Erotic film shocked the world

Western Daily Press (Saturday) - - Obituaries -

FILM­MAKER Bernardo Ber­tolucci, who won Os­cars for The Last Em­peror and whose erotic drama Last Tango In Paris en­thralled and shocked the world, has died aged 77.

Italy’s state-run RAI said

Ber­tolucci died at his home in Rome, sur­rounded by his fam­ily.

Ber­tolucci’s movies of­ten ex­plored the sex­ual re­la­tions among char­ac­ters stuck in a psy­cho­log­i­cal cri­sis, as in Last Tango In Paris.

The self-pro­fessed Marx­ist also did not shy away from pol­i­tics and ide­ol­ogy, as in The Con­form­ist, which some crit­ics con­sider Ber­tolucci’s mas­ter­piece.

De­spite work­ing with A-list in­ter­na­tional stars, Ber­tolucci al­ways de­fended his own film­mak­ing style against what he said was the pres­sure of the US film in­dus­try.

He main­tained crit­i­cal suc­cess for most of his ca­reer, weath­er­ing the con­tro­ver­sies that his sex­u­ally provoca­tive work would stir and some com­mer­cial flops.

“When it comes to com­mer­cial cin­ema, I have the strange plea­sure of feel­ing that I’m from an­other tribe, an in­fil­tra­tor,” he told Ital­ian daily Cor­riere della Sera in 1990.

He was hon­oured for life­time achieve­ment at the Cannes Film Fes­ti­val in 2011.

Ber­tolucci’s movies also bore the im­print of the di­rec­tor’s own ex­pe­ri­ences in psy­cho­anal­y­sis.

He al­ways said that mak­ing films was his way of com­mu­ni­cat­ing with the au­di­ence. It was his per­sonal lan­guage.

“Maybe I’m an ide­al­ist, but I still think of the movie theatre as a cathe­dral where we all go to­gether to dream the dream to­gether,” he said upon re­ceiv­ing an award from the Di­rec­tor’s Guild of Amer­ica for his 1987 film The Last Em­peror.

That film handed Ber­tolucci his great­est suc­cess. In 1988, it won all the nine Academy Awards that it had been nom­i­nated for, in­clud­ing best movie and best di­rec­tor.

The film, the first West­ern fea­ture film to win per­mis­sion to shoot in Bei­jing’s For­bid­den City, fol­lows the life of China’s last em­peror, from child-king at the end of the Qing Dy­nasty to war crim­i­nal and fi­nally to an or­di­nary cit­i­zen in the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic.

It was filmed in the lush and vivid style that was one of Ber­tolucci’s trade­marks.

It fea­tured grandiose scenes and in­ti­mate mo­ments, and a flashback struc­ture that is typ­i­cal of biopics.

Ber­tolucci was born in the north­ern city of Parma on March 16, 1941, the son of poet At­tilio Ber­tolucci and his wife Ninetta. The fam­ily moved to Rome when Ber­tolucci was 13.

Ber­tolucci was mar­ried to the English writer and di­rec­tor Clare Pe­ploe. The couple had no chil­dren.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.