RIP Bernardo Bertolucci : Oscar-winning Italian director diesLast updated on Nov 26, 2018, 05:26 pm
Bernardo Bertolucci, one of the finest Italian filmmakers to grace the world of cinema, died on Monday at the age of 77.
The director and screenwriter of acclaimed films like Last Tango in Paris, The Last Emperor, and The Dreamers succumbed to cancer while he was in Rome, marking a major loss and a sad day for cinema.
Here's all about it.
The news of death
The news of Bertolucci's death was announced by his publicist Flavia Schiavi, who said he died at 7 am of cancer, while he was in Rome.
Unfortunately, the director has battled cancer for long even as he had been confined to a wheelchair for more than a decade after an unsuccessful herniated disc surgery in 2003 took away his ability to walk.
The greatness of Bertolucci
Bertolucci whose films were marked with a colorful visual style started as an assistant to the famed poet, novelist, and director Pier Paolo Pasolini.
He soon established himself as a pivotal figure of the Italian new wave alongside notable names like Michelangelo Antonioni and Federico Fellini.
However, he moved from artistic stylization of the new wave to Hollywood, where he retained his visual aesthetics.
Shaking up the Oscars
The Last Emperor marked Bertolucci's transition to Hollywood and he did it in style.
An adaptation of China's last imperial ruler, Pu Yi's, autobiography, the film made waves at 1987 Oscars.
It won all 9 categories it was nominated for, including Best Director, making Bertolucci the first and only Italian director to win this award.
Notably, it was the first Western epic about China.
The influences on and of Bertolucci
Bertolucci's first feature film, La commare secca, was directed in 1962 when he was 22-year-old.
However, he made his mark with The Conformist, which influenced several acclaimed New Hollywood directors including Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, and Francis Ford Coppola.
Notably, Bertolucci too was influenced by great directors like Jean-Luc Godard whose shots from Bande a part was paid homage to in Bertolucci's The Dreamers.