Tuesday, 4 December
The Spider's Stratagem
THE SPIDER'S STRATAGEM 1970
(La strategia del ragno)
Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci
In Italian with English subtitles
This has always been a strange film, often discussed as one of Bernardo Bertolucci's masterpieces, but impossible to actually see. Yes, there were terribly degenerated bootleg copies floating around, but since so much of its meaning was in its beautifully crafted visuals, this option was virtually useless. Based on a short story by the Argentinian Jorge Luis Borges (Tema del traidor y del héroe), the narrative of this unconventional thriller follows a man who revisits the town where his father, who was an anti-fascist hero during the Mussolini dictatorship, was assassinated many years before. The killing took place in an opera house, and he was shot during the applause. The assassins were never caught, and his father's mistress now asks the son to find out who was responsible. He tries to ask questions and figure out what happened, but then some strange twists emerge that turn his journey into an enigmatic riddle.
This is a mesmerizing film - full of mysteries, uncanny omens, buried secrets and surreal moods. Shot on the same year as Bertolucci's widely-seen Il Conformista, it was in these two films that he began to find his own cinematic voice. So much of his signature style was created here, including the inventive and stunning camerawork by Vittorio Storaro. Some critics even feel that this movie contains some of the most staggeringly beautiful cinematography ever put on screen. Very often people credit Bertolucci for the overwhelming visual style of his early films, but actually it was his cameraman Storaro who was an absolute master. The images in this flick are like moving paintings and have a pastoral magnificence about them, at times echoing the haunting power of De Chirico and Tarkovsky. This cryptic film investigates the legacy of fascism in a small Italian town. This screening will be a tribute to Bertolucci's fierce early career.
This will be a high-definition projection.
Date & Time:
- 3-5 €