Bernardo Bertolucci

Director, Screenwriter, Poet
Having grown up in a household that lived and breathed poetry, it was no surprise that Bernardo Bertolucci became an acclaimed and sometimes controversial filmmaker adept at revealing the dark side of human nature with ... Read more »
Born: 03/15/1940 in Parma, IT

Filmography

Writer (23)

Me and You 2014 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Ten Minutes Older: The Cello 2002 (Movie)

("History of Water") (Screenplay)

The Triumph of Love 2002 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Histoire d'eaux 2001 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Besieged 1999 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Stealing Beauty 1996 (Movie)

(From Story)

Stealing Beauty 1996 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Little Buddha 1994 (Movie)

(From Story)

Little Buddha 1994 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Sheltering Sky 1990 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Last Emperor 1987 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Tragedy of A Ridiculous Man 1982 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Luna 1979 (Movie)

(From Story)

Luna 1979 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

1900 1977 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Last Tango in Paris 1972 (Movie)

(Story By)

Last Tango in Paris 1972 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Conformist 1970 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Once Upon a Time in the West 1969 (Movie)

(From Story)

The Spider's Stratagem 1969 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Partner 1968 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Before the Revolution 1965 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Grim Reaper 1961 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Director (19)

Me and You 2014 (Movie)

(Director)

The Dreamers 2004 (Movie)

(Director)

Ten Minutes Older: The Cello 2002 (Movie)

("History of Water") (Director)

Histoire d'eaux 2001 (Movie)

(Director)

Besieged 1999 (Movie)

(Director)

Stealing Beauty 1996 (Movie)

(Director)

Little Buddha 1994 (Movie)

(Director)

The Sheltering Sky 1990 (Movie)

(Director)

Last Emperor 1987 (Movie)

(Director)

Tragedy of A Ridiculous Man 1982 (Movie)

(Director)

Luna 1979 (Movie)

(Director)

1900 1977 (Movie)

(Director)

Last Tango in Paris 1972 (Movie)

(Director)

The Conformist 1970 (Movie)

(Director)

The Spider's Stratagem 1969 (Movie)

(Director)

Partner 1968 (Movie)

(Director)

Amore E Rabbia 1966 (Movie)

(Director)

Before the Revolution 1965 (Movie)

(Director)

The Grim Reaper 1961 (Movie)

(Director)
Actor (15)

Seduced and Abandoned 2013 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Electric Chair 2011 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Great Directors 2010 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Kurosawa's Way 2010 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Words In Progress 2003 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Farough Farroukhzad 2001 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Pier Paolo Pasolini e la Ragione di un Sogno 2000 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

The Story of X 1997 (Movie)

Interviewee (Actor)

Addicted to Fame 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

The True Life of Antonio H. 1993 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

De Domeinen Ditvoorst 1992 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Golem, the Spirit of the Exile 1991 (Movie)

(Actor)

Omnibus 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Brando (TV Show)

Actor
Producer (3)

The Triumph of Love 2002 (Movie)

(Producer)

Io con te non ci sto piu 1982 (Movie)

(Producer)

Sconcerto Rock 1981 (Movie)

(Producer)

Biography

Having grown up in a household that lived and breathed poetry, it was no surprise that Bernardo Bertolucci became an acclaimed and sometimes controversial filmmaker adept at revealing the dark side of human nature with lyrical films. An avowed Communist in the first half of his life, Bertolucci railed against Fascist Italy with internationally acclaimed films like "Prima della rivoluzione" ("Before the Revolution") (1964) and "The Partner" (1968). His career hit hard times after just a few movies before he directed "The Conformist" (1970), a stark, but accessible political drama that earned him considerable international attention, with many critics hailing the film as his masterpiece. Bertolucci followed with arguably one of the most controversial films of all time, "Last Tango in Paris" (1972), which featured without a doubt the most graphic use of butter ever captured on screen. Amidst conflicting calls of genius and pornography, Bertolucci earned widespread critical praise as well as a suspended prison sentence for blasphemy in his native Italy. After making the ambitious, but widely panned "1900" (1976) and the reviled tale of mother-son incest, "Luna" (1979), the director found himself in desperate need of money to finance his films. He miraculously managed to secure funding for his epic period biopic, "The Last Emperor" (1987), a remarkable cinematic achievement that won nine Academy Awards, including Best Director and Best Picture. Though his career took a downward slide with overly ambitious movies like "Little Buddha" (1994) and smaller art house fare like "Stealing Beauty" (1996), Bertolucci nonetheless remained one of the most pre-eminent international directors of the late 20th century.

Relationships

Attilio Bertolucci

Father
died on June 14, 2000 at age 88

Nina Bertolucci

Mother
Irish-Italian born in Australia where her revolutionary father had been forced into exile

Giuseppe Bertolucci

Brother
born in 1947 co-scripted (with brother and editor Franco Arcalli) "Novecento/1900"

Clare Peploe

Wife
married in 1978

Mark Peploe

Brother-In-Law
has worked frequently with Bertolucci

EDUCATION

Rome University

dropped out in 1962 to begin film career

Milestones

2004

Helmed "The Dreamers," an adaption of the book "Holy Innocents," written by Gilbert Adair. Set in France in the spring of 1968, about three young cineastes that are drawn together through their passion for film

1998

Reteamed with wife on screenplay for "Besieged" (filmed for less than $3 million), adapted from a short story by James Lasdun

1996

Began moving away from the epic format with "Stealing Beauty," starring Liv Tyler; first film made in his native Italy since 1981's "The Tragedy of a Ridiculous Man"; also reunited with Sandrelli for the first time since "1900"

1993

Third film with Mark Peploe, "Little Buddha"; eighth and final collaboration (to date) with Storaro

1990

Co-wrote (with Mark Peploe) and directed "The Sheltering Sky", adapted from the Paul Bowles novel; executive produced by William Aldrich whose director father Robert Aldrich had first optioned the 1949 novel but failed to obtain studio financing after yea

1987

English language directing debut, "The Last Emperor"; first teaming with screenwriter (and brother-in-law) Mark Peploe; film won nine Academy Awards including Best Picture and two for Bertolucci, as Best Director and for the Best Screenplay

1982

Initiated by a lama into the Tibetan practice of meditation

1982

Producing debut, "Sconcerto Rock"

1979

First collaboration with screenwriter (and wife) Clare Peploe, "Luna"

1976

Assembled an international cast, including Robert De Niro, Gerard Depardieu and Sanda, for the epic "1900"

1975

Made first film appearance in documentary, "Bertolucci Secundo il Cinema/The Cinema According to Bertolucci/The Making of '1900'", co-directed by his brother and Gianni Amelio

1972

Helmed "Last Tango in Paris", arguably the most controversial film of its era; garnered Oscar nod as Best Director; film was originally banned in Italy; after finally being released, it was again banned for 11 years; tried for blasphemy, Bertolucci receiv

1969

Soared to international prominence with "The Conformist"; picture brought him acclaim in the USA; earned first Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay; first film with actress Dominique Sanda

1968

Co-wrote story (with director and Dario Argento) for Sergio Leone's "Once Upon a Time in the West"

1968

Joined the Italian Communist Party; resigned ten years later

1968

Continued the political argument begun in "Before the Revolution" with "The Partner" (based on Fyodor Dosteyevsky's novel "The Double"); also marked first collaboration with actress Stefania Sandrelli

1965

For Italian TV directed three-part documentary "La Via del Petrolio," about an Italian oil company in Iran

1964

Came into his own directing "Before the Revolution"; critical acclaim, however, did not translate to box office success

1962

Published first collection of poems, "In cerca del mistero/In Search of Mystery" (winner of the Viareggio Prize)

1962

Film directing and co-writing (with Pasolini and Sergio Citti) debut, "La commare secca/The Grim Reaper"; shot on location with a cast of nonprofessionals

1961

Worked as assistant director to family friend Pier Paolo Pasolini on the latter's feature directing debut, "Accattone"

Initial collaborations with director of photography Vittorio Storaro, "The Spider's Stratagem" (originally made for Italian television) and "The Conformist"

Had poems published in magazines by age 12

Made amateur 16mm films as a teenager, the first one showing a pig being slaughtered

Bonus Trivia

.

About the role of his father, Attilio (one of Italy's most respected poets), in his films: "My father is the sweetest man, but also very strong. One way to make him less menacing was to make weak fathers in my movies ... All my characters are searching for liberation from my father, but this is the first time (in 'Little Buddha') that someone has been able to free himself."When I grew up I found poetry was belonging to him. He already had my mother so I wanted something all mine. Maybe the real reason this Oedipal syndrome wasn't resolved earlier was because my parents are so close. They're kind of impenetrable, always together, no way to sneak in, no way to win. Maybe one way was to do movies, because it was different." --Bernardo Bertolucci quoted in Premiere, May 1994.

.

On his experience directing Brando in "Last Tango in Paris": "When you work with Marlon Brando you discover what is beyond the great actor is something else--a man who is so omnivorous in his curiosity it's contagious. His questions force you to be as curious as he is. It was an incredible lesson--and I was attempting to take off his Actors Studio mask."About a year ago we were talking up at his house--I had not seen him in a long time."We were so greedy to talk to each other we sat there--3 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m.--it got dark, but we didn't stop to turn on the lights. At a certain point I said, 'Do you agree that I got something of you in the film?' He said, 'Do you think that man up there on the screen is me? Ha! Ha!' There will always be another 'beyond' with Brando. Doing 'Last Tango' was an initiation into adulthood. I was dealing with an American icon--the American icon." --Bertolucci to Kevin Thomas in Los Angeles Times, October 18, 1996.

.

"After I made '1900', my great monument to communism, I started to lose faith in it. Communism was a terrible failure. I'm disappointed, but I recognize that to allow me to have my great dreams and utopia, millions of people would have to suffer."I'm no longer interested in making political films. There's something old-fashioned about them. Young people now don't care for politics. It isn't present in life as it used to be. And increasingly I like films which reflect present-day reality." --Bertolucci quoted in Los Angeles Times, May 16, 1999.

.

"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."---Bertolucci to CNN.com, September 20, 2007.

SIMILAR ARTICLES