Bernardo Bertolucci’s semi-autobiographical second film, set in Parma and partly inspired by Stendhal’s Charterhouse of Parma, firmly established him as a major new talent. Fabrizio is a passionate idealist, torn between Cesare, a Marxist, and the lovely but bourgeois Clelia. Their visits to Cesare and then to Puck, one of Gina’s older friends, a landowner losing his land, dramatize the contradictory forces that will not only shape his future, but that of Italy as well.
“There have been few young prodigies in the history of movies. Now from Parma, has come Before the Revolution, written and directed by Bernardo Bertolucci, at the preposterous age of twenty-two… Bertolucci, a prizewinning poet at twenty-one, deals with the experience of so many young poets and novelists—rebellion against bourgeois life, an egocentric dedication to Communism, disillusion. The movie is set in the 1960s. It is the story of a boy who discovers that he is not singleminded enough to be a revolutionary; that he is too deeply involved in the beauty of life as it is before the revolution. He has “a nostalgia for the present.”” — Pauline Kael, New Yorker
“Here is a new talent of outstanding promise.” — Eugene Archer, New York Times
“The contrary attractions of sensuality and politics have been the subject of many of Bertolucci’s films, but the conflict is presented most passionately and personally here.” — Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Bernardo Bertolucci (story and screenplay), Gianni Amico (screenplay collaborator)
Adriana Asti, Francesco Barilli, Allen Midgette, Morando Morandini
New Yorker Films