Bernardo Bertolucci Poster


Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (2)  | Trade Mark (5)  | Trivia (28)  | Personal Quotes (31)

Overview (3)

Born in Parma, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Died in Rome, Italy  (lung cancer)
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Bernardo Bertolucci, the Italian director whose films were known for their colorful visual style, was born in Parma, Italy. He attended Rome University and became famous as a poet. He served as assistant director for Pier Paolo Pasolini in the film Accattone (1961) and directed The Grim Reaper (1962). His second film, Before the Revolution (1964), which was released in 1971, received an Academy Award nomination for best screenplay. Bertolucci also received an Academy Award nomination as best director for Last Tango in Paris (1972), and the best director and best screenplay for the film The Last Emperor (1987), which walked away with nine Academy Awards.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Matt Dicker

Family (2)

Spouse Clare Peploe (22 December 1978 - 26 November 2018)  (his death)
Maria Paola Maino (1967 - 1972)  (divorced)
Parents Attilio Bertolucci
Giovanardi, Ninetta

Trade Mark (5)

Frequently references classic movies
Frequently has nude scenes in his films
Long, complex camera movements
Often references famous painters or art movements
Nonlinear timeline

Trivia (28)

Born at 7:25pm-CET.
Son of poet Attilio Bertolucci and Ninetta Giovanardi. His father was Italian and his mother was born in Australia, of Italian and Irish descent.
Older brother of Giuseppe Bertolucci, cousin of Giovanni Bertolucci. Brother-in-law of Lucilla Albano. Brother-in-law of Mark Peploe.
Homage at the 48th Donostia-San Sebastián Film Festival. [2000]
Was voted the 44th Greatest Director of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume Two, 1945-1985". Pages 121-127. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1988.
The young Bertolucci took after his father, a Roman poet and film critic, and became a celebrated published poet by the age of 20. He gave up poetry for the cinema after working as an assistant to Pier Paolo Pasolini on the movie Accattone (1961).
President of the 'Official Competition' jury at the 43rd Cannes International Film Festival in 1990.
In July 1990, along with Federico Fellini, Tonino Guerra and Marcello Mastroianni, he wrote: "With the death of Sergei Parajanov cinema lost one of its wizards.".
Supported the Italian Communist Party (PCI).
Was close friends with Pier Paolo Pasolini.
He was made a Fellow of the British Film Institute in recognition of his outstanding contribution to film culture.
When the Italian Bertolucci was Oscar-nominated as Best Director for The Last Emperor (1987) (and won), none of his Best Director fellow nominees were from the United States: Adrian Lyne and John Boorman (UK), Lasse Hallström (Sweden) and Norman Jewison (Canada) making that particular instance unique in Oscar history. [April 1988]
Directed one Oscar nominated performance: Marlon Brando in Last Tango in Paris (1972).
He has been wheelchair bound for the past few years due to serious back problems.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6925 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on November 19, 2013.
He's a big fan of Breaking Bad (2008).
Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris (1972) was pronounced obscene as was banned 'forever' by Italian courts. The director lost his civil rights for 5 years, couldn't vote and received a four months suspended sentence.
His family moved to Rome when he was a teenager. They lived in the Monteverde vecchio section. A few years later, Pier Paolo Pasolini, poet and friend of Bernardo's father Attilio Bertolucci, and his family came to live in another apartment in the same building. Pasolini asked Bernardo to be his assistant on Accattone (1961). Bertolucci used some locations from Monteverde vecchio in his later movies.
One of eight Italians to have been nominated for the 'Best Director' Academy Award. The others are Federico Fellini, Pietro Germi, Michelangelo Antonioni, Franco Zeffirelli, Gillo Pontecorvo, Lina Wertmüller and Roberto Benigni. Bertolucci is the only one who won the award.
President of the 'Official Competition' jury at the 70th Venice International Film Festival in 2013.
He had a residence in Rome's Trastevere quarter. The main shooting location of his last feature Me and You (2012) was just around the corner in a large basement.
President of the 'Official Competition' jury at the 40th Venice International Film Festival in 1983.
He presided over the Venice jury twice, in 1983 and 2013, and over the Cannes jury in 1990.
Directed two movies with the word last in the title: Last Tango in Paris (1972) and The Last Emperor (1987).
At the time of his death he was preparing a new film centered on the theme of love.
His favorite films are The Rules of the Game (1939), Sansho the Bailiff (1954), Germany Year Zero (1948), Breathless (1960), Stagecoach (1939), Blue Velvet (1986), City Lights (1931), Marnie (1964), Accattone (1961) and Touch of Evil (1958).
In the early sixties he was the partner of actress Adriana Asti.

Personal Quotes (31)

[on Los Angeles] The Big Nipple.
[His answer on 2 October 1979 to a woman who had just seen a special screening of Luna (1979) at the Film Center of the School of the Art Institute, Chicago] I left the ending ambiguous, because that is the way life is.
I don't film messages. I let the post office take care of those.
I am still against any kind of censorship. It's a subject in my life that has been very important.
A monoculture is not only Hollywood, but Americans trying to export democracy. I don't think you can in any way export culture with guns or tanks. I think that I used to love Hollywood movies. I remember great phases and moments. But, unfortunately, now is not the moment.
[on making The Dreamers (2003)] It gave me the chance of visiting a moment that I really loved a lot, the late 1960s. It was a kind of magic moment in many senses. There was a fantastic projection of the future, of utopias, which were very noble in some ways. I remember being young in the 1960s. We had a great sense of the future, a great big hope. This is what is missing in the youth today. This being able to dream and to change the world.
[In response to Ingmar Bergman's contention that Last Tango in Paris (1972) (US title: "Last Tango in Paris") was really about homosexuals, and only in those terms did the film make sense and become interesting] I accept all interpretations of my films. The only reality is before the camera. Each film I make is kind of a return to poetry for me, or at least an attempt to create a poem.
You know for American filmmakers, the Oscars is like a mystic thing. For me it was being in a mirror of my dreams when I was dreaming of Hollywood when I was an adolescent.
[on the untimely death of Pier Paolo Pasolini] A remarkable director - a great loss to Italian culture. It was as if he was discovering cinema from scratch.
[on Gérard Depardieu] Fills the space like a young Marlon Brando. He has an extraordinary intensity.
[on Marlon Brando] An angel as a man, a monster as an actor.
Kurosawa's movies and La Dolce Vita (1960), Fellini, are the things that pushed me into being a film director.
The best work being done now is for television. Breaking Bad (2008) - a masterpiece. House of Cards (2013) - very, very good.
[on American movies] I saw Stagecoach (1939) and for me, John Ford became Homer. I was in front of a full-length mirror and what I was seeing at 12 wasn't me, it was John Wayne.
[on the end of Breaking Bad (2008)] I'm sad about it. I want more.
My generation had an affair with American culture, there's no doubt about it. A street lamp and a fire hydrant made me sing in the rain. But the American films I like now do not come from Hollywood studios but from television series, like Mad Men (2007), Breaking Bad (2008), The Americans (2013). I like when they last 13 episodes but then there is a new series coming with another 13 episodes. Apart from a few independent productions, I think that everything that comes from Hollywood is generally sad. It makes me very sad.
[on Breaking Bad (2008)] In the story, there is a freedom. But there are many other things which are free in terms of style. With TV series, they don't have the obsession in the editing room to do chop-chop-chop-chop. There are moments when the character is not doing something. In a series, you have a long time where the camera rests on the face of Walter White, and it stays forever, which is not allowed in cinema anymore.
[on Silvio Berlusconi] We had 20 years with him. With his big TV channels, he created many subcultural values. He killed culture, in a way. He anaesthetised the brains of young people growing up in those years. Often, you can see an ignorance that is so big and so terrifying.
[on describing Hollywood as "the big nipple" at the 1988 Academy Awards] The day after I remember I was driving in Sunset Boulevard and on the radio there was the disc jockey saying, "and now music from the Big Nipple..." And so they adopted it...I just meant that night these nine Oscars [for The Last Emperor (1987)] were like a big, big breast feeding all of us. It was a joke. Sometimes from Hollywood is a very dry nipple; that time it was big and very generous.
[accepting his Golden Globe for The Last Emperor (1987)] I always thought The Last Emperor was almost an impossible project - because of China, because of the cost, because of no major stars in the movie; to be here with five nominations is the proof that although it's the story of a unique destiny, of a Chinaman, the movie goes beyond, can be understood everywhere.
[on Last Tango in Paris (1972)] I chose two actors, Dominique Sanda and Jean-Louis Trintignant for Last Tango. She gets pregnant. He can't get naked and do love scenes. I end up with Brando and Schneider. Thank God!
[on The Sheltering Sky (1990)] It's not an epic with a thousand extras. It's an epic of the heart. It's a love story. And the most common love story of all, about two people who adore each other but cannot be happy. On another, perhaps deeper level, it's about the difference between the traveler and the tourist. It's a distinction Paul Bowles makes in the early part of the book. A tourist wants to go home as soon as he has seen what he set out for. But a traveler wants to disappear, he wants to drown.
,,, With each of my movies, every time is the first time... which means taking risks...
In Hollywood there used to be a sort of 'miracle of harmony' - harmony between the people writing the story, director, cast, set designer, and the grace of some of the Hollywood movies became inevitable - something within that system that made it all work. But today the production system has lost that grace.
My way of directing actors is always, first of all, to be very curious about what they really are because you can't lie to the camera. I try to get close to the person's reality and then use what I find there in the direction of the character. Since I think the camera sees the truth, I prefer to go with the actor - like Brando, for instance - because if you involve actors in the whole process, they will give you so much more.
Very often the filmmaker will not receive money if he doesn't make the kind of film the Hollywood studios want.
When a movie does very well, like some of mine, they ask you to re-do it, to make No. 2. This is dangerous, and I'm trying not to do it. You can become a copier of yourself. There are other filmmakers who can copy you better than you can yourself.
What interests me in The Sheltering Sky (1990) is not where the story goes but what it is and what it does on the way. It's about the mystery in the characters and the couple - the mystery of their chemistry. The interesting thing is the mystery itself, not its solution or resolution.
What you want from a movie when you begin it is 150,000 miles from what you reach at the end. Moviemaking is a process. You end with something different; that's what gives it life. I cannot plan a film as a script or as a storyboard. I need the camera; I need the actors. I can't do it on a desk. I need the reality to whisper to me. If you leave the door open to reality, the smell of reality is so strong, it adds so much. It attacks and enters and infiltrates, that's what I enjoy.
I lived in a kind of dream of communism.
[1994 interview, on his "Oriental trilogy" of The Last Emperor (1987), The Sheltering Sky (1990) and Little Buddha (1993)] For the last ten years I've succumbed to the fascination of the Orient - the Far East of Peking's Forbidden City, the Middle East of the Sahara desert, and now ancient India. While I was making The Last Emperor, my philosophy was already Buddhism, I realized how in the West we're not happy unless we can emerge from the masses and put our own enlarged image on a pedestal, while in the East I've seen people feeling totally happy, alive and fulfilled, because they were in harmony within the masses.

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