Bernardo Bertolucci

Bernardo Bertolucci

  • Pridružio: 22 Mar 2006
  • Poruke: 416
  • Gde živiš: Beograd

* Born:
on 03/16/40 in Parma, Italy

* Job Titles:
Director, Screenwriter, Assistant director, Poet, Producer

The childhood of Italian director-scenarist Bernardo Bertolucci couldn't have been more idyllic. Existing simultaneously in two worlds, he experienced the earthiness of the peasant's life courtesy of his grandfather, padrone of a small farm near Parma, while receiving an equal dose of the refined artistic life from his parents. Yet despite the big, comfortable house, the servants and an atmosphere that encouraged creativity, he would grow up disaffected, chafing against his life of privilege and the tradition of his father's poetry, which he eventually viewed as being based on repression. Initially, the son competed in the father's arena (after all, poetry was part of the daily diet), publishing his first poems by the age of 12 and later winning the prestigious Viareggio Prize for his first book of verse, "In Cerca del Mistero/In Search of Mystery" (1962), a work full of nostalgia for the lost Eden of his country boyhood. By then he was busy seeking his liberation as a neophyte filmmaker, lyrically revealing the dark side of human nature via the poetry of movies.

Bertolucci's first foray into cinema came as the assistant director on family friend Pier Paolo Pasolini's inaugural film, "Accattone" (1961). The following year, he made his own distinguished debut at the helm of "La Commare Secca/The Grim Reaper", a script Pasolini had originally written to direct but which Bertolucci rewrote extensively with Sergio Citti. The central narrative event was the murder of a prostitute, around which he wove flashbacks to the lives of witnesses and potential suspects, all leading up to the time of the killing. Though influenced by the French New Wave, the film showed an even greater allegiance to Italian neorealism in its concentration on behavioral detail, location shooting and use of nonprofessional actors. With his second film, "Before the Revolution" (1964), the precocious director became a name internationally and established his distinctive visual style of bold camera movements, moody lighting and expressive mise-en-scene, typically backed with an evocative score.

For the first time, Bertolucci's preoccupation with politics, sex and Freud was on display, and "Before the Revolution" also introduced what would become a favorite thematic element of the director, the conflict between freedom and conformity, placing him on the cutting-edge of 1960s sensibilities. In this reworking of Stendhal's "The Charterhouse of Parma", the leading character is a well-to-do boy who fancies himself a Marxist but ultimately learns he is nothing of the sort. Forced to decide between radical political commitment and an irreproachably bourgeois marriage, he opts for the latter, conducting an incestuous affair with an apolitical aunt along the way and renouncing his communist mentor (and totemic father figure). The film evoked comparisons to Orson Welles but stalled at the box office, and Bertolucci turned to television, making a prize-winning series of three documentaries about the Italian petroleum industry. "The Partner" (1968-), which continued the political argument begun in "Before the Revolution", started to explore the director's fascination with the psychological double but suffered for its polemical excess, finding few admirers.

Angry and disillusioned, Bertolucci joined the Italian Communist Party and went about resurrecting his career with two 1970 films beginning his long collaboration with director of photography Vittorio Storaro. "The Spider's Stratagem", commissioned by the enlightened Italian television company RAI, returned to the doubling theme, tracing a son's search for his father through a surrealistic, complex narrative that incorporated Verdi's "Rigoletto" and the work of Borges and Magritte. (A later film, 1981's "Tragedy of a Ridiculous Man", reverses that narrative premise, following a father's search for his son.) In the end, the son discovers that his father had not heroically opposed the Italian Fascists but was in fact a traitor (as in Freudian terms fathers always are). In "The Conformist" (1970), considered by many critics to be Bertolucci's masterpiece, the leading character Marcello (Jean-Louis Trintignant) becomes a Fascist in order to suppress his growing recognition of his homosexuality. Here, the Oedipal imagery is even more powerful as Marcello plans to kill his anti-Fascist teacher and have sex with the teacher's wife (Dominique Sanda), but after botching the assassination attempt, he is powerless to prevent her murder by his Fascist comrades.

Firmly in control of the lighting, decor, costume and music, Bertolucci reveled in the elaborate tracking shots, the opulent color photography and the odd, surrealistic, visual incongruities that give his work its distinctive surface. The classic sequence in which the two central women characters perform a tango became a Bertolucci signature, and the dance as metaphor served as a bridge to his controversial "Last Tango in Paris" (1972). Considered obscene by some viewers, "Last Tango" was for others a breakthrough in its depiction of sexual politics as a presentation of the passionate, conflicted relationship between an older man (Marlon Brando) and a younger woman (Maria Schneider) in the enclosed psychological space of chamber cinema. Railing against the hypocrisy of cultural institutions such as family, church and state as his protagonist assails the girl's body, Bertolucci purposefully cast someone old enough to be her father, making Schneider's murder of Brando at the end of the film yet another Oedipal killing. It was a sterling showcase for the helmer's moving camera (earning him an Oscar nod as Best Director), and the performance by Brando ranks among the best of the actor's career.

The world acclaim (and notoriety) garnered by "Last Tango" enabled Bertolucci to get financing for his long-planned Marxian epic, "Novocentro/1900" (1976), which featured an international cast and a length of nearly six hours (cut dramatically for American and British release). Returning to his northern Italian roots, the director charted 45 years of social history and class struggle through the friendship and political enmity of two men (Robert De Niro and Gerard Depardieu) born on different sides of the social fence at the turn of the century. Envisioning the culture of the peasant farmers as an idealized form of communism, he showed their exploitation at the hands of first the aristocracy and later the Fascists, ending with an agrarian revolt that seems to promise a socialist utopia, though the revolution they are celebrating is already doomed. Despite mixed reviews and a woeful box office, Bertolucci was still able to acquire backing for "La Luna/Luna" (1979), swinging back to Freudian concerns for its graphic portrayal of mother-son incest, but following its critical and commercial failure, the money finally dried up. He was unable to find anyone to release "The Tragedy of a Ridiculous Man."

Having hit rock bottom, Bertolucci went into seclusion and did not work on a movie for four years. Unhappy with the state of filmmaking in Italy (and unable to get arrested in Hollywood), he looked to the East and was somehow, miraculously able to mount his expensive, ambitious epic masterpiece "The Last Emperor" (1987). Winner of nine Academy Awards including Best Director and Best Picture, the film follows the shifting fortunes of Pu Yi, who begins his life as the last emperor of China and ends it as a gardener in post-revolutionary Beijing. Like the deposed Pu Yi, Bertolucci was an exile from his own culture, and his passion for the project overcame such logistical nightmares as having the privilege of filming in China. (He became the first Westerner granted access to shoot in Beijing's Forbidden City since the Communists came to power in 1949.) Again, the relationship between individual psychology and the political and historical forces that mold it formed the center of the film, linking it to "Before the Revolution", "The Conformist" and "1900".

Bertolucci's much-anticipated adaptation of Paul Bowles' cult favorite "The Sheltering Sky" (1990), starring John Malkovich and Debra Winger, proved a critical and financial disappointment, though he and Storaro may have done more for desert landscapes than anyone since David Lean. His fascination with epic form undimmed, he reteamed with Jeremy Thomas, the producer of "The Last Emperor" and "The Sheltering Sky", to complete what he calls his Eastern trilogy with "Little Buddha" (1994). The visually stunning production (owing much to Storaro and the designs of multiple Oscar-winner James Acheson) focused on a dual story: the modern-day search for the reincarnation of Buddha and the ancient tale drawn from the life of Prince Siddhartha (portrayed strikingly by Keanu Reeves). Operatic in execution, the film failed in its attempt to synthesize a script which functioned meaningfully for both children and zabranjenos, as intended by the director. Despite the lush look of the canvases, there was a hollowness to these pictures as the director seemed to be losing his way amidst the spectacle.

"Stealing Beauty" (1996) signaled a change in direction for Bertolucci, from large-scale epics to smaller, more personal films. Centering on a teenage American girl sent to Tuscany to stay with family friends after her mother's death, it featured a dead-on, star-making turn by Liv Tyler and a touching performance by Jeremy Irons as the dying man who finds renewed life through his young visitor. For only the second time since 1970, Bertolucci chose not to employ Storaro as director of photography, using instead Darius Khondji, who avoided the cliched sun-drenched photography in favor of a softer, more painterly tone. Scaling-down further, he shot "Besieged" (1998-), essentially a two-person piece with minimal dialogue, in 28 days for less than $3 million, but the pic originally intended as a one-hour TV project suffered in its expansion to feature length with most critics decrying the dearth of believable character development. Though his films have lost none of their surface polish, an older and mellower Bertolucci seems unable to recapture that sense of danger that so captivated audiences in the 60s and 70s.


* Brother: Giuseppe Bertolucci. born in 1947; co-scripted (with brother and editor Franco Arcalli) "Novecento/1900"
* Brother-in-law: Mark Peploe. has worked frequently with Bertolucci
* Father: Attilio Bertolucci. died on June 14, 2000 at age 88
* Mother: Nina Bertolucci. Irish-Italian; born in Australia where her revolutionary father had been forced into exile

Significant Others

* Wife: Clare Peploe. married in 1978


* Rome University, Rome, Italy, modern literature


* 1961 Worked as assistant director to family friend Pier Paolo Pasolini on the latter's feature directing debut, "Accattone"
* 1962 Film directing and co-writing (with Pasolini and Sergio Citti) debut, "La commare secca/The Grim Reaper"; shot on location with a cast of nonprofessionals
* 1962 Published first collection of poems, "In cerca del mistero/In Search of Mystery" (winner of the Viareggio Prize)
* 1964 Came into his own directing "Before the Revolution"; critical acclaim, however, did not translate to box office success
* 1965 For Italian TV directed three-part documentary "La Via del Petrolio," about an Italian oil company in Iran
* 1968 Continued the political argument begun in "Before the Revolution" with "The Partner" (based on Fyodor Dosteyevsky's novel "The Double"); also marked first collaboration with actress Stefania Sandrelli
* 1968 Joined the Italian Communist Party; resigned ten years later
* 1969 Co-wrote story (with director and Dario Argento) for Sergio Leone's "Once Upon a Time in the West"
* 1970 Soared to international prominence with "The Conformist"; picture brought him acclaim in the USA; earned first Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay; first film with actress Dominique Sanda
* 1972 Helmed "Last Tango in Paris", arguably the most controversial film of its era; garnered Oscar nod as Best Director; film was originally banned in Italy; after finally being released, it was again banned for 11 years; tried for blasphemy, Bertolucci received a suspended prison sentence and lost the right to vote for five years
* 1975 Made first film appearance in documentary, "Bertolucci Secundo il Cinema/The Cinema According to Bertolucci/The Making of '1900'", co-directed by his brother and Gianni Amelio
* 1976 Assembled an international cast, including Robert De Niro, Gerard Depardieu and Sanda, for the epic "1900"
* 1979 First collaboration with screenwriter (and wife) Clare Peploe, "Luna"
* 1982 Initiated by a lama into the Tibetan practice of meditation
* 1982 Producing debut, "Sconcerto Rock"
* 1987 English language directing debut, "The Last Emperor"; first teaming with screenwriter (and brother-in-law) Mark Peploe; film won nine Academy Awards including Best Picture and two for Bertolucci, as Best Director and for the Best Screenplay
* 1990 Co-wrote (with Mark Peploe) and directed "The Sheltering Sky", adapted from the Paul Bowles novel; executive produced by William Aldrich whose director father Robert Aldrich had first optioned the 1949 novel but failed to obtain studio financing after years of trying
* 1993 Third film with Mark Peploe, "Little Buddha"; eighth and final collaboration (to date) with Storaro
* 1996 Began moving away from the epic format with "Stealing Beauty" (picture's budget--under $15 million--was less than half that of "Little Buddha" at $35 million), starring Liv Tyler; first film made in his native Italy since 1981's "The Tragedy of a Ridiculous Man"; also reunited with Sandrelli for the first time since "1900"
* 1998 Reteamed with wife on screenplay for "Besieged" (filmed for less than $3 million), adapted from a short story by James Lasdun
* 2004 Helmed "The Dreamers," an adaption of the book "Holy Innocents," written by Gilbert Adair. Set in France in the spring of 1968, about three young cineastes that are drawn together through their passion for film
* Had poems published in magazines by age 12
* Initial collaborations with director of photography Vittorio Storaro, "The Spider's Stratagem" (originally made for Italian television) and "The Conformist"
* Made amateur 16mm films as a teenager, the first one showing a pig being slaughtered

Filmography, imdb

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  • dekao  Male
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  • Dejan Trajković
  • Realist painter
  • Pridružio: 06 Apr 2006
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  • Gde živiš: Somewhere in time

Mrzi me da citam ovoliko na engleskom.Sto ne okacis tako nesto na srpskom?

  • Pridružio: 05 Feb 2006
  • Poruke: 154
  • Gde živiš: na mansardi

Konformista mi nije los, ali ga ne bih stavila neki top... Za razliku od XX vijeka, koji je loodilo jak film. Scene sa crnokosuljasima, ubijanje djeteta u onoj stali (sta li je vec bilo)... I onaj obrt perspektive na pocetku i kraju filma: kad se cijela gomila razjarenih zena koje plaste zaleti na dvije osobe, muskarca i zenu, koji idu kroz klasje i zaljubljeno se zagleduju... Zene krecu vilama i grabuljama, sta vec drze u rukama, na to dvoje gulopcica... Mislim da svaki gledalac osjeti neku patnju zbog stradalnika. A onda slijedi cijela prica... I opet to ubijanje djeteta, koje se tako snazno ureze u pamcenje, ono vrcenje i razvaljivanje u zid (mislim da je to jedna od najjacih scena u istoriji filma) i mucenje ostalih ljudi... i na kraju, da se zaokruzi cjelina, poslije saznavanja o svim zvjerstvima koje su pomenuti golupcici ucinili, nanovo gledamo scenu kako oni zaljubljeno prolaze kroz polje kukuruza i razjarene zene ih primijete i zalete se na njih... I potpuni obrt osjecanja... Vile i grabulje su malo sto bi im covjek uradio!!!

Vrhunski film, zaista!!! Tjera na duuuuugo razmisljanje! I ne zaboravlja se!!!

Od kasnijih filmova Sanjari su mi se mnogo svidjeli, mnogoznacni su i super uradjeni (bas u skladu sa temom - filmomanija), ali mi je atmosfera u Ukradenoj ljepoti neprevazidjena. Iako, ponavljam, vise volim Sanjare...

To je moj izbor!

  • Pridružio: 22 Mar 2006
  • Poruke: 416
  • Gde živiš: Beograd

a, ja se u potpunosti, ali bas u potpunosti, slazem!!!

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