Tue 8 Oct

Illustrious Corpses

Cert. tbc

Festivals & Series

63rd BFI London Film Festival

Cadaveri eccelenti


With English subtitles (EST)

Italy-France | 1976 | Dir Francesco Rosi | Scr Francesco Rosi, Tonino Guerra | With Lino Ventura, Renato Salvatori, Max Von Sydow

Based on a novel rather than real events, but no less worrying for that, it finds Inspector Rogas (Ventura) searching for the culprit and reaching the conclusion – as he wanders the corridors of power and the murders mount up – that there could be a labyrinthine conspiracy on a national scale. Less journalistic in tone that Rosi’s earlier films, this is persuasively politicised film noir, with Pasqualino De Santis’ stylish cinematography and the atmospheric use of monumental architecture invoking the shadows of Italy’s past. The extraordinary cast includes such iconic figures as Alain Cuny, Max Von Sydow, Fernando Rey and Charles Vanel; none, however, is as eloquent or powerful a presence as Ventura, effortlessly expressive of Rogas’s cool intelligence, professional integrity and quiet determination.

Restored by the Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory and The Film Foundation, with funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation.

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