Many epics crumble under the weight of their own plus-sized
intentions but thanks to the virtuoso skill of director Bertolucci and
cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, 1987′s The Last Emperor, the remarkable story
of Pu Yi who reigned over the Forbidden City and fell from grace, becomes a
soulful epic with the sensuous pageantry of a grand opera. David Byrne’s
delicately rhythmic score is a hipster’s mix of new wave percussion and
traditional Chinese melody.