundtrack (from Verdi to saxman Gato Barbieri). Re-released in a new digital copy, this is a deserved revival for a truly invigorating movie. (Notes by Trevor Johnston).

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