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Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto(1970)
A chief of detectives, homicide section, kills his mistress and deliberately leaves clues to prove his own responsibility for the crime.
For more about Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto and the Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto Blu-ray release, see Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on May 23, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.
Director: Elio Petri
Writers: Elio Petri, Ugo Pirro
Starring: Gian Maria Volontè, Florinda Bolkan, Gianni Santuccio, Orazio Orlando, Arturo Dominici, Salvo Randone
» See full cast & crew
Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, May 23, 2013
Elio Petri's "Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto" a.k.a. "Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion" (1970) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Italian distributors Lucky Red. The supplemental features on the disc include audio commentary with scenarist Ugo Pirro, producer Marina Cicogna, and actress Florinda Bolkan; documentary film produced by Atacama Film; video interview with legendary composer Ennio Morricone; video interview with Paola Petri, director Elio Petri's widow, and producer Marina Cicogna; and clips from an archival interview with actor Gian Maria Volonte. In Italian, with optional English and Italian SDH subtitles for the main feature. Region-B "locked".
He (Gian Maria Volonte, Le Cercle Rouge, For a Few Dollars More) makes love to his mistress (Florinda Bolkan, Lizard in a Woman's Skin, Don't Torture a Duckling) and then kills her with a razor blade. On the way out of her apartment, the man meets a young student who tries to be kind to him. They exchange a few words and then head in opposite directions.
A series of flashbacks now reveal that the man is a powerful police inspector. In the building where he works no one likes to talk to him. There has to be a very good reason for his colleagues to approach him. Most of them prefer to be listeners. Some simply try to stay out of his way.
More flashbacks now show that the man had a special relationship with the dead woman. He liked to torture her and she liked to be tortured. They played strange games - he would hurt her in ways real killers and rapists would hurt their victims. He would also ask her to pose and act as the victims he had read about in the files his colleagues would bring to his desk and take pictures of her. For a while they both liked the games, but eventually he became frustrated with the woman.
In the second half of the film the man decides to prove that he is untouchable, a "citizen above suspicion". While his colleagues are desperately trying to find his mistress' killer, he teases them with leads revealing that he is the man they are looking for. But they keep ignoring them because a man of his stature cannot possibly kill.
The feeling that he is beyond the law has a profound impact on the man and he begins treating his colleagues like puppets. And the more they try to please him, the more he abuses them. He even manipulates his boss, who reports directly to the Minister of Justice.
The final twenty minutes are absolutely brilliant. The film becomes very angry and hits all sorts of different targets. Admittedly some of the political overtones are a bit too strong, but its message is indeed very clear: Italians beware! The Italian political system is rotten to its core.
The use of various flashbacks is particularly effective as it constantly keeps the viewer guessing about the nature of the film. Indeed, with a few minor adjustments Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion could have easily been a stylish giallo picture or a juicy psychedelic thriller (see Lucio Fulci's equally atmospheric Una sull'altra a.k.a. Perversion Story).
Director Elio Petri completed Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion in 1970. The same year the film was screened at the Cannes Film Festival where it won the Grand Prize of the Jury. A year later, it won Oscar Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
The soundtrack of Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion was composed by the legendary Ennio Morricone.
Note: Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion is the first film in director Elio Petri's Trilogy of Neuroses. The other two entries are Lulu the Tool a.k.a. The Working Class Goes to Heaven (1971) and Property Is No Longer a Theft (1973).
Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Elio Petri's Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Italian distributors Lucky Red.
Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion was recently restored in 4K by Colorworks in collaboration with Cineteca di Bologna at L'Immagine Ritrovata. Funding for the restoration was provided by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, The Film Foundation, and Sony Pictures Entertainment.
The new restoration of this classic Italian film is very impressive. Detail and especially image depth are simply outstanding. Close-ups, in particular, look superb (see screncapture #3). Color reproduction also does not disappoint - there is a good range of solid but very natural browns, grays, blues, and blacks. Furthermore, there isn't even a whiff of problematic degraining or sharpening corrections. Unsurprisingly, from start to finish the film has a very solid organic look. Also, there are absolutely no scratches, debris, cuts, damage marks, or warps to report in this review. Frame transitions are also excellent. All in all, this is easily one of the very best restorations of a classic Italian film that I have seen to date. (Note: This is a Region-B "locked" Blu-ray release. Therefore, you must have a native Region-B or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).
Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There are two standard audio tracks on this Blu-ray release: Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 and Italian Dolby Digital 2.0. For the record, Lucky Red have provided optional English and Italian SDH subtitles for the main feature.
The lossless track provides the film with much needed depth and crispness. (The difference in quality between the lossy track from the Italian R2 DVD and this new lossless track is indeed like night and day). Ennio Morricone's playful score, in particular, gets a tremendous boost. The dialog is crisp, well rounded, and easy to follow. Also, there are no cracks, pops, audio dropouts or distortions to report in this review. The English translation is very good.
Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
I could not be any more pleased with Italian distributors Lucky Red's Blu-ray release of Elio Petri's Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion. Recently restored in 4K by Colorworks in collaboration with Cineteca di Bologna at L'Immagine Ritrovata, this classic Italian film looks simply stunning. As far as I am concerned, this is one of the year's very best Blu-ray releases. Let's hope that a local distributor, and hopefully Criterion, will be able to bring Mr. Petri's film to the U.S. (A domestic release of the recently restored The Assassin, Mr. Petri's debut film, would also be appreciated). HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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