Monday , June 27 2022

Bernardo Bertolucci: From the last Tango in Paris to the Last Emperor, the visionary director who shocked the world


Ia half-century career, Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci, who died aged 77, redefined the visual show, cinematic poetry and the big screen sex controversy. He explored fascism and spirituality, won the Oscar for The last emperor (1987), and made a film, conformist (1970), which feels more like one of the great masterpieces of cinema every passing year. And he shot another, The last tango in Paris (1972), which remains one of most of the movies hit by scandals of all time.

Bertolucci was born in Parma during the Second World War, the son of an Irish-Italian teacher and a poet, critic and Italian historian who would give the young mad film the start of his career when he spoke to director Paolo Paolo Pasolini -and his son as assistant director in his film Accattone (1961).

Pasolini brought a poetic visual style and sexual and spiritual themes to the neo-realism of the Italian cinema in the '50s, with the emphasis on the post-war working class struggle, often shot by unprofessional actors, but Bertolucci, who once wanted to be a poet his father, has developed a language of images that has far exceeded his mentor. It used light and shade, color richness and a paint composition that allowed movement. Small actions reveal character; images become dense with metaphor.

Bertolucci was assaulted by French directors at the new vague, especially by Jean-Luc Godard. In the second Italian film, Before the Revolution (Prima della rivoluzione) (1964), the main character, Fabrizio, whom many consider himself self portrait, goes to the cinema to watch Godard Une Femme and Une Femme (1961).

More than 40 years later, in cultic dreamers (2003), Bertolucci imagined not only a housekeeping between Eva Green and the incestuous twins of Louis Garrel and American student Michael Pitt, but one of sex, politics and the cinema itself, with Paris's fervent revolution in 1968 , eventually your younger partner. The characters interpret scenes from Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo and, most notably, the stage to run through the Godfather's Louvre À bande parte (1964), as well as the principal director, – Bout the balls, or Breathless (1960).

Bertolucci on the set of "The Last Emperor" in 1987 (AP)

There is something about Jean-Paul Belmondo's amoral murderer – Bout the balls in the fascist spy of Jean-Louis Trintignant's conscience in Bertolucci's amazing film of 1970 conformist. But the director, still twenty years old, adds a ruthless degree, which is still shocking when confronted with the compositional beauty of film cinema. Remember, too, that Bertolucci has developed the story It was once in the west (1968) with Sergio Leone and Sergio Leone Suspiria director Dario Argento – who led to an American hero, Henry Fonda, who played a blue-eyed murderer, frozen by ice.

It was Bertolucci's next film, The last tango in Paris, once appreciated as a classical classic taboo, which would have the most destructive impact on its reputation and career. The script (with French adaptation by Agnes Varda) came from a fantasy that the director had to sleep with a beautiful woman she saw on the street without knowing her name.

Bertolucci threw 47-year-old Marlon Brando and 19-year-old Maria Schneider into the story of an American woman and a young Parisian girl, recently married, embarking on an anonymous sexual adventure. But the inclusion of an anal rape scene, involving an oil stain as a lubricant, has led to allegations in Italy against the screenwriter, producer, Bertolucci and Brando, which led to suspended sentences of two years with all copies of the film being confiscated and destroyed.

Maria Schneider in the film "The Last Tango in Paris" in 1972,

Fortunately, they were not, but his status was irretrievably destroyed by the indignation that followed in 2016 when Bertolucci's film came out in 2013, describing how he and Brando came up with the idea of ​​using butter in the rape scene, but not told Schneider, the director said she "wanted her reaction as a girl, not as an actress. I wanted her to react humiliated.

Romanian partners alienated (and indulgences in sexual violence) reappeared in Bertolucci La Luna (1979), a small-scale nostalgic business that did not suggest the epic that was to appear in 1987. The last emperorwho narrated the story of Emperor Pu Yi, who began as a ruler of three million years of hundreds of millions of Chinese people before the 1911 Revolution, and later became a troop "converted" into communism for Mao Zhedong. Bertolucci's extensive and sumptuous expression in the city of Interzis won the film with nine Oscars, including the best director.

It would be his last major triumph. Adaptation to Paul Bowles, Surface of the sky (1990) is a marriage marriage of the stranger and the scale of the North African landscape, to an intimate story about a couple struggling. Little Buddha (1993), with Keanu Reeves as pre-Enlightenment, Prince Siddhartha is a bad luck. The theft of beauty (1996) is an amazing return to a lesser story of first love, the ideal Tuscan setting for Bertolucci's sensuality as a director to rejoin, though it was but a clue to the male gaze in the worship of his young girl Liv Tyler. His final film, Me and you (2013), was still innocent, though easy – a sweet coda in the director's career.

In some ways, Bertolucci seems to be a director that time has passed beyond him, but to its fullest extent, his influence remains profound.

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