Bernardo Bertolucci is everywhere these days. The Italian master filmmaker (“Little Buddha,” “The Last Emperor”) will serve as the American Film Institute’s Guest Artistic Director at AFI FEST 2012. Others have included last year’s Guest Artistic Director Pedro Almodóvar and David Lynch in 2010.
Bertolucci has selected four feature films for his sidebar at the festival:
42ND STREET (DIR Lloyd Bacon), LA REGLE DU JEU (DIR Jean Renoir), SUNRISE (DIR F.W. Murnau) and VIVRE CA VIE (DIR Jean-Luc Godard). In addition, the festival will present ELECTRIC CHAIR, a behind-the-scenes film about the making of Bertolucci’s new movie, ME AND YOU. Bertolucci has written and directed over 25 films, including THE LAST EMPEROR, LAST TANGO IN PARIS, THE CONFORMIST, THE SHELTERING SKY and LITTLE BUDDHA. He has been honored with two Academy Awards® for Best Director and Best Writing, Screenplay for THE LAST EMPEROR, he was the recipient of an honorary Palm D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011 and this December he will be receiving the European Film Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Bertolucci also conducted Master Seminars at the AFI Conservatory about the craft of filmmaking and his particular visual style in 1974 and again in 1979.
Leading up to the festival (November 1 through 8) in Hollywood at the historic Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the Chinese 6 Theatres, the Egyptian Theatre and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, the UCLA Film & Television Archive is also mounting a Bertolucci retrospective from October 12 to November 4 (details here) along with the American Cinematheque, Luce Cinecitta and Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Los Angeles.
The European Film Academy will honor Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci with the Lifetime Achievement Award at its annual awards show on December 1, held in Malta. Beginning his illustrious, controversial film career in 1961 as assistant director on Pasolini’s “Accatone,” and going on to helm erotic- and political-provocateur works such as “The Conformist,” “Last Tango in Paris” and the Oscar-winning “The Last Emperor,” Bertolucci continues to make films at the age of 72; “Me and You” played to mixed response at Cannes this year.
Bertolucci will be present to accept the EFA on December 1.
More on Bertolucci:
BERNARDO BERTOLUCCI began his career as an assistant director to Pier Paolo Pasolini on ACCATTONE and directed his first feature film at the age of 21. His second film, BEFORE THE REVOLUTION (1964), was released to great acclaim and he has never since then stopped to shape the way we look at cinema. His 1970 film THE CONFORMIST with Jean-Louis Trintignant and Stefania Sandrelli premiered in Berlin, won the Italian David di Donatello for Best Film and received Bertolucci’s first Oscar nomination and his 1972 film LAST TANGO IN PARIS with Marlon Brando, Maria Schneider and Jean-Pierre Léaud received another two Oscar nominations. His fame increased with the epic 1900 (1976) with Robert de Niro, Gérard Depardieu and Burt Lancaster and THE LAST EMPEROR (1987) which won a total of nine Oscars, three BAFTA Awards, the French César, nine David di Donatello awards, and a special jury award at the inaugural European Film Awards in 1988. Among his later films are THE SHELTERING SKY (1990) with Debra Winger and John Malkovich and THE DREAMERS (2003) which was nominated for the EFA Audience Award and the Spanish Goya. Bernardo Bertolucci’s latest film ME AND YOU (2012) premiered in the official selection, out of competition, at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.