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Sun, Feb 26


Epsilon Spires

THE CONFORMIST w/ Italian Wine Tasting

Beauty, danger, sex, dancing, politics, murder- newly restored in 4K, Bertalucci's masterpiece is acclaimed for its sumptuous visuals and extravagant cinematography. Experience this epic film on the big screen paired with innovative "non-conforming" Italian wines curated by Sommelier Rob Forman.

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THE CONFORMIST w/ Italian Wine Tasting
THE CONFORMIST w/ Italian Wine Tasting

Time & Location

Feb 26, 2023, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Epsilon Spires, 190 Main St, Brattleboro, VT 05301, USA

About the event

Our new Sunday Night Screening Series showcases epic films that need to be experienced on the big screen.

The Conformist (1970, 111 mins), Beauty, danger, cruelty, sex, dancing, politics, murder- Director Bernardo Bertolucci combines a flawless aesthetic with a deep emphasis on composition, design, and camerawork to slowly build a devastating portrait of the kind of personality that allows fascism to flourish. Tonight's film is paired with a selection of "non-conforming" Italian wines that are innovative or distinctive from the mainstream categories they are reductively included in, curated by Sommelier Rob Forman. Tickets including the wine tasting experience are $25. General admission is $12. (popcorn included), sliding-scale tickets start at $5. 


Marcello, played brilliantly by actor Jean-Louis Trintignant, wants to fit into society so badly that he conforms to the standard of normality by becoming a fascist foot soldier in Mussolini’s dictatorship. He seeks the marriage of a young woman; not out of love, but out of the necessity to appear normal. On his honeymoon, he uses this marriage as a cover as he attempts to assassinate a former professor from his college days for the fascist powers that be. Is he a true believer in political ideology? Of course not; he just wants to assimilate because Marcello realizes early on in life that he doesn’t fit it with everyone else, and that difference could be dangerous. This fear motivates every decision in his life because deep down, he trusts that conforming to the norms of society will help keep him safe. Unfortunately, Marcello is living in dark times, and by conforming, he’s adopting the dark agenda and consequences of the fascist movement. -Senses of Cinema 

Lasting Influence

The Conformist” can best be described as a beautiful movie about ugly things. Each frame of this film is a masterclass in cinematography, editing and design, yet, the director breaks all the rules to challenge our expectations about what cinema can be. The cinematographer was Vittorio Storaro, and his color palette is so exquisite that Francis Ford Coppola watched this film over and over before making "The Godfather" and then hired Storaro to shoot "Apocalypse Now." The production designer was Ferdinando Scarfiotti, whose credits include "Death in Venice" and "Scarface." And Georges Delerue, who did the scores for "Jules and Jim" and “Platoon," composed the music.

"When Bertolucci’s influence is discussed today, the political aspects of his storytelling — his leftist ideals and darkly cynical look at social systems and institutions — are frequently left out of the equation. the political relevance of The Conformist has crept upon us once more in a way that can feel profoundly disturbing. The fact that Bertolucci is able to deploy such a skillful tapestry of cinematic and artistic techniques in order to tell that story just makes its political message that much darker. And that’s exactly why The Conformist is the one Bertolucci film you shouldn’t miss." 

-Aja Romano, Vox 

Critical Acclaim:

“A TRIUMPH OF FEELING AND STYLE. So operatic that you come away with sequences in your head like arias.”  

– Pauline Kael

“Juggling past and present with the same bravura flourish as Welles in CITIZEN KANE, Bertolucci conjures a dazzling historical and personal perspective, demonstrating how the search for normality ends in the inevitable discovery that there is no such thing.” – Tom Milne, Time Out 

About Sommelier Rob Forman:

Starting in the wine industry in 1988 in specialty retail in Austin, Texas, Rob’s Italian wine obsession began in the early 1990s. Relocating to Connecticut he worked in both distribution and imports before joining Dalla Terra in 2002, a nationally recognized and leading importer/agent of Italian wines. Rob has been nurturing both producer and distributor business in various roles over the years deriving success by being grounded, consistent and conscientious, while also educating through context and clarity. Rob has a predilection for wines with opacity, acidity and finesse.

Parallel to work, Rob’s other activities revolve around music in the forms of his unending and expanding music collection, non-commercial radio activity, running the experimental label Sedimental Records and small event curation in unique settings. Raised in Texas (with mid-west roots) Rob has had stints in the Northeast, Texas and returned to the Northeast again in 2019, settling in Western, MA with his family. We are honored that Rob has recently joined the Board Of Directors at Epsilon Spires serving as Secretary.



    Admission for one to THE CONFORMIST and Wine Tasting experience showcasing innovative and distinctive, "non-conforming" Italian wines curated by Sommelier Rob Forman. Cheese, fruits and other light food pairings are included.

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  • TICKETS: Film & Popcorn

    Admission for one to THE CONFORMIST (Film & Free Popcorn Included). Please choose your seating with respect for others and let us know if you require special arrangements. $2 from every ticket goes directly towards the historic preservation of the venue. Thank you for your support! Enjoy the program!

    Sale ended
  • Sliding-Scale: Film & Popcorn

    General Admission Tickets for this event (film and free popcorn included) are $12. Thanks to a generous grant from the Ben and Jerry’s Foundation, subsidized sliding-scale tickets are available for those who self-identify as experiencing financial hardship. In order to make this program accessible for all, we are offering tickets by sliding scale. Taking equity and inclusion into account, please pay what you can to help support the artists and venue.

    Pay what you want
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  • Support Future Events!

    I would like to add a donation to my ticket to express my support and appreciation of the adventurous and intellectually-engaging programs at Epsilon Spires. Thank you & keep up the good work! (Ticket includes wine tasting experience showcasing innovative and distinctive, "non-conforming" Italian wines curated by Sommelier Rob Forman. Cheese, fruits and other light food pairings are provided.

    Pay what you want
    Sale ended



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