The Conformist

Director: Bernardo Bertolucci
Year Released: 1970
Rating: 2.0

Jean-Louis Trintingant, an Italian Fascist, is sent to kill a former associate for his outspoken political views; he reminisces, on the drive, about what events in his life brought him to that moment. Like Bertolucci's mentor Pasolini (also a Marxist), he too is fascinated with the unholy union of sex and politics - in Salo, Pasolini took the concept of power to its absolute end (the total control of another person) - but Bertolucci's take on fascism (based on the novel by Alberto Moravia), embodied by cipher Trintignant, strikes me as weak thinking: fascists are simply angry, repressed homosexuals 'projecting' their self-disgust. Not only that, but Bertolucci's a bit too taken with composition and color to actually present a multi-layered portrait of his lead, choosing instead to pin his later decisions in life on an early homosexual escapade with a much older man. Trintignant does his best to remain a non-entity, but the one-sided script by the director is its major fault.