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Prima della rivoluzione (1964) HD online

Prima della rivoluzione (1964) HD online
Language: English
Category: Movie / Drama / Romance
Original Title: Prima della rivoluzione
Director: Bernardo Bertolucci
Writers: Bernardo Bertolucci,Gianni Amico
Released: 1964
Duration: 1h 55min
Video type: Movie
The study of a youth on the edge of adulthood and his aunt, ten years older. Fabrizio is passionate, idealistic, influenced by Cesare, a teacher and Marxist, engaged to the lovely but bourgeois Clelia, and stung by the drowning of his mercurial friend Agostino, a possible suicide. Gina is herself a bundle of nervous energy, alternately sweet, seductive, poetic, distracted, and unhinged. They begin a love affair after Agostino's funeral, then Gina confuses Fabrizio by sleeping with a stranger. Their visits to Cesare and then to Puck, one of Gina's older friends, a landowner losing his land, dramatize contrasting images of Italy's future. Their own futures are bleak.
Cast overview, first billed only:
Adriana Asti Adriana Asti - Gina
Francesco Barilli Francesco Barilli - Fabrizio
Allen Midgette Allen Midgette - Agostino
Morando Morandini Morando Morandini - Cesare
Cristina Pariset Cristina Pariset - Clelia
Cecrope Barilli Cecrope Barilli - Puck
Evelina Alpi Evelina Alpi - The little girl
Gianni Amico Gianni Amico - A friend
Goliardo Padova Goliardo Padova - The painter
Guido Fanti Guido Fanti - Enore
Enrico Salvatore Enrico Salvatore - The priest
Amelia Bordi Amelia Bordi - The mother
Domenico Alpi Domenico Alpi - The father
Iole Lunardi Iole Lunardi - The grandmother
Antonio Maghenzani Antonio Maghenzani - The brother

Bernardo Bertolucci was only 22 when he made this film.

The names of the characters are the same as those in Stendhal's novel "The Charterhouse of Parma".

The title comes from a quote by 18th century French politician 'Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord' who said that those living before the revolution are the only ones to appreciate the full benefits of liberty.

Although coolly received in its native Italy, the film enjoyed considerable success abroad.

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.

Bernardo Bertolucci freely admitted that he borrowed from the styles of the directors he admired, namely Roberto Rossellini, Luchino Visconti and Pier Paolo Pasolini.

Shot between September and November 1963.

Adriana Asti was Bernardo Bertolucci's first wife.



Reviews: [21]

  • avatar

    Macage

    I first saw this egregiously brilliant film by an egregiously talented young director at a private screening for members of the American Federation of Film Societies at the 34th Street East Theatre in Manhattan in 1965. I was overwhelmed by so many things in it and longed to see it again. When it opened commercially I kept going back to see it in the way fans of "Star Wars" go repeatedly to see what they love. I love it, though it often makes me as nervous and unsettled as the character of Gina in the film each time I re-see it on video.

    The movie is very loosely based on Stendhal's "The Charterhouse of Parma." Parma is where the film is set, where Bertolucci is from, in the region of Giuseppe Verdi, whose music is heard in the film. At its core is a rather uncomplicated story of a young idealist, Fabrizio, who realizes his ideas will probably never be realized. He is adored by his neurotic and probably nymphomaniac aunt Gina, sent to Parma to visit family by her psychiatrist in Milan, where she lives...to have her "get away" for a while. Adriana Asti gives a dynamic performance that steals the movie from everyone else, especially from Fabrizio, who seems a boring dullard throughout, probably Bertolucci's intention, though played convincingly by Franco Barilli.

    The lyric elements of the movie and its persistent aural/visual poetry are what struck me the most. There is a scene at the start of the movie when Fabrizio finds out his friend has committed suicide through drowning. Fabrizio stands at the swim-hole area by some pylons and and watches in dazed iciness as a group of young boys in bathing suits make their way out of the water. Camera dissolves are accompanied by rapturous music of Ennio Morricone (one of his best scores and never issued on disc, as far as I know.) Fabrizio asks a young boy "Does it seem right to you?"...as if a pubescent kid could answer questions about life's tragedies. On every level I find that scene and those moments stunning.

    Many point justly to great set pieces in the movie, such as the one with the aging land-owner Puck, now on hard times, who is about to lose his heavily mortgaged estates. He begins a lament for the past (the true theme of the movie!), and just when you think he's said enough for us to understand, the scene lurches into a sudden leap, expanding and becoming utterly mad and grandiose, even haywire, as the lament continues and the camera swoops over the soon-to-be-lost-lands in a helicopter shot and as Morricone provides an operatic counterpoint and propels us all into some unspeakable dimension of regretful melancholia.

    Operatic the movie is, stylistically, and in a fabulous scene at the Parma Opera, quite literally. At the opening night of Verdi's "Macbeth" the various strata of Parmesan society are seen at their levels in the theatre, the bourgeoisie at the orchestra level, the aristocrats in posh side boxes, even the communist party members clustered closely in their own upper "people's box." The scene suggests the La Fenice opera scene in Visconti's "Senso." So much in the film is an homage to other directors, Godard, Rossellini, Hawks, all of whom are referred to specifically, occasionally by his film buff friend. Fabrizio's closest friend and role model is the gentle leftist teacher Cesare.

    By the end of the film, Gina goes back to Milan, Fabrizio loses faith in the party and marries his dull but well-positioned childhood sweetheart, Clelia. No revolution for Fabrizio. He is, with his "nostalgia for the present" condemned to live "before the revolution" as most of us are who have no appetite for revolution, only for living.

    The final scene has Fabrizio marrying Clelia. It is hard to believe that Bertolucci could top what has preceded it in the movie, but he does, I think. In it the brief marriage scene is inter-cut with Cesare reading to his young pupils from the "Moby Dick" story of Captain Ahab in pursuit of the while whale. As Ahab pursued the impossible, the characters of this film pursue the impossible. Gina is at the wedding, wrenched, jealous, crying. In a series of moments which Andrew Sarris referred to as "electrifying," Gina repeatedly kisses the young adolescent brother of Fabrizio. Over and over. On the face. On the head. Her young nephew. She cannot stop. She is driven, by envy, by regret. She cries. The harpsichord-enriched musical moment of Morricone underscores the Euripidean hysterics. There is a freeze-frame. A film masterpiece ends.
  • avatar

    Kakashkaliandiia

    On occasion while watching Bernardo Bertoulcci's Before the Revolution, which I have done about four times within the past year, I really felt like I was watching someone with a full love of cinema. Not just of how it can distort our perceptions of reality by how close or far or following the subjects are, but that there's a certain purity to it. When a filmmaker has this much bursting out of him at 22, 23 years old, you're bound to find it coming out much like someone that age- still on the brink of life, full of ideas, and still treated in a couple of minor, even unintentional ways, as a kid.

    Bertolucci tapped into the vein of the changing of the guard in European cinema with vitality. Like in poetry, the moods and music in the language (or, here, the grammar of film itself) tends to move along with the expressions used to make it so personal you know no one else could have done it this way. Even when it might stumble the film almost seems to pick itself back up, plunging us right into the gut of its subject matter. At times only Last Tango in Paris, Bertolucci's masterpiece, came close with its honesty of what's going on in the world for these people.

    And, in truth, the film's structure would not work without some level of honesty to the viewer, or at the least saying with the random, seemingly sometimes mundane set of events 'it's got to be this way, at least for this character.' How much of it is based from Bertolucci's life I'm not certain. But his lead character, Fabrizio (Francesco Barilli, in a splendidly conflicted performance), is not necessarily a great young future leader of men or something. He's a bourgeois -the word is used quite a number of times in the film- and filled with ideals about a Marxist-style revolution, perhaps.

    For the most part though he wanders, thinks in quotes, and is close to his Aunt Gina (Adriana Asti, perfect for the part). It is dealing with this relationship that the filmmaker has to find his stride most, and he does. It goes from quiet, to cute, to talkative, to confused, then to something more risqué- passionate. When the character's cross the line, one may want to suddenly find some of what proceeds as taboo. It's not the case.

    What turns Before the Revolution into something not as troubling as the subject matter might appear, Bertolucci utilizes a style that corresponds with the scatter-shot frame of mind in the character's story. The plot is 'linear', but there are times where the sort of Italian frame of romanticism comes into play as well. Because the poetry of the emotions helps make this not as potentially pretentious as some of these scenes could come across, it is not without notice that upon once or twice times the subject matter goes into confusing points.

    The scenes late in the film involving Puck, for example, become so into the realm of the literary that it goes beyond interesting and into the dangerous realm of the self-indulgent (which is understandable given the filmmaker's talents). Though Italian to the bone, here and there I almost wondered if at times Truffaut and Godard, switching off like hitters in a batting cage, were in the back of Bertolucci's mind as he wrote the script or filmed a scene.

    It doesn't hurt at all, of course, that two great musicians contribute to the film. One is Ennio Morricone, who co-wrote the music and performed for the film, and though not mentioned on IMDb, the great Gato Barbieri is also credited in the music. It's not just them but also the whole backbone of the music in the film. It adds that kick that is in many an Italian romance/drama, and also touches of ironic humor, of the joyfulness of youth (i.e. riding the bike early on), and songs used for effectiveness ahead of its time.

    By also entrusting much of his own vision into the hands and eyes of Aldo Scavarda, Bertolucci gets cinematography that makes it apparent how with many of his films his style is apparent in every one. That it starts off so rough, yet with delicacy, and combining it with a lot to contemplate in terms of what love is, what politics mean for the well off and the not-so well off, and an uneasy feeling of hopelessness. It's one of the more breathtaking visions to come from a director younger than 25 in the post-Italian new-wave.

    It's not too much of a wonder then Scorsese lists this as his primary influence to make Who's That Knocking at my Door. 9.5/10
  • avatar

    BlackBerry

    One of the typical ploys of modernist artists has been to take a known work, and to use that as a basis for experimentation. In this case, Bernardo Bertolucci (at the age of 22!) took Stendhal's novel THE CHARTERHOUSE OF PARMA and used the basic plot and characters, only Bertolucci abstracted these elements, taking them for granted and simply creating a wide-ranging collage of impressions and emotions. But the central love affair between Fabrizio and his aunt, Gina (the names of the characters in the Stendhal), is the motivating heart of the film; the suggestions of incest, the need for secrecy, the impacted emotion because of the covertness: these provide PRIMA DELLA RIVOLUZIONE with a core of great integrity, so that the more "random" elements (the scene with the lament on the lake, the scene at the opera, the scene where the friend rides the bicycle in circles, etc.) are able to reflect on Bertolucci's feelings regarding politics, class, revolution, art, the search for belief.

    PRIMA DELLA RIVOLUZIONE is one of the most youthful films ever made, as well it should be, since it was made by someone who was impossibly young at the time. I hate to say this, but it's the work of a prodigy, a gifted post-adolescent who is trying to find a form to contain his sometimes overwrought feelings about life, love, and politics. There had been many works catering to the teen crowd, movies like WHERE THE BOYS ARE or BEACH PARTY, but, aside from some of the works of Nicholas Ray (THEY LIVE BY NIGHT and REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE), no film artist had yet tried to use the medium as a vehicle for a vision of youthful passions from the inside: Godard would follow with MASCULINE FEMININE and LA CHINOISE, Bertolucci with FISTS IN THE POCKET, Skolimowski with LE DEPART and DEEP END, but Bertolucci was pioneering when he made this movie, and the fact that it's "flawed" should not be held against it, as it represents the expression of a very young artist, trying to express his emotions as directly as possible.
  • avatar

    Agalen

    For a while, forget about Bernardo Bertolucci's "ventures into Hollywood" (for example, "Little Buddha," featuring Keannu Reeves) and find time to see his "little-known" work, "Before the Revolution" (his second feature film, which was made in his native country and when he was just 22 years old).

    More than a "nostalgic" tribute to the "present," the film is closer in spirit and style to the French New Wave films (see, for example, Jean-Luc Godard's "A Bout de Souffle" and Francois Truffaut's "Jules et Jim";as a matter of fact, Bertolucci's film was contemporaneous with these works).

    In the film, you'll find a bedazzling mixture of narrative styles (those relating to camera movements and angles, editing, photographic effects and musical score;my favorites are the "optical room" scene and the old man painting by the lakeside), characters who are always "running away" from something (from social conventions and pressures, from others as well as from themselves) and for whom to live is to discourse (with other people or with themselves), and a "romantic" and "apolitical" stance toward a relevant sociopolitical issue ( in this case, the workers' uprising and the Revolution of 1948).

    Initially slow and hard to get by, but the film eventually engages the viewers' attention as "love" starts to develop between the aunt (Gina) and the nephew (Fabrizio), which other people may find "scandalous," but is treated in such a casual and indifferent manner that the result is "unaffecting" (much like the way the menage-a-trois was treated in "Jules et Jim"), and as one gets to know more (or does one?) the quirky and enigmatic characters.
  • avatar

    Flathan

    Before the Revolution, Bernardo Bertolucci's second film, is kind of a mess. He was only 22 when he made it, and he must have made it immediately after he finished his first film, Grim Reaper. It's obvious that he's a genius from this film. Like I said, it's kind of a mess, but no more beautiful mess has ever been created in the cinema.

    The story is difficult to follow at times, but it is basically about a young bourgeois man who falls in love with his young aunt. Their relationship is socially unacceptable, so it immediately begins to break apart. As it does, politics rush into the film, confused politics, probably representing Bertolucci's own conflicting feelings at this point. The whole film feels very personal.

    I don't know. I really didn't catch too much of, well, what's going on. Which sounds bad, but there's a good reason for my missing everything: Bertolucci's direction is breathtaking. It is a nice cross between French New Wave and the Modernist movement that the Italian filmmakers were going through at the time. Bertolucci throws every single cinematic trick into the film that he can fathom. Everything works, though. It's showy, to be sure, but it's never less than one of the most beautiful things I've ever experienced. It never seems less than amazing. The emotions of the film - and they really hit home, even if the story is difficult to follow - are fractured and manic.

    I need to watch Before the Revolution again. I feel, though, that even if I find it completely flawed the second time around, it could be nothing less than the greatest flawed masterpiece ever produced. 10 years after Before the Revolution, Bernardo Bertolucci directed what I consider my third favorite film, Last Tango in Paris. By then, he had perfected his style. I'll be adding another Bertolucci film to my list of favorites tonight.
  • avatar

    Kamuro

    Is it immoral for a nephew and aunt to have an affair? ...who cares? - the question is barely raised. This is the Italian New Wave, a cineaste's dream; forget the story, for style is everything.

    Bertolucci's second film, at age 22, still owes a lot to his mentor Pasolini, but now he has taken on board Godard of "A Woman is a Woman" and Truffaut of "Jules and Jim". It's hopelessly overloaded with style but that makes it fascinating to watch. You never know what the camera is going to do next. A long monologue by Adrianna Asti contains so many zooms, pans, cross-cuts, reverse shots, asymmetrical framing, you name it - it's insane. You stop listening to what she is saying and just wonder what on earth Bertolucci is playing at. Playing at making movies I suppose.

    It's all fairly aimless but is beautifully shot and the script is quite fine. Asti seems natural as the fragile aunt and Bertolucci makes the most of her - there are moments when she's nudging Audrey Hepburn. There's plenty of gay subtext - a notable feature of many Bertolucci films, for anyone apt to enquire into such things - it certainly assists interpretation.

    Hardly juvenilia; if you're in the mood, this is a near masterpiece.
  • avatar

    Chuynopana

    While hailed as many as a masterpiece (or near), I struggled with Bertolucci's 2nd film, made when he was only 23, although I am a fan of his in general. Beautifully shot, great use of music and unconventional editing, the film is excellent on a film-making and craft level (although it perhaps borrows too liberally from leading film-makers of the era, especially Godard, Antonioni and Resnais).

    The story of a young bourgeois man trying to come to terms with his tear between his attraction to communism and his desire for an easier life leads him into an incestuous affair with his somewhat older aunt. I found it's themes somewhat muddled, alternating between being heavy-handedly spelled out, or so obtuse I wasn't sure what a given scene was saying.

    The acting in particular seems a bit all over the place; understated to the point of flatness in one scene, and then almost theatrically over the top the next. At the end I felt glad I'd seen the film, but it didn't stick with me the way Bertolucci's first film "La Commare Secca" or his third "Partner" did. ("Partner" deals with some of the same themes, but in a far more playful, often comedic way). There was a film-school sort of pretentiousness and emotional distance in "Before the Revolution that kept me from feeling moved or from being led to think deeply about the ideas.

    That said, I am willing to revisit it and see if my reaction changes, and certainly I enjoyed Bertolucci's already masterful use of image and sound, even if the ends he was using them to were a bit muddled.
  • avatar

    Jum

    It's strange to think that Bertolucci was only 23 when he did this film, but then it makes perfect sense cause the story loosely centers around a young man approaching adulthood. It's even stranger to realize that only 8 years later he directed 'The Last Tango in Paris' where his protagonist already experiences his midlife crises. Back in 1964 Bertolucci's main interest was not story telling but rather to find a new visual language to portray his generation. Heavily influenced by the Nouvelle Vague, Godard in particular, that he even mentions at some length here, Bertolucci is eager to break with as many (cinematographic) conventions as possible, but the imagery he develops in the process is so beautiful that this is a delight to watch from beginning to end. Also it serves as a reminder that there was actually a time when there seemed to be an alternative to capitalism, though the revolution is only talked about. The whole thing works like a kaleidoscope or mosaic of the time. At first I had trouble to follow the plot because scenes don't necessarily respond to each other in a cause and effect kinda way but once I realized that an ongoing story is not what this is about I was able to relax and enjoy the scenery even more. And though our heroes suffer from first signs of disillusion, back then everything seemed possible, whether it was changing our society or changing the aesthetics of cinema. What interesting times.
  • avatar

    watching to future

    I was somewhat reluctant about this film. I felt that I would be disappointed cause The Sheltering Sky (by Bertolucci) is one of my favorite movies. I though that I could never like another film by him. I was wrong. Above all, they are very different films, so let's forget one of them.

    I remember when I first saw Fellini's 8 ½, and realizing that one of the reasons I loved it so much was the camera work and especially what you could call as the "relative motion between objects": the way the moon always stays in the same place as the trees pass by when you drive at night. Prima della Revoluzione is rich of beautiful camera work. Bertolucci tried it all, being so young. There are smooth movements like a ballet and stressful agitated shots. I felt humbled and privileged as I saw this film. Apart from more technical aspects, the movie interested me because of the abstract, strange and poetic love story between Gina and young idealist, Fabrizio. It's hard to say if it is love, why it is or not love… Here and there you will find beautiful monologues… I think this will touch everyone who has ever wanted to change the world… even if you have already forgotten those feelings.
  • avatar

    GAZANIK

    Allegedly based on Stendahl's Charterhouse of Parma (Parma is about the only thing the film and the book have in common) this literate, evocative masterpiece was made by Bertolucci in his early twenties. It is, among other things, an astoundingly clear-headed study of a certain kind of haute bourgeois flirtation with (communist) ideology. As Fabrizio, the main character observes, "For me ideology was simply a vacation". Bertolucci, himself a haute bourgeoisie who maintained long-time sympathy for the communist party, nicely contrasts Fabrizio with his mentor, the poor elementary school teacher Cesare who lives the life of a committed party member. When Fabrizio complains that the masses the party is allegedly fighting for simply want the same empty life enjoyed by the bourgeoisie, while he joined the party in the hopes of creating a new man, his mentor simply replies that the workers want to better their economic conditions and that is right. There are two scenes involving speeches of dazzling virtuosity; one where a once rich landowner says goodbye to the estate that is soon to be taken from him, "Here life finishes, and survival begins", and a scene were Fabrizio coins the immortal phrase "Nostalgia for the present". Both the black and white photography and the imposing classical score add to the poignancy of this dreamy farewell paean to a naïve, idealistic, sensibility, that for some time animated the better hearts of educated middle class Europe and somehow managed to live on in a kind of phantasmagoric existence even after the events of 39-45 – the film is set in the early 60s. As a coming of age film it cleverly juxtaposes questions of political disenchantment with romantic (as in sexual) enlightenment; again the wise Cesare reproaches Fabrizio for confusing his alleged disappointment with ideology with his inability to face his botched relationship with Gina his first love (and his aunt!). Some will find this film rather slow and overly literate. Others will find the key interest of the film lies in its technical virtuosity and its playful references to the work of French Nouvelle Vague auteurs. Both reactions are a sad measure of how far the world Bertolucci so successfully evokes has receded from memory; as Bertolucci quotes from Talleyrand in the prologue to the film "Those who did not live before the revolution do not know how sweet life can be".
  • avatar

    Kelenn

    Before the Revolution (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1964) - 9.5/10

    This is by far, the best thing Bernardo Bertolucci has ever done. I've always been impressed by the man's style but there has also always been something keeping me from becoming even remotely attached to his films. Whether it be the sterility in Partner or the overacting in Last Tango, I've never been able to appreciate his obvious talent. The fantastic cinematography from Aldo Scavarda (most famous for his work on L'Avventura) definitely gives it a very Antonioni feel but at the same time the film has a very playful edge, something neither Bertolucci or Antonioni could ever grasp. (which isn't an insult on Antonioni's part, his films never called for) I suppose Bertolucci sort of tried to do this in Last Tango in Paris with the JPL subplot but I always found that part of the film to be really awkward and ill-fitting. Here, though, it meshes perfectly and creates one of the most poignant portraits of a doomed romance that I've ever seen. I could complain that the characters talk in a far too poetic way but the film also has that "spontaneous" energy thing going for it so much so that the dialogue isn't particularly obnoxious. It may sound a bit too "film-nerdy" but this just seems like a perfect stylistic combination of Antonioni and Godard.
  • avatar

    Peles

    After his début, The Grim Reaper (1962), the then 22-year old Bernardo Bertolucci made this, Before the Revolution, an often astonishing homage to the ongoing French New Wave movement and a work of almost unbelievable maturity given his age. Set very much after the revolution, presumably referring to the Italian unification, this is undoubtedly a bleak film, looking back on Italy's history with blind, fond nostalgia, and staring into the abyss of their future. Despite the occasional Marxist monologue, the film is in no ways political, and instead focuses on very human drama, with characters seemingly locked into their social roles and resigned to their fate.

    The handsome and idealistic Fabrizio (Francesco Barilli) is destined to marry his childhood sweetheart Clelia (Cristina Pariset), a beautiful woman teetering on aristocracy. After his friend Agostino (Allen Midgette) drowns in a possible suicide, he falls headlong into a potentially dangerous love affair with his aunt Gina (Adriana Asti). Gina is unpredictable, highly emotional and possibly borderline mentally ill, but she is also attractive, seductive and wilful, challenging for the sullen Fabrizio. The death of Agostino clearly damages the passionate Fabrizio, whose studies of Marxism with his teacher and friend Cesare (Morando Morandini) had made him outspoken, but now finds himself blindly wandering into the bourgeoisie.

    The film doesn't really have a plot as such, but is instead a collection of scenes and interplays that channel Bertolucci's somewhat pessimistic views of Italy in the 1960's. The characters seem locked in the past, a past that they weren't alive for, and as Fabrizio states, full of nostalgia for the present, as if every passing moment is somehow being snatched away from them. It's best summarised in what is undoubtedly the stand-out scene in the movie, as they visit Puck (Cecrope Barilli), a man crippled with so much debt that he is soon to lose his beloved land. While the camera stays calm and graceful throughout the film, Puck laments as the camera sweeps into their air over rivers and forests, Ennio Morricone's astounding score blaring over the visuals. It's a beautiful moment, full of sad longing that reminded me of Sam the Lion's moving monologue in The Last Picture Show (1971) - one of favourite moments in cinema.

    Although this is clearly a wink to Godard and the French New Wave, Bertolucci takes a much more controlled approach to the direction. The camera often glides slowly from side to side, switching character focus as they talk, filmed in crisp black-and-white. It was this approach that caused Godard to voice his displeasure at Bertolucci after viewing his masterpiece The Conformist (1970), claiming it to be too contrived. But cinema can be anything and everything you want it to be, and this makes for beautiful cinema, anchored by a powerful performance by Asti, who makes any possible taboo regarding her incestuous relationship with her nephew become redundant. This is much more than a simple love story, this is a film about a country, it's past and present.

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  • avatar

    skriper

    BEFORE THE REVOLUTION is a romantic drama film about the maturation of a rebellious young man who, because of his bourgeois origin, lives an easy life. This is the story of torn characters and revolutionary ideals. It is very cold review of the generation gap in Italy.

    Fabrizio, a young student in Parma, examines the relations between the middle class and the Communist Party in Italy. He is traumatized by the death of his friend, who has drowned in the River Po. To make matters worse, his beautiful and ten years older aunt Gina from Milan becomes part of his love life. Fabrizio is torn between his weaknesses, aspirations, ambitions and loving care, but a life decision must be made...

    Mr. Bertolucci has put a young and beautiful woman at the center of a chaotic love story, which swirls around an immature young man. That young man constantly searches his place in modern civilization flows, and rebels against everything. He comes into contact with an abstract philosophy, art and passionate love. On the other side is an unfortunate young woman, who further complicates the life of an adolescent. She only seeks his understanding and love.

    The collapse of a revolution is reflected through the inability of giving and receiving love. A period of a vulnerability, emotional meltdown and alienation comes after that.

    An authentic scenery and soundtrack harmoniously fit into this uncertain story.

    Francesco Barilli as Fabrizio has offered a good performance of a torn young man who constantly taps in place. Adriana Asti in role of his aunt Gina has picked up my sympathies as a beautiful and unhappy young woman who plays love games with her nephew.

    A delicious French food in Italian style.
  • avatar

    Freighton

    Roberto Rossellini and the neorealists may have influenced the French nouvelle vague but that movement was in the early 60s to supplant it at the forefront of international cinema. Before the Revolution is a key film in this change, certainly in Italy. There is mention and acknowledgement to the earlier master but the imagery and the mix of long almost static shots and frantic hand held close-ups tell of dramatic ongoing changes. The beautiful Adriana Asti plays Gina, the aunt of Fabrizio played by Francesco Barilli. She is supposed to be some 10 years older, does not look it, but actually is, in reality. She is 33, he 21 and the young director only 22 would marry her, in reality. The director and male lead are also both from Parma, the wonderful looking city in which the film is set. A portentous film in many ways, apart from the personal ripples there is the political dimension with ties being loosened with the communist party and the nebulous seeming search for a new tomorrow, even if our hero proclaims a 'nostalgia for the present', that would lead to the looming cultural revolution of the late 60s.
  • avatar

    Burgas

    No question about it that this is a well made film but is it also an interesting one? Not really in my opinion. It doesn't really tell a story and it's hard to say really what point the movie tried to make, if any.

    It's more a movie that focuses on its themes, rather than telling a story. It does make this movie confusing to follow at times, since you have no idea what the movie is trying to do or say at times but overall the movie remains still a fascinating one. It's an absorbing movie really, that is well made and put together by its, at the time, 22-year old director Bernardo Bertolucci.

    Directing-wise this movie is quite an accomplishment, especially when you're also taking into consideration that this was only Bernardo Bertolucci's second movie. The characters, the actors and some of the sequences are directed really well. Even when you don't understand or like this movie, you'll surely still notice this.

    Guess you could interstate this movie in different ways. You could take it as a coming of age movie, as well as a reverse coming of age movie, in which one characters wants progress and change, while the other doesn't want anything to change and actually rather go back in time. Change is really the keyword for this movie. It's filled with references to changes, while new times get welcomed and old times slowly become a thing of the past.

    But having said all this, the story still doesn't really make a lasting impression with anything. No real questions are asked in it, since the movie is more often too busy providing answers to things that never really got questioned in the first place. Some more focus and development of the main plot line and its characters wouldn't had harmed the movie.

    Not an interesting movie to watch but it can still be a fascinating one at times, as weird as this might sound.

    7/10

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  • avatar

    Saimath

    The overall plot deals with a young man drawn to his aunt set in Italy prior to its participation in the war.

    If you watch this film looking at the plot, actor performances, whether it is well directed, etc, you will miss its beauty.

    You need to relax, sit back and enjoy the juxtaposition of the visual over the music, especially in the last half. It is a wonderful experience. Bertolucci obviously decided not to conform to the intellectualism of Fellini or the structured approach of Zeffirelli.

    The scene at the theatre, where the young man faces his aunt, set to the background of the opera is almost a dance.

    Give the left brain a rest and enjoy.
  • avatar

    Sataxe

    From director Bernardo Bertolucci (The Conformist, Last Tango in Paris, 1900, The Last Emperor), I found this Italian film in the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, I hoped I would agree with the four stars out of five that critics gave it, so I watched it and hoped for the best. Basically the film tells the story of teenager Fabrizio (Francesco Barilli), he is a young man nearing adulthood, he is a passionate and idealistic youth who lives with his aunt. Cesare (Morando Morandini), a teacher and Marxist who is engaged to lovely but bourgeois Clelia (Cristina Pariset), Cesare influences many of Fabrizio's decisions, and Fabrizio is still grieving for the death, possibly suicide, of his volatile friend Agostino (Allen Midgette). Following Agostino's funeral Fabrizio begins a love affair with alternately sweet, seductive, poetic, distracted and unhinged Gina (Adriana Asti), but then she swings the other way and sleeps with a stranger. They visit Cesare often, and Gina's older landowner friend Puck (Cecrope Barilli), their futures seem to be bleak with the relationship problems, losing land and much more, and this contrasts with what is going on with Italy and the country's future. Also starring Domenico Alpi as Fabrizio's father and Amelia Bordi as Fabrizio's mother. I have to be honest that I only vaguely paid attention to the story within the more serious stuff going on, and I found it hard to concentrate on the majority of the film's material, and not just because of having to read subtitles, I don't think I would watch it again to try and understand it better, I know it is not a bad political drama. Worth watching, in my opinion!
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    Elildelm

    1st watched 10/17/2005 - 3 out of 10(Dir-Bernardo Bertolucci): Confusing, talkative, political romantic drama, I think. This is one of Bernardo Bertolucci's first films and was supposedly a breakthru film for him, but I just didn't get it. It probably has something to do with the fact that I'm an American with very little understanding of the Italian Revolution and what it meant for the people who lived there, but it also has to do with Bertolucci's lack of any kind background given to the characters. We are greeted with the main character, Fabrizio, running through the streets with his thoughts being displayed as he runs. He meets up with a friend who he urges to become a member of the Party(the Italian Communist Party) and the next thing we know he drowns, and we're at his funeral. Here Fabrizio, reacquaints himself with Aunt Gina, whom he met at another funeral years before, and they start a deeper relationship that lasts thru most of the rest of the movie. The only other character of note is a Communist Tutor named Cesaro, whom Fabrizio speaks highly of but once we meet him we're not quite sure why. Nothing really happens besides this and no-one really does any kind of changing from the beginning to the end and we're left with what appears to be a silly romantic movie in the end. This is at least, all I was able to get out of this movie despite it's attempts at getting me to understand something else. I'm sorry, it just didn't happen for me.
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    Arabella V.

    Nothing dates as badly as films that seemed revolutionary in their day, whereas films that seemed common-place have, perhaps surprisingly, grown in depth. Films like "The Searchers" and "Vertigo" are so much more than what appears on the surface while a film like "Performance" now feels like a bag of tricks. Bertolucci was only 23 when he made "Before the Revolution" and he brought to it a young man's brio. If he was mimicking anyone it was the trend-setting mystique of Antonioni and perhaps the Rossellini of "Journey to Italy", (referenced here), rather than the old Italian masters like Visconti and De Sica. This was a film that confirmed Bertolucci as an extraordinary new talent, full of visual daring and breaking very much with convention.

    He used Stendhal's "The Charterhouse of Parma" as a jumping off point to tell the story of Fabrizio, a young bourgeois Italian in love with his pretty young aunt and today the film still looks remarkable; one can see why such a fuss was made of him. Its faults, however, are also fairly obvious. The material now seems thin, even trite, while many of the effects feel dated and very much of their period, (how shocked were audiences at the idea of incest in 1964? How shocked are we now?).

    Nevertheless, the film remains essential and not just as part of the Bertolucci canon. It's essential if we want to understand the revolution that was sixties cinema. We may no longer think of it as Bertolucci's best film but we can still marvel at how audacious it felt back then while still feeling a little superior in our knowledge that cinema has continued to deepen and to develop in the intervening years.
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    Roram

    Bernardo Bertolucci was probably the last in the line of great filmmakers from Italian cinema's heyday. The neorealist movement, helmed by Rossellini, De Sica, and Visconti, brought Italian cinema into the spotlight in the mid-'40s. The next generation, who had apprenticed under the neorealists, included Fellini, Antonioni, and Monicelli. Following that, Pasolini apprenticed under Fellini, and then, finally, Bertolucci apprenticed under Pasolini. This is all a bit of an oversimplification, mind you, but that's approximately how we arrive at Bertolucci on the Italian cinematic family tree.

    "Before the Revolution", released in 1964, was Bertolucci's second film. His 1962 debut effort, "La commare secca" (a.k.a. "The Grim Reaper"), had been a critical success, although I'd call it only a good film, not a great one. Pasolini's influence is very evident in both films.

    Bertolucci is clearly a student of cinema. The era of "new wave" directors, who came around in about 1960 and engendered a changing of the guard all across the cinematic landscape, were notable for being the first generation of filmmakers to have any significant critical background. Previous generations of filmmakers had no serious, consistent means of exploring the cinema of other countries, not to mention other generations. These '60s filmmakers, however, thanks to the likes of Langlois and Bazin, were raised on film clubs and therefore exposed to a much wider spectrum of the cinema. As a result, this era of filmmaking is the first to be so heavily subject to that all-important aspect of the cinematic process: influence.

    It's never difficult to identify a director who has an immense love for cinema. Their films are filled with allusions, pastiche, and references galore, and they exhibit all sorts of influences stemming from different cinematic styles. Bertolucci is one such filmmaker, and "Before the Revolution" is one such film. This is most obvious in one scene, which features explicit dialogue regarding the political merits of many contemporaneous filmmakers, but even aside from that, we can detect a vast world of inspirations in this film. "Before the Revolution" is like an amalgam of Pasolini, Godard, and a left bank nouvelle vague director like Resnais or Varda. Godard's jump cuts and playful style are present at times. We see compositions that are distinctly reminiscent of Varda's "La Pointe-Courte" or Resnais's "Hiroshima mon amour" (similar compositions can also be seen in Antonioni's early '60s work, such as "L'eclisse", as well as in Bergman's "Persona" and Godard's "Une femme mariée"). Most notably, the film shares Pasolini's proclivity for a highly poetic form of cinema. There is poetic narration, but like "Accattone" or "Mamma Roma", the core of the film's poetry is in its visual style.

    Visually, "Before the Revolution" is absolutely stunning. It's formally impeccable, and the cinematography warrants some analysis. At times it emulates Pasolini's unique pseudo-realist technique, and at other times it is much more formal, featuring very slow, smooth, graceful, poetic camera-work. Some of these latter shots are very much ahead of their time, reminding me of the more recent films of Terrence Malick, or Sorrentino's "The Great Beauty". We can see a good deal of virtuosity in the young Bertolucci here.

    As for the film's content, it's very much a communist film, focusing on all the usual topics: revolution, the bourgeoisie, et cetera. The film's protagonist is Fabrizio, a young man who has committed himself to the revolution and to breaking free of his bourgeois chains. The film's other two central characters are Cesare, Fabrizio's revolutionary mentor, and Gina, Fabrizio's aunt with whom he begins a love affair. Each character plays their role. Fabrizio is the bourgeoisie, Cesare the revolutionary, and Gina the troubled soul, essentially apolitical because she is too wrapped up in her own existential angst to concern herself with political or revolutionary action.

    Cesare tries to win Fabrizio over to the revolutionary cause, and Fabrizio wants to be won over, but is he truly committed? Can a bourgeoisie ever be truly committed to the revolution, or will he always bow out "before the revolution" materializes? Perhaps he has too much to lose to truly act on his ideals when the moment for action finally arrives. This was the core of the conflict between workers and students within the revolutionary movement, discussed at length in Godard's "A Film Like Any Other". Workers fought the revolution out of necessity, but the students could always go home to mommy and daddy as soon as the fire got too hot. As outmoded as they may sound in America today, these ideas were central to political cinema for a long time. This issue — the complexities of attempting to break the oppressive bonds of bourgeois society — has been the subject of a great many political films, and it is again here.

    I'd like to think of "Before the Revolution" as a film about the difficulties of achieving social change, the aspects of the human condition that drive individuals to revolt against society, and the basic need for comfort and security that ultimately undermines the ideals of those who act out of ideology and not practical necessity. The film can certainly be seen that way, and I, personally, want to think of it in those terms because I am not a political person. I'm more interested in subjective portrayals of one individual's vision of life than I am in the politics of revolution. That being said, what Bertolucci intended here was probably not a subjective contemplation of the futility of revolution, but rather an objective reflection on the necessity for total revolution — the need to wipe out every trace of bourgeois society in order to achieve any genuine positive social change.

    Like most great films, a lot is left open to interpretation here, although maybe less than what appears at first glance, if you know the politics of the time. Certainly, this is an immensely complex, largely under-appreciated, and truly great film.

    RATING: 9.00 out of 10 stars
  • avatar

    Vudojar

    competently made, good acting and interesting editing and camera movement. the film is the standard boy meets girl and loses girl and both are forever unhappy because of their stubbornness. though it's told in that art cinema way where the audience isn't quite sure what has happened in the relationship except that the nature of the relationship has changed. they become cold to each other and are conflicted about whether to stay or leave the relationship. the film feels episodic where scenes don't really fit in, but in each scene, the relationship changes a little.

    then there's the political part of the film, where the male protagonist questions whether it's possible for a wealthy young man to be part of a communist party. he runs into some people he knows and talk about the revolution and intellectual ideas. it's in these scenes, the film feels decidedly fench. i dunno, i'd probably watch too many french new wave films (more so than Italian ones) where people sit around and talk about revolutions, cinema and communism that i've come to associate these scenes as being french. i wasn't amazed by this film, but i enjoyed it enough and it did not drag on like some art films do. it's worth a look if you're interested in European art cinema of the 60s.