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Allonsanfan

Screening on Film
Directed by Vittorio and Paolo Taviani.
With Marcello Mastroianni, Lea Massari, Mimsy Farmer.
Italy, 1974, 35mm, color, 115 min.
Italian with English subtitles.
Print source: Cinecittá Luce

With their signature blend of historical sweep and magic realism, the Taviani brothers explore the waning of revolutionary hopes in early 19th-century Italy. Marcello Mastroianni plays a Lombard aristocrat and would-be insurgent whose utopian ardor, stoked by the French Revolution, withers in the face of incarceration and the Bourbon Restoration. Upon his release from prison, however, his former associates goad him into supporting a peasant uprising in southern Italy. Featuring a stirring Ennio Morricone score, the film is half-operatic, half-Brechtian in its stylizations, with a glossy melodramatic theatricality constantly undercut by an absurdist irony. Made at a time of high political passion in Italy, Allonsanfan is a rather melancholy meditation on the status of the radical who remains distant from the people he would serve. – DP

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