This is by far the most superior movie i've ever seen
Trevor Willsmer | 11/05/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"this movie has it all. drama, an edge of your seat - psychcological - story-line, handsome lead. partner is an adaptation of the classic book "the double" by dostoyevsky. this is the only movie made from a book i've read and loved that has so captured the feel and integrity of the written work. if you are looking to see a great movie and have the patience to sit through one with subtitles then this is your movie."
Bernie goes Godard
Trevor Willsmer | London, England | 07/15/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"A terrible example of what happens when a talented director imitates an attention-seeking charlatan, Bertolucci's Partner is forgotten with good reason - his Godardian take on Dostoyevsky's The Double is pretty awful. Like Godard, it's full of slogans and soundbites which don't gain in profundity by being repeated six times or more at varying volumes instead of substance, constantly throwing them at the screen in the hope that something will stick, but he amps up the surrealism with Pierre Clementi's absurd (in the dictionary definition) performance. Whether he's shouting at the screen or fighting with invisible enemies or himself, there's never any danger of him being remotely believable or entertaining so that when he finally does meet his double (who he keeps in a closet) we've already dismissed him as a tiresome attention seeing moron on day release from the local asylum. It's the kind of performance that'll have you yearning for the subtle underplaying of Crispin Glover. He does improve as the film goes along and the characters exchange identities, but he's successfully alienated you from the film by then.
Technically it's impressive, with the shot in-camera effects scenes of the two Clementi's extremely well-timed, Bertolucci even acknowledging the artificiality of the device by having them disappear mid-frame in one memorable moment. There's a little bit more involvement with his theme than you get with Godard - for all the surface `provocation' (read tiresome and infantile attention seeking) it does acknowledge that the intellectuals it wants to address (and does directly in the end) are incapable of real revolution because they tie themselves up in imaginary intellectual knots rather than act. Just as Easy Rider now plays as a film that puts you off drugs because the characters just act like uncool morons when they're high, this now seems more a parody of self-important radicals proposing ineffectual actions than a document of a real revolution. And there's a nice sendup of Fellini and other Italian directors' use of numbers instead of dialog when shooting without sound (Bertolucci shot with live sound at a time when most Italian films were shot mute and dubbed later).
The 2.35:1 transfer is good, and the film has a nice artray of extras, including a substantional interview with Bertolucci and mute audition footage as well as a booklet.
Pierre Clementi's screen test for Partner and an outtake from the film overdubbed with new dialog urging the audience to resist or accept the film but to at least react to it rather than simply use cinema as an escape form's the opening of Edoardo Bruno's His Day of Glory/ La Sua Giornata di Gloria, included on the NoShame DVD of Partner as an extra. It's a typical forgotten piece of agitprop from '68, more interested in the sound of its own voice than effecting any change, although it does have the virtue of sincerity. Clumsily shot in b&w, it's mostly a series of political discussions that lack the depth to do more than scrape the surface, although it does make clear that these revolutionaries are too concerned with defining the revolution in contradictory terms than ever acting. Still, if you want to see three people talking very vaguely about Bertolt Brecht before acting out a bit of Mother Courage they can't remember the words to, this is the film for you. Mostly painless.
A decent transfer considering the source material, with another good selection of extras, including director interview and mute screen tests and outtakes."
Detergent instead of bullets
olofpalme63 | auf der flucht! | 03/05/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
Bernardo Bertolucci's "Partner" is typical late 60's LSD cinema in it's purest form. A cerebral look at a schizophrenic drama instructor (Pierre Clementi) who pocesses a dual personality (hence; his "Partner"). After he kills his neighbor (with a gun) for playing a piano too loud, his alter-ego takes over to control his inner rage and frustration. His imaginary friend also convinces him to protest the Vietnam conflict in the form of soap. His theory being; "soap powder can eliminate without killing", and teaches his students how to make molotov cocktails by using soap powder and vodka. Not quite ethnic cleansing...but you get the drift, and he eventually murders one of his students of whom he believes to be a fascist via drowning her in a washing machine with lots of detergent (Dash I believe).
Comic relief comes in the form of a date (the beautiful Stefania Sandrelli who also starred in Bertolucci's "The Conformist" and "1900") who happens to be the daughter of one of his co-workers. She agrees to go out with him, but only if he picks her up in a car. Realizing that he can't drive, he summons his landlord to pretend to be his chauffeur. Only he can't drive either...thankfully she lives downhill from where they steal a car and coast to the front of her home to pick her up. I won't give the ending away, but I'm fairly certain that this film was an influence (along with Syd Barrett) on Roger Waters when he wrote "The Wall"...ie; the drama instructor holding himself up in his apartment during the end, while building a wall of books around himself. You decide.
An interesting movie
Stalwart Kreinblaster | Xanadu | 04/08/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of the most French Italian films you will ever see.. Bertolucci, who was clearly still searching for his own style, emulates the Godard ouevre in this loose adaptation of Dostoyevsky's story.. The movie while quite interesting as an experiment lacks the dynamics of Bertolucci's future masterpieces. It also marks a step backward from his great debut film 'the grim reaper'. I found the subject matter of this movie to be classic yet the nouvelle vague pacing detracts from Bertolucci's brilliant visuals and actually weighs his ideas down.. I would recommend that you see this movie and decide for yourself - but I do not believe this is Bertolucci at his best."