Soul of a fas­cist

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Film Listings - MICHAEL DWYER

THE CON­FORM­IST Ir­ish Film In­sti­tute, Dublin To­day-Thurs­

Rere­leased to­day in a re­stored ver­sion, The Con­form­ist (1970) is one of the great achieve­ments of Ital­ian cin­ema and the out­stand­ing film in the ca­reer of Bernardo Ber­tolucci, who was only 29 and had di­rected just three fea­tures when he made it. A riv­et­ing psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller adapted from an Al­berto Mo­ravia novel, The Con­form­ist is set in the late 1930s. Jean-Louis Trintig­nant (pic­tured left) is hyp­notic as a re­pressed man trau­ma­tised by a sex­ual in­ci­dent in his youth and mar­ry­ing a wo­man (Ste­fa­nia San­drelli) he does not love. Work­ing as an un­der­cover agent for the Fas­cists, he is on hon­ey­moon in Paris when he is as­signed to as­sas­si­nate his for­mer pro­fes­sor, whose wife (Do­minique Sanda) is drawn to San­drelli.

Fea­tur­ing su­perb per­for­mances, this rich, fas­ci­nat­ing film is stylishly pho­tographed by Vit­to­rio Storaro and ac­com­pa­nied by a gor­geous, haunt­ing Ge­orges Delerue score. I envy au­di­ences savour­ing this mas­ter­piece for the first time.

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