Saturday, October 31, 2015

426. Prima della rivoluzione/Before the Revolution (1964)


Running Time: 115 minutes
Directed By: Bernardo Bertolucci
Written By: Gianni Amico, Bernardo Bertolucci
Main Cast: Adriana Asti, Francesco Barilli, Allen Midgette, Morando Morandini, Cristina Pariset
Click here to view the trailer

YOU SAY YOU WANT A REVOLUTION

Well kiddies, today's the day. Sometime within the next seven hours - if everything goes as planned - I'll finish a journey that's taken me six years to  complete. It's hard to believe that it'll all be over, BUT, I don't want to distract from these last three film, so let's just do these three reviews and go from there. Read on...


To be totally honest, this won't be much of a review. THE BOOK states that the plot of Bertolucci's second feature, Before the Revolution is "simple". I, for one, didn't seem to know what was going on, which could have had something to do with the fact that I was very tired last night when I watched it. The whole film seems to center around the death of Agostino (Midgette), who dies within the first fifteen minutes of the film, by drowning and quite anti-climactically, I might add. He's the best friend of Fabrizio (Barilli) and the scene plays out not like, "Oh my GOD, he just died!", but instead like, "I guess that blonde kid who was onscreen a minute ago is dead now!?. It just sort of happens, it's not filmed and we only find out about it when Fabrizio shows up at a local watering hole and is told about what happened. Anyway, following the death, Fabrizio meets up with his estranged aunt Gina (Asti) at the funeral and the two begin an affair. I know, I know....EWW. But Adriana Asti is GORGEOUS, so it's a little hard to blame the guy. I mean that's really it. Sure, there's probably a whole bunch of political themes involved and inner conflict on the part of Fabrizio, as he has this affair with his aunt, but also has eyes for a girl his own age named Clelia. Plus there's the death of Agostino, which the characters are also coping with. The movie actually reminded me a lot of a Michelangelo Antonioni film, with characters walking around filled with self conflict. Perhaps my comparison is way off, but Antonioni DID come to mind.



Despite my misunderstanding of the plot and themes & ideas that seemed to fly over my head at high speeds, I didn't hate Before the Revolution. I realized early on that this wasn't going to be a film that I was going to enjoy for it's coherent storyline, so I decided to experiment a little and just watch it for other reasons: mainly score and cinematography. The score was done by Ennio Morricone, to much lesser effect than any of his other films. However, there were a couple of songs included by Gino Paoli and I loved them. They were immediately searched on YouTube and "liked" for future reference. There was also a jazzy little score about midway through, during a scene where Adriana Asti was scampering around the bedroom, barefoot and being very sexy and the music only served to highlight her presence. I have a feeling this brief piece wasn't done by Morricone, but I could be wrong. The cinematography, as has been the case in all Bertolucci films was phenomenal too. There was one scene where everything suddenly shifted to color and I found myself hoping it would go back to black & white, which it did. Needless to say, this film was shot in a beautiful black & white that only served to accentuate the loneliness and gloominess of the characters personalities. Like I said, I found myself not really GETTING the plot, but the for the first time, I was really able to appreciate a work for things other than story.

RATING: 4.5/10  Can't go too high or anything, because I'm always a guy who NEEDS good story, but I'll give it a notch below average for the aspects that I mentioned.

MOVIES WATCHED: 999
MOVIES LEFT TO WATCH: 2

October 31, 2015  8:01pm

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