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Before the Revolution (DVD + Blu-ray) [1964]

Francesco Barilli , Adriana Asti , Bernardo Bertolucci    Suitable for 12 years and over   Blu-ray
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: £9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Before the Revolution (DVD + Blu-ray) [1964] + Miracle in Milan (+II Tetto) [Dual Format Edition] [Blu-ray] [1951]
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Product details

  • Actors: Francesco Barilli, Adriana Asti
  • Directors: Bernardo Bertolucci
  • Format: Black & White, Colour, PAL, Subtitled
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: BFI Video
  • DVD Release Date: 22 Aug 2011
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0051FBKX0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 48,156 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

A film by Bernardo Bertolucci

Young, middle-class and idealistic, Fabrizio struggles to break away from his bourgeois background. Bertolucci's beautifully operatic film, winner of the Cannes Critics' Week Prize in 1964, celebrates the passion and ideology of the 1960s, and is presented here newly restored with a selection of revealing extra features.

Special features

  • Presented in Standard Definition and High Definition (DVD & Blu-ray)
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • On-set footage (1963, 4 mins, DVD only): extract from Italian TV series Cinema d'oggi featuring an interview with the young Bertolucci
  • Interview with Bernardo Bertolucci (Giuseppe Bertolucci, 2003, 46 mins, DVD only): the director discusses Before the Revolution
  • Interviews with Roberto Perpignani, Vittorio Storaro and Ennio Morricone (Giuseppe Bertolucci, 2003, 26 mins, DVD only)
  • Working Copy (Giuseppe Bertolucci, 2003, 31 mins, DVD only): comparisons between the working and final versions of the film
  • Bernardo Bertolucci in conversation with David Thompson (2011, 12 mins, DVD only): Q&A recorded at BFI Southbank

Italy | 1964 | black & white, and colour | Italian language with optional English subtitles | 112 minutes | Original aspect ratio 1.85:1

Disc 1: BD25 | 1080p | 24fps | PCM mono audio (48k/24-bit)
Disc 2: DVD9 | PAL | Dolby Digital (320kbps)

Region 2 DVD
Region B Blu-ray

Product Description

United Kingdom released, Blu-Ray/Region B DVD: LANGUAGES: Italian ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), Italian ( Dolby Linear PCM ), English ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (1.85:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Black & White, Booklet, Cast/Crew Interview(s), Interactive Menu, Remastered, Scene Access, Trailer(s), SYNOPSIS: The study of a youth on the edge of adulthood and his aunt, ten years older. Fabrizio is passionate, idealistic, influenced by Cesare, a teacher and Marxist, engaged to the lovely but bourgeois Clelia, and stung by the drowning of his mercurial friend Agostino, a possible suicide. Gina is herself a bundle of nervous energy, alternately sweet, seductive, poetic, distracted, and unhinged. They begin a love affair after Agostino's funeral, then Gina confuses Fabrizio by sleeping with a stranger. Their visits to Cesare and then to Puck, one of Gina's older friends, a landowner losing his land, dramatize contrasting images of Italy's future. Their own futures are bleak. ...Before the Revolution (1964) ( Prima della rivoluzione ) (Blu-Ray)

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Customer Reviews

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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Before the Revolution is a ravishingly cinematic piece of work, with Bertolucci showing a real confidence with both camera and location that both serves and enhances the script. It doesn't always work, but when it does, it's an outstanding piece of cinema first and foremost - the politics is more a reflection of a universal weakness of character than a specific moment in time a la Godard (the film was adapted and updated from Stendhal's The Charterhouse of Parma). Even the movie references don't gall the way they almost always do in modern films because Bertolucci not only puts them into context with the other arts (literature, music, painting, photography) but makes them personal obsessions that are part of character - the movie buff isn't just there to talk about Bertolucci's favorite films, or even to point out that in cinema style is content: it's simply how that character communicates by equating life to art. A surprisingly exciting piece of cinema.

The very impressive Italian 2-disc set offers a superb widescreen transfer with English subtitles and a wide array of interviews, all with English subtitles, with cast, crew, academics and directors influenced by the film, including several not included on the BFI's forthcoming Blu-ray release. The full list, for those who are interested: Travelling Companions (Enzo Siciliano, Adriano Apra and Giovanni Bertolucci), Self-Portrait (Bernardo Bertolucci, 45 minutes), Gina and Fabrizio (Adriana Asti and Francesco Barilli), The Workshop of the Young Masters (Roberto Perpignani, Vittorio Storaro and Ennio Morricone), Re-Readings (Francesco Casetti, Giovanna Grignaffini and Lucilla Albano) and After the Revolution (Marco Tullio Giordana and Marco Bellocchio).
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOST MASTERPIECE 26 Mar 2013
Ravishingly beautiful acting, locations, editing and cinematography. Incredible expressionistic handheld camerawork.
50 years old and still bursting with ideas and energy that put modern Hollywood in the shadows of cliche.
Not only does it homage Godard, it actually betters much of his work by adding a truly sincere deep emotional core to the story.
The observant of you will see how a scene in this film was a direct influence on Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Also the crisp black and white photography and music clearly inspired Martin Scorcese's Raging Bull.
Incredible to think this film was made by a 22 year old. He must have been a prodigy.
He clearly used a wheelchair to get many of the amazing tracking shots around the beautiful city of Parma and the Opera House.
This film contains what is still one of cinema's greatest achievements: A single handheld shot that is 5 minutes long that spins around a room, with multiple focus pulls. It's when the lover's kiss in a room and it absolutely allows you to enter their passion. This shot was shown on the Mark Cousins' History of Cinema documentary.
More than anything this film is a playful, passionate document of what can be achieved with a camera, an actor and a light.
A true masterpiece.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Prima della Rivoluzione 4 Dec 2002
By Jason Parkes #1 HALL OF FAME
Format:VHS Tape
This was the debut film of Bernardo Bertolucci and one that can bee seen to be very of its time. The influence of Bertolucci's mentor Pier Paolo Pasolini is in evidence- there is much Gramscian inflected philosophy here (which dates the film a little, but also places it in the same continuum as films like Mamma Roma). This upset the catholic authorities at the time, as did Pasolini's La Ricotta- the influence on Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets (1973) is also in evidence in terms of both theme and style.
Very much a debut film, you can detect the talent behind later classics such as The Spider's Strategem, The Conformist (contender for the greatest film ever made) & Last Tango in Paris. Before the Revolution still stands up to viewing, though lacks the surreal bit of Bertolucci's greatest mentor, Jean-Luc Godard- whose Weekend is far more fun in terms of fusing left-wing philosophies with cinematic style...
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great film, relevant to today's society. 21 April 2012
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
There would not be many people who remember seeing this in a movie theatre, we're getting older. It is wonderful to see it today so well mastered and sub-titled. Bertolucci is politically well-aware and prepared to let his progressive views known. Nevertheless, as the title proclaims, he can see merit in chronicling the lives of the bourgeois protagonists whom he has studied so well. Their confusions and entanglements are familiar even today because our time is similar in so many respects.

I found the characters so convincing that I forgot I was looking at people paid to act in front of a camera.
We KNOW these people, although they are Italians, living 60 odd years ago. This is because the same
problems are affecting middle-class educated people in our society today.

The time when this film was made somehow feels familiar, despite certain technological changes. And Bertolucci accurately captures the atmosphere in which we and our friends live, with the confusions and uncertainties characteristic "before a revolution".
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By K. Gordon TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
While hailed as many as a masterpiece (or near), I struggled somewhat with Bertolucci's 2nd film, made when he was only 23, although I am a
fan of his in general. Beautifully shot, great use of music and unconventional editing, the film is excellent on a film-making and craft level
(although it perhaps borrows too liberally from leading film-makers of the era, especially Godard, Antonioni and Resnais).

The story of a young bourgeois man trying to come to terms with his tear between his attraction to communism and his desire for an easier life
leads him into an incestuous affair with his somewhat older aunt. I found it's themes somewhat muddled, alternating between being heavy-
handedly spelled out, or so obtuse I wasn't sure what a given scene was saying.

The acting in particular seems a bit all over the place; understated to the point of flatness in one scene, and then almost theatrically over the
top the next. At the end I felt glad I'd seen the film, but it didn't stick with me the way Bertolucci's first film "La Commare Secca" or his third
"Partner" did. ("Partner" deals with some of the same themes, but in a far more playful, often comedic way). There was a film-school sort of
pretentiousness and emotional distance in "Before the Revolution that kept me from feeling moved or from being led to think deeply about
the ideas.

That said, I plan to revisit it and see if my reaction changes, and certainly I enjoyed Bertolucci's already masterful use of image and sound,
even if the ends he was using them to were a bit muddled for me.

The BFI blu-ray is generally a gorgeous transfer, with only some odd dirt, and a short annoying section of stains on the print taking away
from a first rate and striking looking disc.
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