Tuesday, August 15, 2006

"Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion" dir. Elio Petri (1970) - August 17 in Cambridge, Massachusetts

This Thursday night I strongly urge you to attend the screening of Elio Petri's film "Investigation of A Citizen Above Suspicion" at The Brattle Theatre. This is by far the highlight of the Brattle's lastest schedule. This film acts on so many levels as a pop thriller and political tract that has strangely been neglected despite winning the Grand Prix special at Cannes Festival and the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 1970.

These are the details:

Thursday, August 17

Italian Masters
Investigation Of A Citizen Above Suspicion at 7:30, 10:00
(1970) dir Elio Petri w/Gian Maria Volante, Florinda Bolkan, Gianni Santuccio [112 min]

I first saw this film as part of The Films of Elio Petri series that played at the Harvard Film Archive in 2003. To better explain the film- this is the description of it from the series:

"Inaugurating a cycle of cinema politico in Italy, Petri's Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion is a dark and satirical political thriller set during a time of internal political disturbance, where a psychopathic Roman police inspector (Volonte) cracks down with relish on the political dissidents of the day. After slashing the throat of his masochistic mistress (Bolkan), the inspector is perversely put in charge of the investigation. With sadistic pleasure, he plants clues that implicate himself and then craftily diffuses them, ostensibly to prove his invincibility. As director Petri's split-second edits rocket back and forth between flashback and detection, Investigation becomes a biting critique of Italian police methods and authoritarian repression, a psychological study of a budding crypto-fascist, and a probing why-dunnit. The iciest of film noirs, Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion won the Academy Award for Best Foreign-Language Film of 1970."

To the best of my knowledge, this film is still unavailable on DVD. Perhaps the good people at No Shame Films will release it in the USA.
A decent primer on his life and works can be found here.
Check the official Eilo Petri Website for another look at the film.

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