Bernardo Bertolucci, the legendary Italian-born director, has died at the age of 77. Artist’s publicist confirmed this saddest news on Monday, saying that the great Italian died after a battle with cancer. The Dreamers’ director had been married since 1978 to film-maker Clare Peploe but the couple had no children.
Bernardo Bertolucci made the unbelievable career in Hollywood, he was the multi-award-winning artist, among whose cinema masterpiece are Last Tango in Paris, The Last Emperor and The Dreamers. Over the recent decade, Bertolucci had been confined to a wheelchair for over a decade, that was a result of unsuccessful surgery on a herniated disc in 2003. Despite he was unable to walk, Bernardo was able to work.
Bernardo Bertolucci’s star has risen in the early 60s when the European cinematograph was changing every day. The gifted director Bertolucci became a key figure of the extraordinary Italian new wave (together with Antonioni, Fellini, and Pasolini) but in his unique way, he made a successful transition to large-scale Hollywood film-making with 1987’s The Last Emperor. That movie won nine Oscars, one of them was a statuette for The Best Director.
The fame allowed Bertolucci to recruit a high-profile cast, including Robert De Niro, Gérard Depardieu and Burt Lancaster, for his 300-minute epic 1900, which became another milestone in his career. Later, in the 90s, Bertolucci went to make The Sheltering Sky, Stealing Beauty and The Dreamers. In the latter film, the director returned to the heady mixture of radical politics and eroticism with which he had made his mark decades before.
Bertolucci’s enormous contribution to the modern cinematography
Films like Before the Revolution and The Spider’s Stratagem followed though it was Last Tango – starring Marlon Brando – that brought him to the attention of the world. The erotic drama about an American businessman who begins a sexually charged relationship with a very young Frenchwoman was banned in several countries.
The Last Emperor, a biopic of the Chinese emperor Pu Yi, won nine Oscars in 1988, including best picture. In Little Buddha (1993), Keanu Reeves became one of the many young unknown actors who was opened by Bertolucci. In 2008, Bernardo received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was awarded an honorary Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2011.