Sundays in October, World Movies brings you the best of controversial filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci.
Born in Italy in 1941, Bertolucci was just 22 years old when he made his first feature film, The Grim Reaper. He went on to make some of the most radically political films of his time, including Last Tango in Paris, The Conformist and Stealing Beauty. As a member of the Italian Communist Party and self-professed Marxist, Bertolucci’s films explore extreme environments for some of life’s most basic preoccupations, like politics, sex, and spirituality – echoing the politics of his time.
Last Tango In Paris (1972)
Sunday 9 October 6.20pm
After the release of Last Tango in Paris, Bertolucci was accused of “emotional rape” by actors Maria Schneider and Marlon Brando. Considered one of the most erotic films of all time, Last Tango in Paris sparked global controversy and government censorship in many countries for its raw portrayal of sex and violence. Bertolucci went on trial for obscenity in his home country of Italy. Found guilty, his civil rights were revoked for five years and the Italian Supreme Court ordered all copies of the film in Italy to be destroyed.
The Last Emperor (1987)
Sunday 16 October 5.45pm
The historical drama won an Academy Award for Bertolucci’s portrayal of China’s last Emperor dealing with personal responsibility and political legacy. It was the first feature film ever authorised by the government of the People’s Republic of China to be shot in the Forbidden City.
The Last Emperor won 9 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, 3 BAFTAs including Best Picture and 4 Golden Globes including Best Director.
1900 – Part One (1977)
Sunday 23 October 5.45pm
Tonight we show you the first half of Bertolucci’s 317 minute epic, 1900. Released in 1977, this film explores the class struggles between the Left and Right in the 20th century, told through the eyes of two childhood friends on opposing sides (played by Gérard Depardieu and Robert De Niro).
1900 – Part Two (1977)
Sunday 30 October 5.50pm