Diavolo in corpo (Devil in the Flesh). 1986. Italy. Directed by Marco Bellocchio. In Italian; English subtitles. 114 min.
Screenplay by Bellocchio, Ennio De Concini, Enrico Palandri. With Maruschka Detmers, Federico Pitzalis, Anita Laurenzi. For his adaptation of Raymond Radiguet’s classic 1923 novel Le Diable au corps, which shook the literary establishment upon its release, Bellocchio shifted the story to present-day Italy—and dedicated the film to his psychoanalyst. One of the first X-rated art films to be released in the U.S. by a major distributor, its frank sexuality is far less shocking today. The film’s bold mixture of sex and politics, however, remains highly provocative. An aimless, spoiled young woman desperately tries to find her way in a society that circumscribes her every move, while her mirror image, the supposedly engaged, politically extreme anarchist, conforms far too readily to bourgeois values when pressed. The liberating force here is passion: Andrei Tarkovsky collaborator Giuseppe Lanci’s gorgeous cinematography captures the amour fou lovemaking on pianos amid 1980s minimalist décor, and Maruschka Detmers’s lauded performance as the slightly unhinged Giulia is as raw and fresh today as it was almost 30 years ago.
Wednesday, April 30, 2014,4:00 p.m.T2, Theater 2The Museum of Modern Art
Thursday, April 24, 2014,7:00 p.m.T1, Theater 1The Museum of Modern Art