Leo the Last

Boorman has always been experimental for a commercial director, albeit seldom lighthanded. In this spectacular color film-which achieved only a fleeting U.S. release-he created a literally gray production design as an externalization of his hero's psyche. Decor, costumes, and backgrounds are all black, white, or gray-only the flesh is hued. Even the strange exteriors are severely desaturated, the streets painted black. Mastroianni plays Mr. Contemporary Alienation, a barely ambulatory expatriate prince who watches the world through a telescope as he forks his sterile luncheon. One day he observes an incident which compels his involvement with the Lower Classes. He is diffident and ineffectual at first, but gradually uncovers several confused layers of subjectivity and a social matrix of dark and preposterous intrigues over which he triumphs by spearheading a fantasy uprising.-Michael Shedlin

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