La Luna (1979 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Bernardo Bertolucci|
|Produced by||Giovanni Bertolucci|
|Written by||Bernardo Bertolucci
|Music by||Ennio Morricone|
|Edited by||Gabriella Cristiani|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Release date(s)||September 30, 1979|
|Running time||142 minutes|
La Luna, also known as Luna, is a 1979 Italian film directed by Bernardo Bertolucci and starring Jill Clayburgh. The film concerns the troubled life of a teenage boy and his relationship with his parents, including an incestuous relationship with his mother.
Joe (Matthew Barry) is the son of famous opera singer Caterina Silveri (Jill Clayburgh). While Joe believes that Caterina's husband, Douglas Winter (Fred Gwynne), is his biological father, the truth is that he was sired by Caterina's former lover, who is now living in Italy and working as a schoolteacher. Joe is moody and rebellious and needs a strong father figure to guide him and keep him in line, but Douglas is ineffectual and emotionally weak, and when Joe witnesses the sudden death of Douglas, it sends him over the edge. In hopes of boosting her singing career, which has fallen into a rut, Caterina decides to move to Italy with her son. There, Joe falls in with a dangerous crowd and becomes addicted to heroin.
Caterina is heartbroken and hopes to lure her son back to a safer and healthier lifestyle. She tries in many instances to get closer emotionally to her son hoping that increased contact will prevail over the pull of the drugs. She even contacts his drug dealer to ask for sympathy for her situation. At one point, she sexually satisfies her son to prevent him from using drugs.
Seeing no other alternative, she decides to drive to the location they originally lived, where her estranged lover lives with the hope that some sort of fatherly bond will cure her son. Along the way, tensions, some sexual, derail and prolong the trip. Eventually the son is dropped off at the ex's home, but the father does not want to see him. With some sort of closure achieved for the boy, he returns to his mother who is preparing for an opera. Embracing, they reaffirm their love for each other, and together the son and his father, who has come to watch the performance, see Caterina sing her heart out.
- Jill Clayburgh – Caterina Silveri
- Matthew Barry – Joe Silveri
- Veronica Lazar – Marina
- Tomas Milian – Giuseppe
- Renato Salvatori – Communist
- Fred Gwynne – Douglas Winter
- Alida Valli – Giuseppe's Mother
- Elisabetta Campeti – Arianna
- Franco Citti – Man in Bar
- Roberto Benigni – Upholsterer
- Carlo Verdone – Director of Caracalla
- Peter Eyre – Edward
"Saw Bertolucci's La luna. Monstrous, cheap, vulgar rubbish." – Andrei Tarkovsky, personal diary, 7 September 1979
- Aubrey Solomon, Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History, Scarecrow Press, 1989 p259
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