david hare wrote:I have only seen two later films by Bellocchio, despite a prolific filmography - Diavolo in Corpo (Devil in the Flesh 1987) and Enrico Quattro (from the Pirandello 1985) and they are both quite dull, and surprisingly uninvolving. Anyone seen any others?
Dull and turgid seems to describe most of Bellocchio's latter day work. I've seen Diavolo in Corpo
, L'ora di religione
(My Mother's Smile, 2002), La Balia
(1999), Buongiorno, notte
(Good Morning, Night; 2003), and Il regista di matrimoni
(The Wedding Director, 2006). One thing that characterizes most of these is an unrelenting grimness that suffocates the narrative like a wet blanket. Bellocchio's authorial voice is a monotone. This lack of variation can make his films tough to get through.
....Which is why Buongiorno, notte
was such a surprise. A recounting of the Aldo Moro kidnapping with a Red Brigade member as the main character, the film is graceful and psychologically penetrating in its breakdown of the relationship between hostage, kidnappers and the Italian society at large. Especially chilling was the use of the guitar refrain from Pink Floyd's "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" as a framing device. It's one of the best films of the decade. If only his other films had such an emotional pull.
jesus the mexican boi wrote:I was terribly disappointed by DEVIL IN THE FLESH, not by NoShame's disc, but in the movie itself. Dull, unexpurgated blow jobs included.
Bellocchio's point of references for his movies are very Italian. Maybe they play better if one is intimately acquainted with the country. Certainly, the documentary included with the DVD clarified a lot of things about the movie. But in the end it's still an insular self indulgent mess. Incidentally, in the VHS edition the bj scene clearly took place at night. It was very darkly lit; you could barely make out anything. At the very least it was nicely atmospheric with some very nice Carlo Crivelli violin music. Whoever was in charge of the NoShame edition chose to light that scene up as bright as day. Not a good choice.
gubbelsj wrote:Incidentally, Thompson goes on to remark that Bellocchio later made a film called Gli Occhi, la Bocca / The Eyes, The Mouth, a sort-of sequel to Fists, also featuring Lou Castel, and incorporating footage of the earlier film into the main body. Thompson claims it's one of the finest films of the eighties. I had a brief hope Criterion might combine both films into a two-pack, but oh well. Has anybody seen The Eyes, The Mouth or know anything else about it?
Haven't seen it yet. It's in my kevyip pile. Maybe if it screams louder.... The VHS edition can still be found at dirt cheap prices.