La Luna
May 30, 2009 8:13 PM   Subscribe

Three years after the failure of his recklessly ambitious Marxist epic 1900, Bernardo Bertolucci returned to directing with La Luna - a story of opera and incest featuring a Golden Globe-nominated performance by Jill Clayburgh, then at the height of her late 70s fame. [Also appearing in small roles were Fred Gwynne and an up-and-coming Roberto Benigni.] Writing in The New York Times, Vincent Canby described it as "one of the most sublimely foolish movies ever made by a director of Mr. Bertolucci's acknowledged talents." Roger Ebert wrote, "Bertolucci has sprung his gourd this time."

30 years later, it has yet to receive a North American video release. The film can be watched in is entirety here.
posted by Joe Beese (4 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I just love the phrase "recklessly ambitious".
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:12 PM on May 30, 2009

I don't like seeing the words "incest" and "Fred Gwynne" in the same paragraph.

Oh, and the film looks great.
posted by scratch at 7:00 AM on May 31, 2009

Man, Bertolucci is a great director. I clicked on the video link just out of curiosity and wound up watching over half the movie despite the fact that the characters were uninteresting and unlikeable and I didn't believe a single thing that was happening. The framing, the lighting, the camera movements, all impeccable; it's like listening to a brilliant musician play a trivial piece of music. I urge anyone who hasn't seen them to watch The Conformist and The Spider's Stratagem, two truly great movies.

Do not think Bertolucci wrote this story by himself. He was assisted by his cousin Giovanni, by his wife Clare, and, dare I suggest, by a good deal of the local Chianti.

I love Roger Ebert.
posted by languagehat at 9:08 AM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

Oh, and I quite enjoyed 1900 as well (the English translation is seriously misleading, by the way; Novecento means 'twentieth century,' just like quattrocento means 'fifteenth century'). Give me a recklessly ambitious Marxist epic over a twee tale of romantic angst among the New York yuppoisie any day.
posted by languagehat at 11:50 AM on May 31, 2009

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