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SATIRE AND MORALITY: The cinema of Marco Bellocchio

Includes rare appearance by Marco Bellocchio as a curtain-raised event on Saturday 23 June

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The BFI presents SATIRE AND MORALITY: THE CINEMA OF MARCO BELLOCCHIO, a month-long season (1 July – 31 July) celebrating the work of the award-winning Italian director MARCO BELLOCCHIO (Fists in the Pocket, A Leap in The Dark, My Mother’s Smile, Vincere). A regular on the festival circuit including the BFI London Film Festival, and winner of awards at Berlin, Venice and Cannes, Bellocchio is still today one of the most distinguished and original filmmakers to have emerged from Italy in the 1960s. As a taster for the season, which is the first ever comprehensive retrospective of Bellocchio’s films, there will be a rare onstage appearance by the director on Saturday 23 June, when he will be in conversation at BFI Southbank with season curator Adrian Wootton. The season, which is in partnership with Istituto Luce-Cinecittà and the Italian Cultural Institute London, will also be complemented by screenings at the Ciné Lumière, offering audiences an opportunity to discover a rich, distinctive body of ambitious and beautifully realised films.

Bellocchio was keen for this complete retrospective to take place in London, as he studied at the Slade School of Fine Arts in 1963-64. It was during this time that he wrote his first feature film Fists in the Pocket (I Pugni in Tasca), the remarkable debut which takes a satirically sharp axe to 1960s Italian society, and the manners and behaviour of a wealthy family. Other films screening in the season will include China Is Near (1967) another brilliant satire about an aristocratic brother and sister whose family is infiltrated from within by a social climbing duo; and Slap the Monster on Page One (1972), a story still relevant today of a right-wing newspaper trying to pervert the course of justice by affecting a police investigation into the murder of a young girl. On Monday 9 July season curator Adrian Wootton will host a richly illustrated talk which discusses highlights of Bellocchio’s filmography, considering major themes in his oeuvre, including Catholicism, politics and morality, as well as key literary influences such as Anton Chekhov and Luigi Pirandello.

The Ciné Lumière’s Bellocchio season – which includes screenings of Dormant Beauty, followed by a Q&A with Marco Bellocchio on 22 June, The Witches' Sabbath, The Devil's Flesh, The Butterfly's Dream and The Conviction takes place from 22 June – 22 July.    

BFI Southbank

Please see the website for full details.

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