China Is Near

Director: Marco Bellocchio
Year Released: 1967
Rating: 1.0

Attempted "satire" of the mid-sixties political scene in good old Italia, where Socialist Professor Vittorio (Glauco Mauri) is running for office, his sister Elena can't stay off her back, he's attracted to his secretary Giovanna (Daniela Surina) but she wants nothing to do with him and his brother Camillo (Pierluigi Aprà) wants to ruin his campaign.  Bellocchio - whose previous film was frickin' Fists in the Pocket - apparently tried to take a 'lighter approach,' but he didn't have the touch: the camera, as Pauline Kael noted, is kind of free-flowing, but the movie is scattered and messy and taking on an easy target, and the main characters, for the most part, are ethically and morally repugnant.  I sensed the first ten minutes in the foul cloud of Godard's cigar floating over it, and let me tell you: it never dissipated.