Bernardo Bertolucci

Bernardo Bertolucci

Infobox actor
name = Bernardo Bertolucci

caption =
birthdate = birth date and age|1940|3|16
location = Parma, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
yearsactive = 1962 - 2003
spouse = Adriana Asti (div.)
Clare Peploe (1990-)
parents = Attilio Bertolucci (1911-2000)
Ninetta Giovanardi
academyawards = Best Director
1987 "The Last Emperor"
Best Adapted Screenplay
1987 "The Last Emperor"
baftaawards = Best Film
1987 "The Last Emperor"
cesarawards = Best Foreign Film
1988 "The Last Emperor"
goldenglobeawards = Best Director - Motion Picture
1988 "The Last Emperor"
Best Screenplay
1988 "The Last Emperor"
awards = Career Golden Lion
2007 Lifetime Achievement

Bernardo Bertolucci (born March 16, 1940) is an Italian writer and Academy Award winning film director.


Early years and family

Bernardo Bertolucci was born in the Italian city of Parma, in the region of Emilia Romagna. He was the elder son of his father, Attilio, who was a poet, a reputed art historian, anthologist and a film critic. Having been raised in such an environment, Bertolucci began writing at the age of fifteen, and soon after received several prestigious literary prizes including the "Premio Viareggio" for his first book. His father's background helped his career: the elder Bertolucci had helped the Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini publish his first novel, and Pasolini reciprocated by hiring Bertolucci as first assistant in Rome on "Accattone" (1961). But Bertolucci's potential had already been noticed by others, such as Sergio Leone, who asked him to write the storyline for "Once Upon a Time in the West". Leone later rejected it as too cerebral for an American audience.

Bertolucci has one brother, the theatre director and playwright Giuseppe (b. February 27, 1947). His cousin was the film producer Giovanni Bertolucci (June 24, 1940 - Feb, 17, 2005), with whom he worked on a number of films.

His first wife was Adriana Asti, star of his early film "Prima della rivoluzione". In 1978 he married Clare Peploe, a British screenwriter who has since directed a few films as well.

First film

Bertolucci initially wished to become a poet like his father. With this goal in mind, he attended the Faculty of Modern Literature of the University of Rome from 1958 to 1961. As noted above, this is where his film career as an assistant director to Pasolini began. Shortly after, Bertolucci left the University without graduating. In 1962, at the age of 21, he directed his first feature film, "La commare secca" (1962) The film is a short murder mystery, following a prostitute's homicide. Bertolucci uses flashbacks to piece together the crime and the person who committed it. The film which shortly followed was his acclaimed "Before the Revolution" ("Prima della rivoluzione", 1964).

The boom of Italian cinema, which gave Bertolucci his start, slowed in the 1970s as directors were forced to co-produce their films with several of the American, Swedish, French, and German companies and actors due to the effects of the global economic recession on the Italian film industry. It has been speculated Fact|date=August 2007that this is the point in its history at which Italian cinema began to depend upon the international market.

Collaboration with co-producers

In order both to finance them and to appear competitive in the now-international entertainment industry, directors were increasingly forced to co-produce their films with foreign companies and Bertolucci was no exception.

"Last Tango in Paris" (1972), starring Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider, exemplified the new trend for Italian movies to attempt to make more money by employing foreign actors in starring roles: "Last Tango in Paris" included only one Italian actor, Massimo Girotti, in a main role. Bertolucci's "1900" (1976), starring Burt Lancaster, Donald Sutherland, Robert de Niro, and Gérard Depardieu, is often said to mark the point at which the Italian film industry's dependence on the international market began to contribute to the disintegration of its national identity,Fact|date=August 2007 although the film itself is entirely focused on an Italian theme: it chronicles the lives of two men during the political turmoils that took place in Italy in the first half on the 20th century.


Bertolucci might not regret this disintegration: he is actively political, and a professed Marxist. Like Visconti, who similarly employed many foreign artists during the late 1960s, Bertolucci uses his films to express his political views; hence they are often autobiographical as well as highly controversial. His political films were preceded by others re-evaluating history. "The Conformist" (1970) criticised Fascist ideology, touched upon the relationship between nationhood and nationalism, as well as issues of popular taste and collective memory, all amid an international plot by Mussolini to assassinate a professor of politics in Paris, France. "1900" also analyses the struggle of Left and Right. The 1987 epic "The Last Emperor" (recently re-released at an extended 219 minutes) allowed Bertolucci to influence politics both through his characters and through the act of making the film itself. He was granted unprecedented permission to film in the Forbidden City of Beijing, and the film's central character Pu Yi undergoes a decade-long communist re-education under Mao which takes him from the peacock colours of the palace to the grey suit worn by his contemporaries to live out his life as a gardener.


Many criticswho see the defining characteristics of Bertolucci's films to comprise of three things: sex, politics and cinephilia. "Last Tango in Paris" examines sex in an extremely carnal and disturbed way. It is seen as an erotic film which opened the door to eroticism in general-release films. "The Conformist" is based political themes, more specifically, fascism, and the relationship between personal comfort and ideals. The film deals with Fascist Italy and can be seen as both artistic and intellectual. This film is thought to demonstrate his excellence as a director. While he has directed, written, or been otherwise involved in dozens of movies over five decades, and his range is extremely broad, these themes nonetheless figure prominently throughout his work, especially in his most noted and most recent releases. "Stealing Beauty" offers little heterogeneity and "The Dreamers" manages to include all three subject matters and little else. Whether this narrowness is Bertolucci's intent or merely a symptom of the narrowness some critics accuse him of, he has used the controversy aroused by his films iconoclastically to encourage people to reconsider themselves and their society; he is often considered successful in pushing back the boundaries of propriety. Bertolucci enthusiasts will also notice the similarities between characters in films, particularly in the two most recent ("Stealing Beauty", 1996, and "The Dreamers", 2003). For example, the two female leads in both films (Liv Tyler and Eva Green), are fair of skin, slender, dark haired and blue eyed. Both characters are heavy smokers during the fashionable ages of youth, and both are shown losing their virginities at the age of nineteen (the same age of actress Maria Schneider during the production of "Last Tango in Paris"). Tyler, Green and Schneider appear in full frontal nude scenes. In both "Stealing Beauty" and "The Dreamers", Bertolucci speaks of 'proof of love,' using almost the exact same lines each time.

In "The Dreamers", the character Isabelle declares she was born in 1959, even though the film is set in the late sixties. This line is not to be taken literally; it is a reference to Jean-Luc Godard's film "Breathless" (1959) as the character then proceeds to renact a famous scene from the Godard film.

Spiritualism, certainty, and self-doubt

Bertolucci also has a talent for putting the human soul under the microscope. Psychoanalysis is as central to his films as it is to Woody Allen's, and Marlon Brando claimed that Bertolucci's sharing of psychoanalytical confidences with the star on the set of "Last Tango in Paris" helped elicit the performance that many consider Brando's best.Bertolucci himself is also known for the number of psychologists who have followed him everywhere, even interpreting his dreams, as a subject of dissertations and research on the creative artist. His interest in understanding the human condition has led to the many explicit scenes in his films.

"Last Tango in Paris" presents Marlon Brando's character Paul as he finds comfort in an anonymous affair after the death of his wife in violent circumstances. The film caused controversy in Italy for a sodomy scene, and it was sequestered by the censorship commission and all copies were ordered destroyed. An Italian court revoked Bertolucci's civil rights for five years and gave him a four-month suspended prison sentence. Many years after, when the general modesty had changed and the censorship commission had been abolished, the film reappeared (because Bertolucci had kept a clandestine copy) and was projected in a slightly censored version.

In this and other films, Bertolucci examines the power of sexual relations in people's lives. "Stealing Beauty" gives a visual account of a girl growing into a woman during a summer abroad. His latest work, "The Dreamers", has been criticised not only for its extensive sex scenes but also for the inclusion of male masturbation. In it, the sexual relations of three main characters serve to expose their thoughts. For instance, when Theo is shown to masturbate it is in the context that the one he loves the most, his sister, seems to be growing away from him and he can see the development of a relationship between the newcomer and his sister that excludes him. The film hints at a relationship between brother and sister, a relationship that borders on incest. The chaos in ordered family relationships mirrors the chaos on the streets outside as France experiences the turbulent May 1968 days of the student revolt.

Academy Award

In 1987, Bertolucci directed the epic "The Last Emperor", which was a biographical film that told the life story of Aisin-Gioro Puyi, the last Emperor of China. Bertolucci won the Academy Award for Best Director. The movie starred John Lone, Joan Chen, Peter O'Toole, Ruocheng Ying, Victor Wong, Dennis Dun, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Maggie Han, Ric Young, Vivian Wu, and Chen Kaige. Bertolucci co-wrote the film with Mark Peploe. "The Last Emperor" uses Puyi's life as a mirror that reflects China's passage from feudalism through revolution to its current state.

At the 60th Academy Awards, "The Last Emperor" won all nine Oscars for which it was nominated:
Best Picture,
Best Director,
Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium,
Best Cinematography,
Best Film Editing,
Best Costume Design,
Best Art Direction-Set Decoration,
Best Music, Original Score,and
Best Sound.

"The Last Emperor" was the first feature film ever authorized by the government of the People's Republic of China to film in the Forbidden City. Bertolucci had proposed the film to the Chinese government as one of two possible projects. The other film was "La Condition Humaine" by André Malraux. The Chinese government preferred "The Last Emperor", and made no restrictions on the content. "The Last Emperor" became the first western film made in China and about the country to be produced with full Chinese government cooperation since 1949.

Upcoming projects

He is saidwho to be working on a biopic of 16th Century classical musician (and murderer) Carlo Gesualdo. It is also known that frequent Bertolucci collaborator Mark Peploe worked on the screenplay at some point. Its previous titles include "Heaven and Hell" and "Love Song".

His other prospective project, an adaptation of the Ann Patchett novel "Bel Canto", is said to be on the backburner.fact|date=September 2008

He mentioned in a recent interview with "The Guardian" newspaper in connection with the re-release of "The Conformist" that it was persistent back problems which have prevented him thus far from following up 2003's "The Dreamers".fact|date=September 2008


* "La commare secca" (1962)
* "Before the Revolution" ("Prima della rivoluzione", 1964)
* "La via del petrolio" (1965)
* "Il Canale" (1966)
* "Partner" (1968)
* "Amore e rabbia" (1969, episode "il Fico Infruttuoso")
* "L'Inchiesta "(1971) (TV)
* "La strategia del ragno" ("The Spider's Stratagem", 1970)
* "Il conformista" ("The Conformist", 1970)
* "Ultimo tango a Parigi" ("Last Tango in Paris", 1973)
* "1900" ("Novecento", 1976)
* "La Luna" ("Luna", 1979)
* "La tragedia di un uomo ridicolo" (1981)
* "L'ultimo imperatore" ("The Last Emperor", 1987)
* "The Sheltering Sky" (1990)
* "Little Buddha" (1993)
* "Stealing Beauty" ("Io ballo da sola", 1996)
* "Besieged" (1998)
* "" (2002)
* "The Dreamers" (2003)

See also

* La Lega

External links

* [ Bilge Ebiri, "Bernardo Bertolucci"] from "Senses of Cinema: Great Directors Critical Database", September 2004
* [ Bernardo Bertolucci filmography, etc.] from "They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?"
* [ The religious affiliation of Bernardo Bertolucci] from
* [ Jeremy Isaacs, "Face to Face: Bernardo Bertolucci"] , BBC interview, September 1989
* [ Roger Ebert, review, "The Last Emperor"] , "Chicago Sun-Times", December 9, 1987

NAME= Bertolucci, Bernardo
DATE OF BIRTH= 1941-3-16
PLACE OF BIRTH= Parma, Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем решить контрольную работу

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bernardo Bertolucci — (* 16. März 1940[1] in Parma, Italien) ist ein italienischer Filmregisseur. Zwischen 1962 und 2003 inszenierte er 15 Langspielfilme. Sein der Poesie und dem Geheimnis verpflichteter Erzählstil ist manchmal opernhaft und melodramatisch und lässt… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Bernardo Bertolucci — Données clés Naissance 16 mars 1941 (1941 03 16) (70 ans) Casarola, Province de Parme Italie Nationalité  Italie …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Bernardo Bertolucci — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Bernardo Bertolucci Nombre real Bernardo Bertolucci Nacimiento 16 de marzo de 1941 Parma, It …   Wikipedia Español

  • Bernardo Bertolucci — nació en Parma (Italia) el 16 de marzo de 1941. Su padre, Attilio, era poeta. Estudió en la Universidad de Roma, dónde se ganó una cierta fama como poeta. Se inició en el mundo del cine realizando cortometrajes en 16 mm con su hermano. En 1961… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Bernardo Bertolucci — noun Italian filmmaker (born in 1940) • Syn: ↑Bertolucci • Instance Hypernyms: ↑film maker, ↑filmmaker, ↑film producer, ↑movie maker …   Useful english dictionary

  • Bernardo Bertolucci — n. (born in 1940) Italian born movie writer and director …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Kurzfilme von Bernardo Bertolucci — Neben seinen abendfüllenden Kinofilmen drehte der italienische Filmregisseur Bernardo Bertolucci auch einige Kurzfilme und Dokumentationen. Im Sommer 1956 schuf er mit 15 Jahren seinen ersten zehnminütigen Kurzfilm La teleferica, auf 16 mm, ohne… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • BERTOLUCCI (B.) — Fils du poète Attilio Bertolucci, Bernardo (né en 1940) entama, dès l’âge de vingt trois ans, une brillante carrière de cinéaste en réalisant Prima della rivoluzione ; mais celle ci semble s’être détournée de sa trajectoire après Dernier Tango à… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Bernardo — ist eine Form von Bernhard und der Vorname von Bernardo Alberto Houssay (1887–1971), argentinischer Physiologe Bernardo Atxaga (* 1951), baskischer Schriftsteller Bernardo Bellotto (1722–1280), venezianischer Maler Bernardo Bembo (1433–1519),… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Bernardo — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Bernardo hace referencia a: El nombre propio Bernardo; Bernardo, personaje del film de Disney Bernardo y Bianca Bernardo, personaje de la serie producida por Disney El Zorro Bernardo Bertolucci, cineasta italiano;… …   Wikipedia Español

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”