Dancing Girls

I can’t see not buying the British Bluray of Bernardo Bertolucci‘s The Conformist (’70). The gauzy, dreamy lighting that makes Vittorio Storaro‘s lensing of this ballroom scene so special is evident even in this YouTube clip. Imagine it looking “brighter, thicker, richer and [with] more grain,” as DVD Beaver’s Gary Tooze has written.

  • Jesse Crall

    I need to see The Conformist again. Movies with passenger protagonists have a tendency to seem confusing or dull at first but the good ones really reward you if you’re patient. I couldn’t quite figure this one out until it was almost over.

    There were some great shots that I remember, though, like one early on of a train going over this elevated track while a car drives beneath, the headlights popping against the dull buildings and grey sky. Simple but effortlessly eerie, which I guess mirrors the running tone of the overall film. It certainly initiated a developing tension that made the conclusion so impacting,

  • lazarus

    Arguably the best-photographed color film, ever.

    The only other one I could even make a case for is Black Narcissus.

    Storaro, Bertolucci, Delerue all working at the top of their game here. Plus the design and the costumes. And of course the cast.

    Essential Blu-ray upgrade.

  • Bob Violence

    this isn’t a particularly good BD — it’s obviously been filtered, resulting in excessive softness (even for a “gauzy, dreamy” film) and weird shit going on with the grain

    this thread has a comparison with the previously-released Italian BD (which is actually worse than the UK, though pretty close in some respects) and — most damningly — a cap from the unfiltered restoration capture that blows both of them away. If you can’t wait for anyone else to take a crack at it, I guess the Arrow is the best bet, but Criterion said last year that they’re hoping to do this and I think the odds are pretty good — I doubt Paramount has any interest, since they licensed it out to Arrow in the UK, their U.S. DVD has been out of print for awhile, and they’re letting Olive Films do a U.S. Blu for 1900.

  • Mgmax, le Corbeau

    I went to Rome recently and was amazed to see the fascist skyscraper by the highway as we entered town. The film seems so exotic that the possibility that part of it could be so commonplace blew me away, like seeing the Planet of the Apes city next to a Pet Care Plus and a Pep Boys.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EUR,_Rome

  • Edward

    This is the first Bertolucci I ever saw so I bought the DVD. Great film. It is still relevant. I recently re-watched “Stealing Beauty,” maybe not a masterpiece, but I’ll take lesser Bertolucci over many other filmmakers.

  • bluefugue

    >Arguably the best-photographed color film, ever. The only other one I could even make a case for is Black Narcissus.

    I’d put Days of Heaven in that rarefied company.

  • Raising_Kaned

    Days of Heaven is amazing, as is Barry Lyndon. I’m sure I’m forgetting at least one or two other standouts…

  • Jesse Crall

    @Kaned: I’ve never seen Barry Lyndon but the Aero in Santa Monica is showing it in a couple of weeks, so I’m excited about that. Same place I saw Days of Heaven and was blown away.

    If we’re talking about the best looking color films, maybe The Searchers?

  • Raising_Kaned

    Well, you’re in for a real treat for your first viewing there, Jesse — don’t you DARE miss it on the big screen. I myself have only seen it on DVD so I’m totally jealous right now.

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    I will be your faithful reader. Thank you again.

  • Rachel Anderson

    This is a cute movie. It has really good concept. I don’t mind watching it all over again. – Incredible Discoveries

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