|Original title||Prima della rivoluzione|
|UK Release Date||8 April 2011|
|Cast||Adriana Asti, Francesco Barilli, Allen Midgette, Morando Morandini, Cristina Pariset, Cecrope Barilli|
|Distributor||British Film Institute (BFI)|
Bertolucci's brilliantly assured second film is very loosely inspired by Stendhal's The Charterhouse of Parma, a novel the director adored. The story centres on the emotional and political conflicts within a young man, Fabrizio, who is contemplating joining the Communist Party. But his personal life is even more unresolved, as he breaks away from his planned marriage to a perfect bourgeoise and becomes incestuously involved with his alluring aunt (Adriana Asti). Bertolucci's obsession for politics and cinema is openly expressed through this alter-ego and in the extraordinary freedom of his camerawork and editing. There are heartfelt allusions to the history of filmmaking - a cinephile friend cries out 'One cannot live without Rossellini', while an erotic love scene echoes Jean Vigo's L'Atalante - as well as to the city of his youth, with a climactic sequence at the opera that is breathtaking in its sweep and intensity.