Biography of Bernardo Bertolucci (1940-VVVV)

Born in Parma on 16 March 1940 Italian film director.


Bertolucci is one of those people born for art. The family atmosphere is marked by the presence of his father, Attilio Bertolucci, one of the poets and critics who sought to develop an aesthetic conceptions Marxists who, at first, were transferred to his son. This feature influenced Bernardo, who liked to do literary compositions and playing with a small camera with which reflect "the environment that life taught him" since small.

By age twenty, a friend of the father was going to cause a deep mark on the soul of the young film student; It was Pier Paolo Pasolini, known initially for his literary ability which by the film which was to give universal notoriety.

It is not surprising therefore that the young Bertolucci was felt very early imbued with feelings Marxists who were reflected in much of his later work. The books I read were considered revelatory, but the practical application of these readings would leave much to be desired.

With the passage of time the own Bertolucci came to consider his films as desperate, as that would seem to denounce a situation tense and unfair. However a vision of her filmography does not seem to indicate that the comments of the director himself were more than fruit of juvenile longings of changing the world through cinema, widespread power between great part of Western European youth of the 1960s.

Dazzling and first contact with the cinema did the hand of Pasolini, in Accatone (1961), in which it participated as an Assistant. Soon after came his first film the commare dry, which, with its Marxist, described life in the suburbs of Rome. He/She wasn't well received and, curiously, by then published his first book of poems, Bertolucci was going to be best fostered as a writer than as a filmmaker.

However, two years later, young and eager, was launched to the filming of premium of the Revoluzione, film which tells the story of a disillusioned bourgeois lifetime character. Success, on this occasion, was brilliant. The Italian critics beat palms and said that had appeared a genuine category director.

Thrown into the maelstrom of a militant cinema, which transformed the social structures, Bertolucci began experimenting with techniques that in France had become fashionable "New wave" with Jean-Luc Godardto the head. This is how became Partner, movie based on a novel by Dostoevsky, a fairly literary and dramatic work.

The recognition was more effective with the strategy of the spider and, above all, with the conformist, whose cinematographer Néstor AlmendrosSpanish was commissioned. Inspired by a story by Jorge Luis Borges, the first one already indicated that the filmmaker had surpassed the learning phase and began to develop his own personality. The excellent staging, and the intelligent use of the music, was supposed to put the film means to someone who was already a reality. For many the conformist is a real masterpiece, supported by the excellent performances of Jean Louis Trintignant and Stefania Sandrelli. Set in the time of fascism, Bertolucci wanted a reconstruction of the past, in a way gone time that constituted the basis of the novelistic proustiana and that has been one of the features of the director throughout his career. Although with some small bug in the script as the justifications for the protagonist to do what he/she does - you receive the order to assassinate his former teacher, left wing, to be his first job as a member of the fascism-staging is a real luxury, where the light reflecting almond trees in the film is key to understanding the different moods of the protagonist and the situations facing. In this film, Bertolucci develops another of the issues that have preoccupied him during their Cinematography: sensuality. An aspect that is more typical of a mental conception of a way of understanding life and the relationships between people, than of any kind of liberated moral repression.

It was in 1972 when the director will take to screen their works more committed and at the same time most popular, last tango in Paris. It's a sad, heartbreaking film where humans are the end of morales itineraries, since they have failed or have not been able to find true happiness, or better, the meaning of life. In a dark, dull and somber Paris, a man seeking suicide by his recent widowhood, and only finds a girl who does not understand their situation. A sodomy of the lead actress María Schneider, by Brando, using butter as a lubricant meant the culmination of the popularity of the film, above other values. Queues were made to see that string in many cinemas, setting aside an argument that had a great beauty, but devastating. Some believed they were before the first artistic pornographic movie, although Bertolucci felt that more was a film about eroticism than erotic in itself.

However, collected the prestige and popularity enabled him to deal with his next title, Novecento. A long film in two parts in which was intended to be a cool Grand in the manner of some Russian works from the time of the revolution. However, distrust of American producers to see the turn that takes the argument - and what this century had meant to the history and philosophy - harmed his career. The distribution was boycotted, which prevented the public arrived to her easily scheduled. The splendid cast of actors, Robert de Niro going to Dominique Sanda, passing by a pathetic Donald Sutherland in the role of the fascist, refused to both parties in that the film was remontasen the flight. EPIC strength and the pictorial beauty of the same are undeniable, but did not become the result as expected.

Somewhat deterred, the director faced is a more intimate work, La Luna, about the ups and downs of an opera diva, paper who embodied the American Jill Clayburgh. However, the intimate was drifting towards the grandiose and spectacular, in an operatic tone very much to the taste of the director, where the mother-child relationship is somewhat subsumed in the peculiar scenery surrounding the film. It is true that there is brilliance in some sequences, but even the hint of incest is a little faded away the hardness which meant that kind of scenes in last tango in Paris.

However, while it was expected the start of a decadent stage with the tragedy of a ridiculous man, came the call of Hollywood. The Marxist who had fought for a cinema of denunciation, which serve of salutary lesson of a society, felt that the almost infinite possibilities of the great tycoons would have at his feet. The Americans recognized his great talent and were willing to support him. Accompanied by his faithful companion Claire People, he/she decided to make the Americas and thus arose the small Buddha.

There $ waterfall or the heartfelt conviction, made that Bertolucci discovered Buddhism as an apparent spiritual balm able to explain the infinite mysteries of who I am and where I am. Illuminated by his usual Vittorio Storaro got a bright, spectacular, film where the sexy Keanu Reeves sported more shining than ever. Visual and dramatic, film wanted, through its long, make a kind of brilliant overview of why Buddhists must take. The Marxism of his first works was already only pasture of scholars.

With his latest production Bertolucci seems to return to the origins, at least to the aesthetic, an almost intimate film of a girl looking for her father. Filmed in Italy in familiar places, departs largely from the colosalismo of work on Buddha, to inquire about classic ghosts: family, love, incest art. The film has been the discovery of a young actress: Liv Tyler, who knows as few mixing innocence with malice, something very present in the work of this director.

Bertolucci is probably the most discussed Italian filmmaker, but whose desire for innovation, its ambition and its aesthetics have made him beloved of minorities and majorities, that always will wait with interest for his next film. Bright, worship, risky, dares alike with small watermark as with monumental images. Perhaps no unlabelled else who started making verses.


Short films:

1955: Il ropeway; Morte a maiale. 1966: Il Canale (documentary, only hyphen). 1971: the saluta e malata or I poveri prima muoiono (documentary, and screenplay); December 12 (documentary) (anonymous partnership).

Feature films:

1961 Accattone (Assistant Director); The commare dry (also screenwriter). 1964: before the revolution (also screenwriter). 1966: Battle of a Milliardo (co-writer only). 1968: until it was your time (co-writer); Partner (also co-writer). 1969: Amore e rabbia (episode the agony) (and screenplay). 1970: the strategy of Spider (and co-writer); The conformist (and screenplay). 1971: L'inchiesta (co-writer only). 1972: last tango in Paris (and co-writer). 1979: the moon. 1981: The tragedy of a ridiculous man (and co-writer). 1987: the last emperor (and screenplay). 1989: the sheltering sky. 1993: The little Buddha. 1996: Stealing beauty. 1998: Asediada.2003: dreamers.

Works for television:

1967: The life of petroleum (documentary, comments and script).

Other appearances:

1976: Bertolucci secondo il cinema (documentary where only appears as himself); Abcinema (only appears as the same, documentary). 1977: Bertolucci shoots (documentary) (only appears as himself).


CASETTI, f.: Bernardo Bertolucci. Florence. The Nuova, Italy. 1975.

FERRERO, a., GRIGNAFFINI, g., and QUARESMA, l.: Il cinema Italian degli anni 60. Florence. Guaraldi. 1977.

KOLKER, R. Ph.: Bernardo Bertolucci. London. British Film Institute. 1985.

MICCICHE, l.: Il cinema Italian degli anni 60. Venice. Marsilio. 1975.

PITIOT, Pierre and MIRABELLA, J. C.: South Bertolucci. Montpellier. Editions Climats. 1991.

UNGARI, e.: Bertolucci by Bertolucci. Madrid. Plot. 1988.

VV..: Bernardo Bertolucci. Lisbon. Cinemateca Portuguesa. 1992.