Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1900 (Novecento) follows the friendship of Alfredo, the son of estate owner or padrone Berlinghieri, and Olmo, the bastard child of a worker on Berlinghieri’s estate from 1901 up to liberation in 1945. They are born on the same day so the two are bound by bonds of comradeship and rivalry. When Donald Sutherland’s chillingly black shirted Estate Foreman, Attila Melanchini, arrives, their friendship is tested by love, loss and widening political difference. In the film’s final scenes, Robert de Niro’s landowner is tried by Depardieu’s Olmo and the now Communist farmhands. The farm hands shout ‘il padrone e motto’, the landowner is dead!
In his rebellious masterpiece, Bertolucci offers up a powerful critique of Italy’s unequal and rigid social structure. This remains largely unchanged through half a century of war, facism, and liberation. Most noteworthily, the film boasts thrilling performances by Robert de Niro and Gerard Depardieu as childhood friends Olmo and Alberto.
We, the actors, the farmers, the crew, the Parma ham, the cheese, the wine were all living a dream. Today the only red left are in North Korea!
In this rare UK screening, we present a pristine 35mm print in Italian with English subtitles of the original 315 minute film. We also offer a programme note, written by the double Academy Award winning director, Bernardo Bertolucci himself.
Kino Klassika collaborates with supper club KinoVino in this final screening of our World to Win. We offer a 1900 themed rustic food and wine reception during the hour long interval of the film.
Ian Christie is Anniversary Professor of Film and Media History at Birkbeck College and a Fellow of the British Academy. He is the co-curator of our exhibition at GRAD Unexpected Eisenstein. He co-curated Eisenstein: His Life and Art (Oxford Museum of Modern Art/Hayward Gallery, 1988). Ian also co-edited Eisenstein Rediscovered (1993) and The Film Factory: Russian and Soviet Cinema in Documents, 1896-1939 (1988). He is the author of monographs on Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger and Martin Scorsese.