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Italy, 1989 (MIFF 1990, Spotlight Bertolucci)

Director: Giuseppe Bertolucci

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 is in full swing. In his latest work, he has focused his attention exclusively on three young girls.

Their relationship desires, petty preoccupations, infatuations, and attempts at love make up the basis of his script. A candid, vibrant approach toward these daily trivialities displays an affectionate warmth which also affects the viewers. The director's understanding of the stylistic and psychological aspects of femininity, and his sympathy toward their problems and general behaviour, are all evident as he embarks on this close-range examination of friendship, intimacy and the first stirring of love.

Bertolucci's story unfolds as two young girls arrive at a secluded country house to spend some time preparing for a university exam. A male student, with whom they are both infatuated, is expected to join them. Instead of him, however, his girlfriend arrives. Her presence annoys them and when she leaves, as abruptly as she had come, there is a changed atmosphere between the two friends.

Bertolucci derives appealing moments out of their ordinary small talk, the random gestures, and small details. His characters move in uncertain steps toward emotional maturity, adding to the film an attractive air of candor and truth.

A note from the director:
"The influence of Eric Rohmer on this venture is to be especially considered from the production point of view. Rohmer has been for me, over the years, a sort of medicine, that is, an example to follow against general vulgarity, a really unique example of vigour. However, Amori in Corso, as a finished product, appears eventually as something completely different from his. . ."

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