Dir: Elio Petri, 1976.
125 min. Italy.
In Italian with English subtitles.
FRIDAY, MARCH 1ST - 7:30PM
FRIDAY, MARCH 29TH - 7:30PM
“Hell is nearby. It’s underground. We’re inside it.”
Petri’s sole dalliance with the horror genre, Todo Modo sees a cluster of corruption-prone Christian Democrats on a spiritual retreat in the woods- under the supervision of Father Gaetano (Marcello Mastroianni). While Rome is destroyed by a sprawling offscreen epidemic, the senators and bureaucrats attend seminars in underground concrete bunkers to get closer to God - but one harrowing murder begets another, and soon the attendees find themselves at daggers drawn in an old-fashioned whodunit parlor game.
Anchored by A-game performances from Michel Piccoli, Gian Maria Volonté and Mariangela Melato, the movie is a beautiful display of Petri’s unsung talents for choreography and color, without ever lapsing into spectacle or self-parody. Fearless, macabre and callously funny, Petri’s film was more or less dead on arrival to Italian cinemas (guess why!).
Todo Modo depicts the commingling of church and state as the final terminus for any politician’s credibility, with each member of the retreat attempting to paint themselves as the least partisan while suspicions skyrocket. The glue holding it together is, of course, Mastroianni, whose every sly wrinkle betrays another of Italy’s oldest ethical contortions.
Trailer by Paul Baisley.
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