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LIFE IS STRANGE

Italy, 1988 (MIFF 1990, Spotlight Bertolucci)

Director: Giuseppe Bertolucci

Dario, a psychologist working in the public health system, lives an uneventful day-to-day routine comprising his work, his fiancee, his future inlaws.

One day he meets Mario, his one-time high-school mate. They celebrate their meeting in a bar, but just as they are having a drink Mario suddenly feels ill and falls in a heap, dead from a heart-attack. The newly rediscovered acquaintance draws his last breath in Dario's arms.

Dario now inherits a disturbing situation, namely Mario's widow, Anne, once Dario's own sweet-heart, and Mario's lover, Esther, a young and ingenuous girl. From this point on, Dario's life changes radically. He is drawn into a whirlwind of feelings and all his various relationships go through a terrible crisis.

Through this stormy chain of events and personalities, Dario comes to confront and question the purpose of his own profession, the meaning of his own authoritative science. Bertolucci's continuing preoccupation with feminine sensibilities is here enhanced by a strong, vibrant, intriguing psychodrama, graced by impressive performances from the mostly female cast.

Giuseppe Bertolucci
Now fully recognised as a major directorial force in Italian and international cinema, Giuseppe Bertolucci, like his celebrated brother Bernardo, was born in Parma, just over forty years ago. The son of a poet, Attilio, Giuseppe practised this literary art form throughout his youth in a family atmosphere surrounded by books, art and prestigious friends.

In 1970 he was an assistant director on The Spider's Stratagem made by brother Bernardo. Later he co-scripted both 1900 (1977) and La Luna (1979). He began directing his own films in 1971 including a number of television productions. His feature films include Berlinguer, ti voglio bene (1977), Oggetti Smarriti (1981), Segreti, Segreti (1985, MFF '86), Tuttobenigni (1986), Strana la Vita (1988), I Cammelli (1988) and Amori in Corso (1989).

See also...

THE CAMELS

Typical of Giuseppe Bertolucci's best previous efforts (An Italian Woman, Secrets, Secrets) this quirky modern fable exudes an idiosyncratic, offbeat charm. The scenario, which features a pleasing ... More »

LOVE IN PROGRESS

In Love In Progress, Giuseppe Bertolucci has drawn a delightfully amusing portrait of the young. As in his previous films, Bertolucci's facility in creating credible and fascinating women characters ... More »

SECRETS, SECRETS

Generally acclaimed as the best — and most important — Italian film of the year. SECRETS, SECRETS confirms the talent of ... Giuseppe Bertolucci (younger brother of Bernardo and co-writer ... More »

THE CHILDREN ARE WATCHING US

The Children Are Watching Us was de Sica's first serious attempt at realism. ... An adaptation of a novel by Cesare Giulio Viola, the literary and elaborate ... script provides a vivid illustration ... More »

Substitute, The

The Substitute (Il supplente) Italy A surprising and unexpected comedy about growing up and the lessons learnt in the classroom and office. Winner of the Best Comedy Award at Aspen Shortsfest 2007 ... More »

Underground

The film presents the reveries of a man travelling on an underground train, stimulated by the sights rushing past and the faintly disquieting atmosphere of the night. ... More »

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