Bernardo Bertolucci: S/D

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i have seen pathetically few of his films and would like to hear some opinions. i'll get the ball rolling with:

S: Last Tango In Paris
D: The Dreamers

a spectator bird (a spectator bird), Friday, 6 August 2004 14:10 (fourteen years ago) link

The Conformist, Last Tango, and Last Emperor are all good but massively overrated. I like The Spider's Strategem and Little Buddha (yes) best.

good:
Before the Revolution, Stealing Beauty

spotty but has its moments: 1900 (uncut version)

better than its critics say: The Dreamers

yuck: Besieged, The Sheltering Sky

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Friday, 6 August 2004 14:48 (fourteen years ago) link

S: The Conformist
D/w extreme prejudice: 1900

Gear! (Gear!), Friday, 6 August 2004 17:49 (fourteen years ago) link

Essentials
1900
Before the Revolution
Besieged
The Conformist
The Grim Reaper
The Last Emperor
Last Tango in Paris
Luna
The Spider's Stratagem
Stealing Beauty

That's what my list advises, anyway. I've actually only seen The Conformist, The Last Emperor, Last Tango in Paris, and Stealing Beauty, but I've loved them all by varying degrees, so it stands to reason that I'd destroy very few of them.

Do note the omission of Little Buddha from the list, though.

Girolamo Savonarola, Saturday, 7 August 2004 11:36 (fourteen years ago) link

Oh, and I'd also recommend The Dreamers. Fuck what anyone tells you about it one way or the other, at least give his latest dish a tasting.

Girolamo Savonarola, Saturday, 7 August 2004 11:38 (fourteen years ago) link

yeah, so would I.

'last tango...' is take or leave, I found. 'the spider stratagem' is great.

cºzen (Cozen), Monday, 9 August 2004 23:29 (fourteen years ago) link

I can't stand Bertolucci, so everything's a destroy. the whole aging pervert perspective does nothing for me.

Okay, "The Last Emperor" is my exception. "Stealing Beauty" disgusted me.

jay blanchard (jay blanchard), Tuesday, 10 August 2004 18:27 (fourteen years ago) link

I'd also have to recommend the entry on him in the Wikipedia, just so that you have some political/aesthetic general context. If you understand some of his philosophy, his works do make more sense. That won't guarantee you like his films, but it might add a little spice to them if you do.

Girolamo Savonarola, Tuesday, 10 August 2004 20:20 (fourteen years ago) link

I rather like The Sheltering Sky. I must be the only one.

jed_ (jed), Tuesday, 10 August 2004 23:41 (fourteen years ago) link

i like it too jed! what's people's problem with it?

1 The Conformist
2 Spider's Stratagem
3 Last Tango
4 The Dreamers
5 Last Emperor
6 sheltering sky
7= before the revolution/partner
9 1900
10 Stealing Beauty
11 Besieged
12 haven't seen the rest.

ENRG, Thursday, 12 August 2004 08:14 (fourteen years ago) link

I wish I could see Luna again. I saw it on television long ago. Still remember the scene of the kid dancing in a bar to the sound of a jukebox.

The conformist is great.

erik, Friday, 13 August 2004 10:33 (fourteen years ago) link

i think besieged is incredibly underrated... incredible story, beautifully acted, warmly directed... plus, perhaps one of my top 5 sex scenes in a movie ever...

firstworldman (firstworldman), Thursday, 19 August 2004 13:49 (fourteen years ago) link

i like besieged

ryan (ryan), Saturday, 21 August 2004 01:06 (fourteen years ago) link

Looks like a really good season. Some rarely screened director's cuts as well.

I should also note, parenthetically, that I liked ''The Triumph of Love'', which I believe he produced for his wife. It just had a tone I totally gave into.

Girolamo Savonarola, Saturday, 21 August 2004 08:56 (fourteen years ago) link

one month passes...
'900 (this is the original of title)is one of my favorite film! I don't know how I can explain the sensation for an Italian seeing this! I think his best

Bed (Bed), Monday, 27 September 2004 13:34 (fourteen years ago) link

'Last Tango' is really only saved by the acting, 90% of which is done by Brando.

Hurting (Hurting), Tuesday, 28 September 2004 01:54 (fourteen years ago) link

I taped 'Besieged' the other night.

PJ Miller (PJ Miller), Sunday, 3 October 2004 17:26 (fourteen years ago) link

five years pass...

The five-disc Criterion edition of The Last Emperor I just got from the library may be...too much for me.

cool and remote like dancing girls (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 14 May 2010 17:57 (nine years ago) link

six months pass...

man, La Commare Secca is pretty amazing, never heard of it before but rate it almost above anything else of his tbh

buzza, Tuesday, 16 November 2010 07:53 (eight years ago) link

'la commare secca' is good, i liked it, but it's totally a rip of 'rashomon' and is so obviously affected by pasolini. which makes sense; he was young, had been working as an ad for the best (?!) italian film-maker ever. it would be crazy if he had NOT been affected by the man.

i know he claims not to have seen 'rashomon', but ignorance is not an excuse!

i have mixed feelings about bertolucci: his style is obviously fantastic ('the conformist') but is similar to the frenchies working at the same time and earlier, and his politics the same as every other italian. the general impression i get from him is that he's riding waves caused by others.

that said he is good at making movies, and i'd recommend everything i've seen from him: 'the dreamers,' 'last tango,' 'la commare secca,' 'the conformist' and 'the last emperor.'

marc iv, Sunday, 28 November 2010 05:37 (eight years ago) link

two months pass...

i watched luna, it's pretty much a disaster imo, even if you discount the incest stuff

johnny crunch, Wednesday, 2 February 2011 03:09 (eight years ago) link

three years pass...

What was your favorite movie when you were 15?
At the age of 15, my favorite movie was La Luna that Bernardo Bertolucci directed. It was about a mother and her son. She’s an opera singer and she takes her 15-year-old son to Rome with her after her husband dies. Then her son becomes a heroin addict, and they have a weird incestuous relationship together. It’s a beautiful, kind of amazing movie. I sat by myself at the theater, because a bunch of friends of mine were all to the beach and I was like, “I want to watch this movie instead.” So they all went to the beach, and I went to the movie, and it totally changed my life. Years later it was on cable, and I sat next to my mom and watched it again, and it was the most awkward film experience I have ever had.

johnny crunch, Tuesday, 23 December 2014 06:32 (four years ago) link

one year passes...

Kind of amazed at the traction and related pearl-clutching this three year-old story (which had been common knowledge for a long time prior) is getting.

a full playlist of presidential apocalypse jams (C. Grisso/McCain), Sunday, 4 December 2016 23:18 (two years ago) link

really? You're amazed?

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 4 December 2016 23:20 (two years ago) link

The new info is a video where Bertolucci admits it, which wasn't public before? But it's awful that nobody cared when Maria Schneider told about it. The scene isn't in the script, it's deeply uncomfortable to watch, and the actress said that she didn't know? At that point people should have believed her. But calling it 'pearl clutching' is not a good look. A famous director and an even more famous actor conspired to sexually assault an actress on camera, and people have watched and applauded for years. This is astonishingly sick.

Frederik B, Sunday, 4 December 2016 23:42 (two years ago) link

when I first saw the movie 20 years ago it was already a gross and stupid scene.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 4 December 2016 23:49 (two years ago) link

It's a gross and stupid film.

Frederik B, Sunday, 4 December 2016 23:56 (two years ago) link

‏@AnnaKendrick47
@colliderfrosty @ChrisEvans Ms Schneider stated this several years ago. I used to get eye-rolls when I brought it up to people (aka dudes).

qualx, Monday, 5 December 2016 05:37 (two years ago) link

Poor choices of words by me in that initial post, I admit. But in light of there being so much going on in the world to get angry and/or sick about, the fact that this of all stories is blowing up is just rmde. The video itself isn't anything new (filmed during a public Q & A in 2013), and Bertolucci himself has finally been owning up to his responsibility for the circumstances in creating that scene in interviews for many years now. In interviews in her later years, Schneider appeared to have made peace with it (outside of still hating Bertolucci for his overall treatment of her), even making a joke about it in the Guardian piece that's been making the rounds again. The way this has been twisted by internet pundits, who are now claiming as facts that Brando actually penetratingly raped Schneider on camera (it was simulated), that this sole moment led to the unraveling of Schneider's life (it was part of it, yes, but numerous other factors are being ignored to prove this point), and that Bertolucci and Brando should have been thrown in jail for what they did (which almost happened, since the film was part of a big obscenity trial in Italy in the '70s).

This same people are also boasting about how (I paraphrase) "If I was there, I wouldn't have let it happen" and so forth. YMMV, but this is a major pet peeve of mine. HOW DO YOU KNOW? Place yourself back in the 70s, on that set, minus the benefit of the how many years of enlightenment that you have now over those who were actually there, that crucial advantage of hindsight you have over all the responsible parties at that time. Heavy, huh?

A friend of mine shared this statement from the "Follies of God", a Tennessee Williams page on FB. I don't completely agree with it, but it muses interestingly about this new controversy and how it fits into the current media landscape

Some points to consider: "Last Tango in Paris" premiered in 1972 and was praised, wildly and ludicrously, by, among others, Pauline Kael, who chose to not see the misogyny and evil in the film, but instead compared the arrival of Bertolucci's film to the premiere of Stravinsky's "The Rites of Spring." New times; new ideas; new means of priapic control. Bertolucci and Brando were Oscar nominated. Years pass and the young actress in the film, Maria Schneider, becomes a drug addict and suffers from mental illness. Schneider repeatedly tells people that she "felt" raped by Brando in an infamous scene in the film. (How she feels about a scene in which Brando offers her the asshole of a dead rat is not recorded.)

In 1990, I begin to talk to Brando by phone about the recent death of a mutual friend, Barbara Baxley, and about Tennessee Williams. We speak of "Last Tango," and it is a film of which he is ashamed. It is, he tells me, a fantasy film for old men with crisp imaginations and soggy glands, and women, as they always have been, are props for those organs or those fantasies that will not rise. The script, Brando tells me, was a "crime against women," and a sin for which he will repent. In 2004 Brando dies, and his sister, Jocelyn, shares with me some of the letters she received from people who miss him. One of the loveliest is from Maria Schneider, who acknowledges "long talks" and "confessional nights" and financial aid in her many woes. And now, deep in a night when men seek to make amends, Bertolucci claims the scene of rape was not consensual. Brando and Schneider are dead. A variety of actors bloat and snort across social media about burning the film, and Brando is again flailed. I am trying to not think of the fact that the streaming of "Last Tango" has soared in the last twelve hours. That would not be, I guess, correct.

I do not know what happened on that set. Nor do you. Nor do any of the low-hanging fruits of Hollywood who have wailed the loudest about the tragedy of "Last Tango in Paris." All of these voices were absent in discussion of recent rapes or assaults that were quite real in our artistic and political worlds, however. On those matters, "healing" is suggested. Some things can't be known. But we can continue to elevate ourselves on the corpse of Maria Schneider, and we can continue to feel better about ourselves by hacking away at Marlon Brando.
We do not know as much as we think we do.

Sandy Hook was staged. Hillary wore a catheter and used a body double. We can all become so enervated by nonsense.

In the meantime, women are being abused this minute in ways we could control. In the meantime, people need our help.

I did not mind hearing from my friend Jennifer Pate Pitzel about this matter. Her query was intelligent and concerned. But I do not own Marlon Brando or know everything about him. Nor do you. Do not write to me to express outrage or to discern what "shame" I might be feeling now that someone I knew briefly has been "outed" as a rapist.

The shame is all yours.

Meanwhile, it was a good day for Anna Kendrick and Chris Evans. Props!

a full playlist of presidential apocalypse jams (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 5 December 2016 07:19 (two years ago) link

I don't know what I would have done in the seventies, but plenty of people managed to make films without sexually assaulting their costars. Not all people were the same back then, and this is so obviously beyond the pale, even for a period of film history that really needs to get it's shit kicked out of it anyway. Fuck the seventies new machismo stupid nonsense, fuck Roman Polanski, fuck Woody Allen, fuck all of them. And yeah, even today, we had at one point a Best Actor race that included both Nate Parker and Casey Affleck, and that's absurd as well. That does not make a filmed sexual assault of a costar any less absurdly horrific.

Your friend is insane. Still saying 'we don't know'? He knows testimonies from all three main people, and it's on camera and still this bullshit? When do we then ever know anything about anything? It's not the critics who are post-factual, it's him, it's pure performative postmodernism. It's possible to both be concerned about rape/assault today + back then, just as it's possible to be both an asshole about Maria Schneider and Anna Kendrick in one facebook-post apparently.

Frederik B, Monday, 5 December 2016 14:17 (two years ago) link

My friend didn't write that, they just shared it from a page they follow run by someone who wrote a book about Tennessee Williams (Follies of God) that Brando had been interviewed for back in the '90s. This page frequently features stories and anecdotes about the actor; the quoted post was the latest one.

a full playlist of presidential apocalypse jams (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 5 December 2016 17:58 (two years ago) link

Ok, then that other guy is insane. Apologies to your friend.

Frederik B, Monday, 5 December 2016 18:04 (two years ago) link

what did Casey Affleck do?

Supercreditor (Dr Morbius), Monday, 5 December 2016 18:08 (two years ago) link

I just looked that up, it was news to me too

diary of a mod how's life (wins), Monday, 5 December 2016 18:08 (two years ago) link

Things you were shockingly old when you learned

The Doug Walters of Crime (Tom D.), Monday, 5 December 2016 18:12 (two years ago) link

ok i c

Supercreditor (Dr Morbius), Monday, 5 December 2016 18:13 (two years ago) link

we had at one point a Best Actor race that included both Nate Parker and Casey Affleck

doesnt really have a fuckin' thing to do w/ acting awards tho

Supercreditor (Dr Morbius), Monday, 5 December 2016 18:15 (two years ago) link

acting awards have nothing to do with anything in the world

diary of a mod how's life (wins), Monday, 5 December 2016 18:19 (two years ago) link

we hope

Supercreditor (Dr Morbius), Monday, 5 December 2016 18:20 (two years ago) link

I'm not sure what you mean, Morbs. I don't care about Oscars as well. Just saying men still get plenty of second chances no matter how they behave.

Frederik B, Monday, 5 December 2016 18:26 (two years ago) link

My friend didn't write that, they just shared it from a page they follow run by someone who wrote a book about Tennessee Williams (Follies of God) that Brando had been interviewed for back in the '90s. This page frequently features stories and anecdotes about the actor; the quoted post was the latest one.

― a full playlist of presidential apocalypse jams (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, December 5, 2016 12:58 PM (seven hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

it's a ridiculous thing to post anywhere, "no one knows what happened on that set, except y'know schneider and bertolucci who both said the same exact thing, and if you believe them, i'm literally going to compare you with sandy hook false flaggers jfc"

he could've possibly shared what he had to share about brando without being a total moron about it

qualx, Tuesday, 6 December 2016 01:52 (two years ago) link

also luv this new thing where any time someone on social media says anything about any sort of injustice done to anyone, dorks come out of the woodwork to accuse them of virtue signalling

it's like a bizarre form of check-your-priv politics where the only people allowed to talk about it are the victims themselves. to express difficult thoughts about gross bertolucci movies is to possibly risk an ounce of inauthenticity and we can't have that. nihilism is authentic, everything else might be less authentic, don't want to step your toes in those waters. what do a-list zillionaire celebrities stand to gain from saying any virtuous thing on twitter?

qualx, Tuesday, 6 December 2016 02:05 (two years ago) link

seven months pass...

Have never seen Tragedy of a Ridiculous Man (unmentioned in this thread), screens in NYC tonight. Supposedly rougher, not visually immaculate in his usual way.

https://www.filmlinc.org/films/tragedy-of-a-ridiculous-man/

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 1 August 2017 19:39 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

RIP

. (Michael B), Monday, 26 November 2018 11:45 (seven months ago) link

Really liked The Conformist but that's about it (The Dreamers is about Eva Green or whoever you think is hot in that). I should try and catch Spider's Strategem one day. From a few screen shots it looks really good.

xyzzzz__, Monday, 26 November 2018 13:23 (seven months ago) link

Yeah, you should try to see that. Based on a Borges story, but you probably already know that.

Gottseidank, es ist Blecch Freitag (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 26 November 2018 14:33 (seven months ago) link

He never matched The Conformist but every film until 1980 is worth watching.

I like queer. You like queer, senator? (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 26 November 2018 14:36 (seven months ago) link

TSS, yes, and I'm taken with Before the Revolution.

I like queer. You like queer, senator? (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 26 November 2018 14:37 (seven months ago) link

Yeah later stuff reminds of that dusty old quote from John Grierson -sees mark s coming, *ducks*- (about von Sternberg!) “When a director dies, he becomes a photographer.”

Gottseidank, es ist Blecch Freitag (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 26 November 2018 14:43 (seven months ago) link

I did see Tragedy of a Ridiculous Man as noted above and really liked it. It'll show again in NYC at MoMA's upcoming Ugo Tognazzi series.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 26 November 2018 15:52 (seven months ago) link

On my FB wall is a fascinating discussion of Bertolucci's self-admitted bisexuality and how it barely manifests itself in his films.

I like queer. You like queer, senator? (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 26 November 2018 16:54 (seven months ago) link

does it? in terms of going up to the precipice, The Conformist and The Dreamers seem to have a bi eye. (also Keanu sitting under the tree of life)

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 26 November 2018 17:28 (seven months ago) link

The Dreamers scurries away after one footsie scene.

I like queer. You like queer, senator? (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 26 November 2018 17:31 (seven months ago) link

I never developed any attachment to him: The Last Emperor is a fine entry in a genre I just don’t care much for, but The Dreamers was pretty bad (despite the Louis Garrel nudity). I need to catch up with Last Tango in Paris and The Conformist; nothing else in his filmography looks at all interesting to me.

Timothée Charalambides (cryptosicko), Monday, 26 November 2018 21:20 (seven months ago) link

I like The Spider's Strategem and Little Buddha (yes) best.

― Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Friday, August 6, 2004 1

(adding Tragedy of a Ridic Man)

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 26 November 2018 21:24 (seven months ago) link

you like Keanu best

I like queer. You like queer, senator? (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 26 November 2018 21:38 (seven months ago) link

I Sidd-hart-ha him

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 26 November 2018 21:40 (seven months ago) link

Tragedy of a Horny Man.

I like queer. You like queer, senator? (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 26 November 2018 21:41 (seven months ago) link

This repartee is sparkling!

Pierrot with a thousand farces (wins), Monday, 26 November 2018 21:42 (seven months ago) link

Last three posts have been the gayest three posts in a row

F# A# (∞), Monday, 26 November 2018 21:44 (seven months ago) link

since when? the last All About Eve hommage?

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 26 November 2018 21:46 (seven months ago) link

I detest cheap sentiment.

I like queer. You like queer, senator? (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 26 November 2018 21:48 (seven months ago) link

^beating a dead martini

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 26 November 2018 22:09 (seven months ago) link

You're obviously not a woman.

I like queer. You like queer, senator? (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 26 November 2018 22:19 (seven months ago) link

Classic 'Some Italian guy's just died, anyone know anything about him? No?' stuff from the Telegraph.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/films/2018/11/26/last-tango-paris-director-bernardo-bertoluccidies-aged-77/

Monica Kindle (Tom D.), Tuesday, 27 November 2018 01:28 (seven months ago) link

He benefited enormously from his relationship with cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, who is arguably the more outstanding talent of the duo.

Sanpaku, Tuesday, 27 November 2018 22:04 (seven months ago) link

This, by @szacharek, is the best piece I have read on Bernardo Bertolucci's legacy, and a searching, truly thoughtful piece of criticism. https://t.co/07NuKrY1D5

— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) November 29, 2018

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 29 November 2018 17:14 (seven months ago) link

I was about to link to it.

I like queer. You like queer, senator? (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 29 November 2018 17:22 (seven months ago) link

I wish she'd mentioned the later films besides TLE and The Dreamers but a fine piece.

I like queer. You like queer, senator? (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 29 November 2018 17:23 (seven months ago) link

Terrific piece.

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 29 November 2018 22:41 (seven months ago) link

two weeks pass...

I watched his first feature, La commare secca, last night and it's pretty good (murder of a prostitute, quasi-Rashomon style). The producer had a Pasolini scenario that PPP didn't have time to make, so he and his co-writer were told "Write it like Pasolini," who had made only Accatone at that point. (BB had been an assistant on that one)

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Friday, 14 December 2018 20:48 (seven months ago) link

also it's not really a "rip" of Rashomon in that, unless I missed something, the different segments don't show contradictory events.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Friday, 14 December 2018 20:50 (seven months ago) link


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