Bernardo Bertolucci: A Retrospective


Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles, UCLA Film & Television Archive, The American Cinematheque in collaboration with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and Luce Cinecitta will pay a homage to Bernardo Bertolucci, the great Italian director, screenwriter, and film producer, featuring beautiful 35mm prints from the archive of Luce Cinecittà. Screening will take place in AERO THEATRE – 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica and UCLA’a Billy Wilder Theater at 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles.

Thu, October 4 • 7:30pm
Bernardo Bertolucci’s breakthrough crime film is haunting, riveting and features some of the most gorgeous images ever put on celluloid. Jean-Louis Trintignant stars as a weak-willed man with a troubled past – in other words, the perfect tool for a fascist organization looking to use him for espionage purposes.

Fri, October 5 • 7:30pm
Bertolucci’s ravishing, Oscar-winning epic of the life of Pu Yi (John Lone), from 3-year old emperor of China to humble Peking gardener.

Sat, October 6 • 7:30pm
Bertolucci tells the story of the first half of the 20th-century through the lives of a pair of friends born on the same day, one a peasant (Gerard Depardieu) and one an aristocrat (Robert De Niro). Don’t miss this rare 35mm print from Italy!
Sun, October 7 • 7:30pm
Our Bernardo Bertolucci retrospective ends tonight with Debra Winger and John Malkovich as a married travelers in THE SHELTERING SKY, and Thandie Newton as an African refugee with an attraction to her employer (David Thewlis) in BESIEGED.

Program at Billy Wilder Theater
October 12, 2012 – 7:30 pm
Before the Revolution (1964)
Fabrizio’s passage to adulthood is marked by the death of an adored childhood friend and then by an affair with his aunt. He faces an existential dilemma: is it possible to maintain one’s youthful ideals and be a member of the bourgeoisie? Offering the suggestion of a libidinal politics with emancipatory potential, the film foreshadows Bertolucci’s later explorations of the link between the sexual and the political.

The Grim Reaper (1962)
When a prostitute is found dead in a park, the police interview those who were near the scene of the crime. Widely varied accounts reveal the Roman lower depths of hustlers, pimps and petty thieves. The director has said that the film was made under the spell of Pasolini, but the complex temporal back-and-forth and the camera’s restless energy are pure Bertolucci.

October 14, 2012 – 4:00 pm
Little Buddha
A yuppie couple are jolted out of complacency when a Buddhist lama declares their young son to be the reincarnation of another lama. Their tale of ennui and redemption, rendered in a washed-out palette, is intercut with a fanciful and colorful recounting of the story of Buddha. This visual contrast marks a shift from Bertolucci’s accustomed thematic of sex and politics to one of spiritual searching.

October 21, 2012 – 7:00 pm
Last Tango in Paris
A middle-aged man, newly widowed after his wife’s suicide, happens upon a younger woman in an empty apartment. The two begin an intensely volatile sexual affair, as she maintains a relationship with a young filmmaker, more taken with the cinema than with her. An ambitious attempt to locate the political nature of sexuality, the film brought notoriety to Bertolucci, vaulting the respected director to the rank of international celebrity.

October 23, 2012 – 7:30 pm
The Spider’s Stratagem
A young man is called to his hometown by the former mistress of his long-dead father to investigate the death of his father, a hero of the anti-Fascist resistance who was murdered by unknown assassins while plotting against Mussolini. The son’s quest becomes more like a suspenseful game of cat-and-mouse at each turn, as past and present, father and son, hero and traitor, blend and blur.

November 1, 2012 – 7:30 pm
The Dreamers
An American exchange student in Paris, besotted by the cinema, takes up residence with a brother and sister he meets at the Cinémathèque Française. He enters with them into a rapturous existence of artistic debates and sexual games, as the student revolts of 1968 teem in the streets below. Analyzing his subjects with a shrewd but forgiving eye, Bertolucci implicitly posits the uneasy fulcrum that sensuality can represent between the personal and the political.

November 3, 2012 – 7:30 pm
Bertolucci’s most experimental—and rarely seen— feature concerns a theater professor and his murderous double, who emerges from out of nowhere to lead a libidinal assault on the forces of convention. Coinciding with Godard’s influential renunciation of narrative convention, Bertolucci too sought a new idiom to express twin interests in Marxism and psychoanalytic theory. The film foreshadows The Dreamers (2003) in its examination of the politics of 1968.
The Conformist
Cowardly Marcello lives for self-preservation, literally conforming to society’s expectations in his secret political activity and his vacant marriage to a fellow bourgeois. Only his lust for the wife of his anti-Fascist former teacher tests his willingness to follow orders and commit murder. Stunningly shot by Vittorio Storraro, the film holds up a mirror to the fear and compromise that are the refuge of so many. Bertolucci received an Academy Award nomination for his screenplay adaptation.

For tickets and information please visit: AMERICAN CINEMATEQUE and UCLA FILM & TELEVISION ARCHIVE


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Maya Hooshivar

Maya Hooshivar is Event Editor for Cinema Without Borders

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