Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Overlooked DVD of the Week: "Partner" (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1968)


Partner is Bertolucci at his most playful, yet the film is just as formally stringent and manneristic as any of his most popular and works. I have mixed feelings about most of Bertolucci’s films, but Partner, for me, is one of his best, and least seen, works. Clearly inspired by the French New Wave, “Partner” seems overwhelmingly Godardian and is certainly a far cry from his earlier works, such as La Commare Secca or Before The Revolution. Based on a story by Dostoyevsky, Partner spirals into anarchy as a created identity deconstructs the life of Giaccobe, a drama teacher. Any New Wave fans will find clear parallels in Partner and Brecht should weigh heavily in any kind of close analysis, especially considering its release year (1968) and the events that were going on in Europe at the time. Whether Partner achieves what it sets out to do is debatable (I took a Bertolucci class as an undergraduate and most of the class thought it failed), but it is a wild film that everybody should experience.

1 comment:

Jeremy Richey said...

This might not be one of the maestro's greatest films but it's one of my favorites. I love all of the Godardian touches and the casting of Pierre, Stefania and Tina is just perfect.
NoShame's DVD set is really terrific and was one of the most welcome special edition DVDS to come out this decade in my book.