A Brief Introduction
Years in Review
Films Ranked: 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005
Current Criticism
Search Criticism
Past Criticism
Top 10 Lists
Notable Short Films
Contact Me

Spider's Stratagem, The

Director:  Bernardo Bertolucci
Year Released:  1970
Rating:  3.0

Athos Magnani (Giulio Brogi) returns to his hometown of "Tara" to look into his father's mysterious murder (Pop had the same exact name) by fascists - he spends a lot of time talking to Dad's prickly mistress Draifa (Alida Valli) and three of Dad's old 'friends'/anti-fascists (one of them is a salami expert ... which sounds like a dream career). Bertolucci (wisely) adapted this from a Jorge Luis Borges story and does the Argentine proud: this is a haunting tale about what happens when one looks into the past of a parent and finds something questionable or shameful ... and also about how great political movements need 'figures' to 'worship,' even going so far as twisting truth to make a traitor a hero for the sake of the 'narrative.' Brogi's 'character' is basically a cipher for the great Vittorio Storaro to fix his camera on; the picture's true worth comes from Borges' and Bertolucci's minds.

Return to the Previous Page

© Copyright 2018 Matthew Lotti.