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Piazza Fontana: The Italian Conspiracy(2012)
The film deals with the reconstruction of the Piazza Fontana bombing that took place in Milan December 12, 1969, and of the tragic events that ensued, from the death of Giuseppe Pinelli, which occurred in mysterious circumstances during an interrogation, to the death of the Commissioner Luigi Calabresi, who had led the investigation.
For more about Piazza Fontana: The Italian Conspiracy and the Piazza Fontana: The Italian Conspiracy Blu-ray release, see Piazza Fontana: The Italian Conspiracy Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on October 15, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.
Director: Marco Tullio Giordana
Starring: Valerio Mastandrea, Pierfrancesco Favino, Michela Cescon, Laura Chiatti, Fabrizio Gifuni, Luigi Lo Cascio
» See full cast & crew
Piazza Fontana: The Italian Conspiracy Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, October 15, 2012
Winner of the Special Prize of the Jury and Label Europa Cinemas Award at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Italian director Marco Tullio Giordana's "Romanzo di una strage" a.k.a "Piazza Fontana: The Italian Conspiracy" (2012) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of 01 Distribution. The supplemental features on the disc include the film's original Italian theatrical trailer; documentary film; and collection of stills. In Italian, with optional English and Italian SDH subtitles for the main feature. Region-B "locked".
Marco Tullio Giordana's Piazza Fontana: The Italian Conspiracy offers a fascinating look at an event that rocked Italy some 43 years ago. On December 12, 1969, a bomb was detonated inside the lobby of Banca Nazionale dell'Agricoltura in downtown Milan, killing 17 people and wounding more than 100.
The film begins some time after the coup d'etat in Greece (1967). There is a general feeling amongst leading politicians in Italy that the success of the Junta will inspire far-right organizations to stage a similar event at home. The most prominent amongst them is Aldo Moro (Fabrizio Gifuni), a Christian Democrat and Foreign Minister, who senses that Italy is on the verge of a massive political crisis.
In the big cities, communists, fascists, and anarchists often protest on the streets -- all of them agree that Italian President Giuseppe Saragat (Omero Antonutti) and the government can no longer be trusted. The media is closely monitoring the protests. Across Europe, the old democracies are also paying close attention to the tension in Italy, while in America there are already serious concerns that if the government collapses and the communists take over the country will exit NATO and the balance of power in Europe will shift towards the Soviet Union.
On December 12, 1969, a powerful bomb destroys Banca Nazionale dell'Agricoltura. Amongst the first suspects detained by the police is Giuseppe Pinelli (Pierfrancesco Favino), a bright and outspoken anarchist who dislikes the extreme right and left. Pinelli is admired by Luigi Calabresi (Valerio Mastandrea), the man in charge with the investigation, who believes that a lot of the criticism coming from the anarchists is indeed justified. There is some evidence pointing to a possible connection between the anarchists and the bombing, but Calabresi isn't convinced that they are behind it. But his opinion does not matter -- powerful politicians ask Pinelli to sign a document that frames one of his comrades so that the public is given a target to blame. While Calabresi prepares the document in his office, Pinelli jumps out the window of the room where he has been interrogated and dies -- or at least this is the story offered by the police. High-ranking officials then announce that the suicide proves that the anarchists are indeed responsible for the Piazza Fontana bombing.
In the days and weeks that follow, the Italian government is grilled by the media to disclose all details surrounding Pinelli's death. Calabresi also begins looking for answers and meets people who suggest to him that the Piazza Fontana bombing might have been orchestrated by neo-fascists acting under the guidance of extreme elements within the Italian government. Sophisticated explosives available only to the Italian Army and concerned top U.S. politicians are also mentioned. Calabresi begins digging deeper, but on May 17, 1972, someone shoots him in the head outside his apartment.
The film is divided into multiple chapters, each highlighting specific events that bring some clarity to the enigma that is the Piazza Fontana bombing (to this day, officially there are no guilty parties, and all of the accused have been acquitted). The film is incredibly well researched and the information is presented with an admirable sense of balance.
The period atmosphere is excellent. The ideas that inspire the communists, fascists, and anarchists are also clearly identified. Naturally, even if one's knowledge of Italian politics from the '60s and '70s is limited, one will easily be able to understand the dilemmas the various characters in the film face.
Those familiar with Italian politics will also be pleased with the big picture the film presents. The involvement and historical importance of various notable political figures, such as Moro, who will eventually become the 39th Prime Minister of Italy and be executed by the Red Brigades, are also given the needed attention.
The final third of the film is most intriguing. Various scenarios are discussed that certainly make a lot of sense. One in particular, which links to the Piazza Fontana bombing a lot of powerful players from places that are thousands of miles away from Italy, should raise plenty of eyebrows.
The acting is top-notch. Favino is superb as Pinelli, an idealist who was apparently executed by the Italian police. Mastandrea also leaves a lasting impression as Calabresi. Gifuni's impersonation of the late Prime Minister is incredibly accurate.
Note: Earlier this year, Piazza Fontana: The Italian Conspiracy won three David Di Donatello Awards (the Italian Oscars), including Best Supporting Actor (Pierfrancesco Favino) and Best Supporting Actress (Michela Cescon).
Piazza Fontana: The Italian Conspiracy Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, encoded with VC-1 and granted a 1080p transfer, Marco Tullio Giordana's Piazza Fontana: The Italian Conspiracy arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Italian distributors 01 Distribution.
The high-definition transfer is very impressive. Detail and especially clarity are excellent throughout the entire film. Not only the close-ups, but even the larger panoramic shots where the protesters clash with the police look fantastic (see screencapture #2). The film has a unique period look which favors a variety of different light grays, blues, greens, and blacks. All of them are stable and lush. There are no traces of problematic lab tinkering. Naturally, the film has a stable organic look that is guaranteed to please viewers with large screens. Also, there are no serious compression issues to report in this review. To sum it all up, even though I was not fortunate to see Piazza Fontana: The Italian Conspiracy theatrically, I think that this excellent Blu-ray release could be used for a mini-theatrical experience that is quite convincing. (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).
Piazza Fontana: The Italian Conspiracy Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There is only one audio track on this Blu-ray disc: Italian DTS-HD HR 5.1. For the record, 01 Distribution have provided optional English and Italian SDH subtitles for the main feature. When turned on, they split the image frame and the black bar below it.
I don't know why 01 Distribution included a DTS-HD HR 5.1 track instead of a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, but I think that there are no serious compromises in terms of quality here. The explosions, the demonstrations and the court hearings all sound very good. There is plenty of depth, excellent clarity, and a good range of nuanced dynamics. This said, Piazza Fontana: The Italian Conspiracy is primarily a dialog-driven feature, so there aren't that many sequences with plenty of dynamic movement/intensity. But, if another Blu-ray release of the film appears with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, hopefully in the U.S., I will make sure to compare it. The English translation is excellent, but I noticed a couple of times there were a few words that were spelled together (example: "goodlunch"). I did not find them distracting at all.
Piazza Fontana: The Italian Conspiracy Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Piazza Fontana: The Italian Conspiracy Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
The wait was definitely worth it. Four years after Sanguepazzo, Marco Tullio Giordana is back with what is easily his most accomplished work to date. Piazza Fontana: The Italian Conspiracy is an impeccably researched and tremendously well acted film that will make your blood boil and have your head spinning. It is guaranteed to appear on my Top 10 list at the end of the year. If possible, I hope that the folks at Criterion manage to pick up Piazza Fontana: The Italian Conspiracy and bring it to the U.S. It will be such a shame if it remains unseen by North American film aficionados. A Blu-ray release of Giordana's The Best of Youth will also be appreciated. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Piazza Fontana: The Italian Conspiracy Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Piazza Fontana: The Italian Conspiracy Blu-ray - July 28, 2012
Italian label 01 Distribution will release on Blu-ray Marco Tullio Giordana's (The Best of Youth) latest film Romanzo di una strage a.k.a Piazza Fontana: The Italian Conspiracy (2012), starring Valerio Mastandrea, Pierfrancesco Favino and Michela Cescon. Street ...
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