Bernardo Bertolucci is no stranger to controversy. The acclaimed Italian director helmed both Last Tango in Paris
(in which Marlon Brando got naked and busy for two hours) and The Dreamers
, his latest movie, about an incestuous brother and sister. Bertolucci's also quite familiar with epic filmmaking. The Conformist
, his 1970 breakthrough, marks the first time he staged a contentious classic. Set in Italy right before World War II, the film being shown tonight at the Cleveland Cinematheque in a pristine new print traces an eager-to-please fascist's path to an assassination plot. His initial reluctance gives way to a willingness to conform. It's a disquieting portrait of fascism, emotional detachment, and most of all, one man's disturbing readiness to do anything to fit in.
Fri., Jan. 27, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Jan. 28, 9:30 p.m.