After her mother commits suicide, nineteen year old Lucy Harmon travels to Italy to have her picture painted. However, she has other reasons for wanting to go. She wants to renew her acquaintance with Nicolo Donati, a young boy with whom she fell in love on her last visit four years ago. She also is trying to solve the riddle left in a diary written by her dead mother, Sara. —IMDb
Bernardo Bertolucci proved to be Italian cinema’s great prodigy, making his debut The Grim Reaper at the age of 22, and Before the Revolution at the age of 24; achievements comparable to Orson Welles directing Citizen Kane at the age of 25. He was born in Parma in 1940. He initially followed the footsteps of his father Attilio, a noted poet and critic. His poetry received prizes at competitions and a collection of his work was published while he was still a teenager. But his attention was already diverted to the cinema, especially after viewing Godard’s Breathless. His planned transition from poetry to cinema found an accomplice in fellow poet Pier Paolo Pasolini. A family friend, he regarded Bertolucci as a kindred spirit and tasked him as his assistant on his landmark debut, Accattone. The experience, described by Bertolucci as witnessing “the invention of the cinema” further ignited his own ambitions.
The Grim Reaper was based on a story by Pasolini but the resulting film displayed… read more
The '90s grunge roots emerge a curious fit with Bertolucci: the octane MTV combined with his lush, kinetic vistas, incidentally reflecting its main arc (An American in Tuscany). Starts by shattering the voyeuristic barriers between camera and subject - from precisely ‘stealing beauty’ - instead, like Tyler’s sojourn, defecting to the purer canvas as captured by artist, easel and muse. Beyond the vineyards, lovers, idyllic naturalism and panged youth - and more than The Sheltering Sky - caucasian self-discovery has rarely shown such layered serenity.