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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Fists in the Pocket (1965) d. Marco Bellocchio

Paola Pitagora plays Giulia in Fists in the Pocket (1965) d. Marco Bellocchio

Movie Review
Fists in the Pocket (1965)
 d. Marco Bellocchio
Criterion Collection #333

  I'm not sure if I'm being recommended movies that deal with twisted subjects or whether the Criterion Collection is simply saturated with said pictures, but add Fist in the Pocket to "sordid European familiy melodramas."  Fist in the Pocket was the debut of notable(?) Italian film maker Marco Bellocchio.  Yet another well known European filmmaker whose existence I was completely unaware of until I randomly watched one of his/her films on Hulu Plus.

  Fist in the Pocket tells the story of a troubled family, known in the film only by their first names.  The Matriarch, played by Liliana Gerace, is a blind tyrant, demanding loyalty from her four children. The eldest is the normal one, and then Giulia and Augusto are the "too close for comfort" middle children, with youngest Leone being essentially invalid.

  Augusto is determined to free the family, so he takes it upon himself to push his Mother off a cliff during their visit to a cemetery.  He calmly discloses the fact to Giulia at the funeral, but she either doesn't believe him or doesn't want to believe him.  Augusto celebrates his new found freedom by patronizing a prostitute, and then taking Giulia for a viewing of that prostitute afterward.   After he murders Leone by convincing him to overdose on his medication, Giulia freaks out, and the movie ends with Augusto expiring from an epileptic fit.

  Although the plot is dark, the film is more or less a conventional narrative construction with realist overtimes.  Bellocchio downplays the terrible behavior, as if to make the point that such is essentially "normal" in our society.

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