Film director Bernardo Bertolucci died yesterday, aged 77, surrounded by family at his home in Rome at 7am. He had been suffering years from cancer.
Bertolucci was an Oscar award-winning director whose films have gone down as some of the greatest in cinematic history. These include The Sheltering Sky, Last Tango in Paris, The Conformist, Once Upon A Time In The West, Before The Revolution, Stealing Beauty, Little Buddha, and the Oscar-winning The Last Emperor.
Bertolucci will be remembered as a bold visionary who dared to present delicate and provocative material on the screen.
The Last Emperor was the first ever Western feature to be allowed filming in China’s Forbidden City. It followed not so much the life of former Chinese leader Pu Yi (who was made an emperor at age three and ousted at seven) but about his becoming the first and only Chinese leader to be given opportunities to assimilate and steer his nation into the modern world.
Bernardo Bertolucci will be remembered as a bold visionary who dared to present delicate and provocative material on the screen with a technique that was both both beautiful and meticulous.
He once said in an acceptance speech at an Oscars award ceremony: “Maybe I’m an idealist but I still think of the movie theatre as a cathedral where we all go together to dream the dream together.”