The Desert of the Tartars (Il deserto dei Tartari

The Desert of the Tartars (Il deserto dei Tartari

Young Lt. Drogo (Jacques Perrin) receives his first assignment in a remote outpost, where isolation and boredom threaten to drive him to the edge of sanity. Lauded but often forgotten Bologna-born filmmaker Valerio Zurlini made his final film with an impressive international cast, including Max von Sydow and Jean-Louise Trintignant, and shot them against the arresting visual background of Iran’s Arg-e Bam, the largest adobe structure in the world. Fans of Claire Denis’s Beau Travail (1999) will find similar themes and tone in this adaptation of Dino Buzzati’s 1940 novel, and Ennio Morricone’s sweeping score emphasizes both the vast landscape and our lead’s perilous insulation. 

DIRECTED BY: Valerio Zurlini. WRITTEN BY: André G. Brunelin. WITH: Jacques Perrin, Vittorio Gassman, Giuliano Gemma, Helmut Griem. 1976. 147 min. Italy/France/West Germany. Color. Italian. Rated PG. DCP. 4K DCP. Courtesy of Cinecittà, 4K digital restoration by Cinecittà.

Academy Museum film programming generously funded by the Richard Roth Foundation. 

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