After a Tractor

I am the earth
I wear the proud beret
Given to different greens
Each season
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The Conformist

Adapted from a novel by Alberto Moravia, Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Conformist set new standards for how we deal with and respond to the demands of a tyrant.  Bertolucci seems to be equating the rise and fall of Italian Fascism, from the early 1920s until 1943, with the short, dreadful, very romantic life of Marcello (Jean-Louis Trintignant), a young man for whom conformity becomes a kind of obsession after a traumatic encounter in his youth.  Bertolucci appears to be aware the fact that the equation of politics with sex is extremely complex.  He has changed Moravia’s ending in such a way that the entire film is steeped in ambiguity.

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Remember the Night

Lots of folks try to ease the burdens of their busy day with a meal on the town or a stiff drink at the local tavern.  Not many would find a way to harken back to the good ole days (whenever they were!) to either do a good deed, run a scam or rig the outcome of an athletic competition.

Well, Preston Sturges would!  This erstwhile son of a cosmetic heiress spent much of his precocious youth  as a world traveler of sorts.  His mother developed a cosmetics business in the period after World War I and was, apparently, very adept at not only selling her line, but also of hobnobbing her way into the most elegant of European circles.

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