Marco Bellocchio

"Steadily productive, but fascinatingly erratic, Marco Bellocchio couples a Buñuelian scorn for bourgeois ritual with a Wiseman-like attraction to monolithic institutions and belief systems ready for the wrecking ball… Bellocchio has, in the course of some twenty movies, dynamited small-town and socialist politics, Jesuit education (In the Name of the Father, 1971), the army and the Vatican." - Jessica Winter (The Rough Guide to Film, 2007)

Marco Bellocchio

Director / Screenwriter / Producer
(1939- ) Born November 9, Piacenza, Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Key Production Countries: Italy, France
Key Genres: Drama, Biopic, Political Drama, Family Drama, Psychological Drama, Comedy Drama
Key Collaborators: Francesca Calvelli (Editor), Pier Giorgio Bellocchio (Leading Character Actor), Bruno Cariello (Character Actor), Gianni Schicchi (Character Actor), Nicola Piovani (Composer), Marco Dentici (Production Designer), Daniele Ciprì (Cinematographer), Fausto Russo Alesi (Leading Character Actor), Roberto Herlitzka (Leading Character Actor), Carlo Crivelli (Composer), Lou Castel (Leading Actor), Michel Piccoli (Leading Actor)

"Young, deeply political film maker who studied at the Centro Sperimentale in Rome and has remarkable economy of expression, comparable in some ways to the approach of the French nouveau roman." - Georges Sadoul (Dictionary of Film Makers, 1972)
"Little known outside his native country, Marco Bellocchio has been a mainstay of Italian cinema for the past 50 years, albeit a most singular and elusive one… Bellocchio’s filmography has been closely intertwined with the complexities of the past 50 years of Italian history. From teenage angst to youth rebellion, from religious institutions to political subversion, his films have delved deeply into the social, political and, most prominently, intimate contradictions of an almost schizophrenic nation during very turbulent times. But Bellocchio, notwithstanding his variations on style and political orientation, has seldom tried to find solutions to his films and always insisted on their fertile discrepancies." - Celluloid Liberation Front (IndieWire, 2014)
Fists in the Pocket
Fists in the Pocket (1965)
"Following a religious education and upbringing, he made some short films and then emerged suddenly as one of the most forceful directors of the younger generation… Bellocchio's talent is a difficult one (which means he has problems in obtaining commercial backing), but his uncompromising temperament has left its mark on the Italian scene." - John Gillett (The International Encyclopedia of Film, 1972)
"His torrential angry-young-man debut, Fists in the Pocket (1965), has lost little of its sting or its mordant humour in the decades since Bellocchio made it. And if time has witnessed a gradual shift in Bellocchio’s sensibilities, away from the unbridled anarchy of youth and towards something resembling circumspection—as evidenced by the sympathetic portrait of the kidnapped Aldo Moro in Good Morning, Night (2003) and for the sane brother in My Mother’s Smile (2002)—it has dulled none of his innate distrust of church and, state and family." - Scott Foundas (Cinema-Scope, 2009)
"Along with his countryman Bernardo Bertolucci, Bellocchio is a primary example of the first European generation of film-school-educated directors. Often, these directors—perhaps under the influence of la politique des auteurs—tended to exhibit an extreme self- consciousness in their films. While watching a Bellocchio film, one is struck at how little or nothing is left open to interpretation—everything seems achingly precise and intentional. Yet what saves his films from seeming airless or hopelessly 'arty' is that they’re often outrageously funny. The havoc his characters wreak on all those around them is ironically counterpointed to the controlled precision of the direction. There is a kind of mordant delight in discovering just how far Bellocchio’s characters will go in carrying out their eerie intrigues. The sense of shrewd critical intelligence orchestrating comic pandemonium into lucid political analyses is one of the most pleasurable aspects of his cinema." - Richard Peña (International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, 2000)
Selected Filmography
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Marco Bellocchio / Fan Club
Filipe Furtado, Nanni Moretti, Adriano Aprà, Ricardo Bedoya, Jean-Philippe Domecq, Armond White, Adrian Danks, Michel Ciment, Michael Sragow, Adrian Martin, Geoff Andrew, Kieron Corless.
The Traitor