Thursday, 26 October 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 311: Fri Nov 10

Illustrious Corpses (Rosi, 1976): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 8.45pm


This 35mm screening, which is also being shown on November 4th, is part of the 'Who Can You Trust?' season at BFI Southbank. Full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
The serial assassinations of judges in a provincial town trigger a national investigation in this 1975 political thriller by the first-rate Italian auteur Francesco Rosi. Trying out his theory of a lone, vengeful killer, an inspector dispatched from Rome (hound faced Lino Ventura in a hauntingly glum portrayal) uncovers an unholy coalition of established power factions concealing the truth from the people. In its depiction of pervasive corruption and rampant paranoia, the film is very much a signpost for the late 60s and early 70s; it brings to mind Coppola's The Conversation, another intricate study of a society under surveillance, whose citizens are manipulated to accept the government's version of the truth. To heighten the vague sense of menace, Rosi's camera voyeuristically suggests the characters stalking or being stalked. And the film's texture—shifting between the naturalistic and the hallucinatory, with hypothetical statements and flashbacks shot in black and white—is designed to unsettle us, as is the multilayered, almost musicless sound track. Even creepier are the deep-focused, Chirico-like images of long corridors in a hall of justice, an art museum, and a catacomb littered with the corpses of ancient magistrates—ominous spaces holding secrets of the past and present.
Ted Shen


Here (and above) is an extract.

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