2004-01-14 / Community Calendar

Moving Image Holds Bertolucci Retrospective


Photo by Les Artistes Image courtesy MPTV.net  “Last Tango in Paris” Marlon Brando, Maria Schneider, Bernardo BertolucciPhoto by Les Artistes Image courtesy MPTV.net “Last Tango in Paris” Marlon Brando, Maria Schneider, Bernardo Bertolucci

A preview of Bertolucci’s "The Dreamers" opens February 2 and a Pinewood Dialogue with the director follows the film at the Directors Guild Theater in Manhattan.

The 16-film series will begin February 14 and runs through March 7 at the American Museum of the Moving Image, 35 Avenue at 36 Street in Astoria.

The retrospective series, "Bernardo Bertolucci," consists of 16 feature films and an anthology program of rarely seen documentaries and short works. It will include full-length versions of two epics: the director’s cut of "The Last Emperor," which won nine Academy Awards in 1988, and the original theatrical version of "1900," both of which feature the spectacular cinematography of Vittorio Storaro. The museum will also screen a 70mm print of "Little Buddha" and a brand new 35mm print of "La Luna" also photographed by Storaro.

"Bertolucci is one of the world’s greatest living filmmakers," said Peter Dowd, curator of film, "with a stylistically and thematically bold body of work. He is equally masterful at conveying the human story at the heart of such historical epics as ‘The Last Emperor,’ and in bringing out the political subtext in such intimate tales as "Last Tango in Paris" and ‘Besieged’."

At the age of 21, Bertolucci made his debut. He won a prestigious award for his poetry book In Search of Mystery, and presented his feature film "The Grim Reaper" at the Venice Film Festival. The son of renowned poet and film critic Attilio Bertolucci, Bernardo soon learned to combine both of his family’s passions with an approach to filmmaking that fuses the lyrical and the dramatic.

While "The Spider’s Stratagem" and "The Conformist" established the young Bertolucci as a master filmmaker, it was the "Last Tango in Paris" that made him an international star. Bertolucci used this newfound creative clout to broaden his canvas, making the uncompromising five-hour epic "1900." Its inspired images, Marxist theme, and notions of family and duality are hallmarks of the director’s films.

"La Luna" artfully explored Oedipal dynamics, foregrounding the Freudian concerns present throughout Bertolucci’s films, while "The Tragedy of a Ridiculous Man" showed his ability to create a small-scale gem. Bertolucci then created his largest work to date, "The Last Emperor." Since "The Last Emperor," Bertolucci has taken chances, making films big and small, from his adaptation of Paul Bowles’ novel The Sheltering Sky to "Besieged," which was produced for television and shot with hand-held cameras almost without dialogue. With "The Dreamers," Bertolucci returned to the political upheaval in Paris of May 1968. The film’s passionate homage to the cinema recalls Bertolucci’s 1966 description of his own dream: "to arrive at the point at which one can live for films, can think cinematographically, eat cinematographically, and sleep cinematographically."

"Bernardo Bertolucci" was organized by Peter Dowd, curator of film at the American Museum of the Moving Image, and is presented with support from the Italian Cultural Institute: New York.

For additional information, call 718-784-0077.


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