An American couple who are itinerant bohemian travellers, travel through North Africa, during which time they explore their 10 year marriage. They are accompanied by their friend George Tunner. –BFI
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
Because we don't know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well, yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that's so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more, perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.
White man’s search for love, his essence, through geography: an ethereal reverie, as much a worldly reflection (secular displacement; colonial languish) and the Orient’s lasting mystique, as witnessed in Bertolucci’s quixotic pilgrimage. With its textures so pronounced within his heightened appreciation for landscape, the aesthetic conceit lures less smoothly than in preceding tableaus - pervading a rote, restless quality by comparison - yet retains an enigmatic air for its cognizant, rawer artistry and sensuality. A deeply enamouring palette yet.
The way it uses Bowles' narration is dopey--in the final scene truly idiotic and so forced--but as a whole it flows surprisingly well, despite omitting some of the most interesting scenes in the novel, such as Kit's panic attack on the train she takes alone with Tunner. Vittorio Storaro's cinematography and Campbell Scott's performance make it worthwhile. Malkovich and Winger have zero chemistry, and she's miscast.
The Sheltering Sky 1990 Second viewing after in an interval of about a decade and after just finishing the novel of Paul Bowles, who gave Bertolucci’s film a one word review: awful… read review
The Sheltering Sky is not easy to sit through, but I found it immensely rewarding and not just for the spectacular visuals or soundtrack. The characters have no range of emotion, so the viewer must… read review
I adore this film. Debra Winger gives a heart wrenching performance. This is a sensual film with romance and exploration at its core. We need to be more than a tourist in our lives. Let’s be travelers… read review