R.I.P Director Bernardo Bertolucci
A filmmaker of significant importance, the likes of whom we are seeing less and less of.
Bernardo Bertolucci, Oscar-Winning Italian Director Dies Aged 77.
Bertolucci was best known as a colourful visual stylist and his memorable Hollywood credits included Last Tango in Paris, and the multi-award winning, The Last Emperor. The filmmaker had been suffering from cancer, a spokeswoman commented.
He forged a career in Italian cinema during the New Wave movement of the 60s and could already boast contemporaries in the likes of Antonioni and Fellini when he made a notorious splash in Hollywood with Last Tango In Paris, a collaboration with Marlon Brando (enjoying a resurgence of his powers) that caused controversy due its overtly aggressive sexual content.
In 1987, his lavish, sprawling epic, The Last Emperor, filmed inside the Forbidden City with the full authorisation of the Chinese government, encapsulated old-school epic Hollywood stylings long since disappeared and won numerous awards for Best Picture and Best Director. It confirmed Bertolucci's status as an auteur of classic Hollywood sensibilities.
Other projects were of a more political bent and his 1976 feature, 1900, boasted a starry Hollywood cast including Robert De Niro, Donald Sutherland and Burt Lancaster.
The controversy surrounding Last Tango in Paris resurfaced recently, indeed, lead actress, Maria Schneider continued to state how uncomfortable she had been with certain scenes up until her death in 2011 and cast in the light of recent societal changes, it's a film that may not chime with modern audiences.
Nonetheless, it remains a significant part of Hollywood history and, with Bertolucci's less challenging but equally lauded projects, secures his place as a filmmaker of significant importance, the likes of which we are seeing less and less of.
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