Bernardo Bertolucci, one of the last emperors of cinema, is dead






Bernardo Bertolucci is dead. 77-year-old, the director leaves us with a legacy career and works also attractions that complex.



Starting as an assistant to Pier Paolo Pasolini, before working with Sergio Leone (as a screenwriter on It was a time in the West), Bernardo Bertolucci has left behind him a career that seems to be precisely much to owe to these two mentors. Worn both by the chronicle of passions, sexual and political, free and enfiévrées, as by reasons, to the ambitions colossal, the director was one of the artists the most exciting of his generation.


On the set of the Last Emperor


Available for a few days in our latitudes, the collector’s edition of 1900 does justice to a gigantic work, without a doubt, his masterpiece, at Wild Side, allows us to understand a bit the relation of the filmmaker to the world and to its medium. He painted a saga of rock, following two protagonists in the aftermath of the First world War, from the rise to the fall of fascism.

During 5 hours, a mixture often dizzying history, fable, quasi-painting, but also a transcription of a certain human ideal and political, that has captured Bertolucci. Film maudit, received tièdement to its release in 1976 , and by definition almost impossible to operate, it is available again in a version worthy of the name, not to say exceptional.


On the set of 1900



It is via The Last Emperor that will come to the international recognition, with no fewer than nine Oscars including best film, director and adapted screenplay. And if this narrative of the existence tormented of the last Emperor of China (a clue lies in the title) is without a doubt a recognition of, ” respectable “, it will also mark the culmination of a career which was not to find more ever these summits.

And if Little Buddha does not deserve the neglect into which he is now held, this opus which is manned by brilliantly a young Keanu Reeves already has more the force of the sagas, combining brilliantly History and intimacy that came to do the glory of Bernardo Bertolucci. The rest of his career, if it will never fail to interest will take gradually the form of a downturn, thematic, and conceptual.


On the set of The Last Tango in Paris



But the most celebrated, and commented upon (logically) contested will, without doubt, The Last Tango in Paris, already the sixth film, after the magnificent The Conformist. The waltz funeral between Maria Schneider and Marlon Brando, respectively, an American in despair after the suicide of his wife, and a young woman on the brink of making a marriage bourgeois, is one of the proposals of cinemas most breathtaking, powerful, disenchanted and poetry of the second half of the Twentieth century.

But the film is not only known for the magnetism of its staging or its interpretation. During the filming of a sequence, which marked the public upon its release, Bernardo Bertolucci organized with his actor, Marlon Brando, and the rape of her actress, Maria Schneider. The assault came in the sequence in which the character of Brando sodomizes the character of Schneider against his will. The actress, unaware of the scenography and, therefore, of the violence that would be imposed under the gaze of the camera, called the event rape.


Bernardo Bertolucci


A qualification that Bernardo Bertolucci eventually commit to a half-word to the Italian news agency Ansa :

“Maria Schneider’s me accused to have stolen her youth and only today I wonder if it wasn’t partly true.”

Beyond the controversy, Bernardo Bertolucci was also a stage director and eminently masculine desire and sexuality, of which the design may appear dated to the time of #MeToo and the re-evaluation of the male/female relationship. A dimension of his work which we hope will contribute to make it an object of analysis, debate, and reflection, rather than a condensed version of the concepts of ” problematic.”


On the set of 1900

Share Button