With such films as Last tango in Paris and 1900, Bernardo Bertolucci emerged in the 1970s as one of the most eminent--and controversial--directors of contemporary international cinema. Now Robert Phillip Kolker gives us the first full length study of this major filmmaker.
Although Bertolucci has made only nine feature films to date, these works testify to the complexity of his cinematic imagination. Kolker examines the films from a number of perspectives: historical, formal, and aesthetic. He analyzes Bertolucci's work in relation to that of his mentor, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and looks at his on-going aesthetic struggle with the key figure of modern cinema, Jean-Luc Godard. Closely scrutinizing the form and content of each film, Kolker emphasizes Bertolucci's experiments with narrative as well as his political, psychological, domestic, and sexual themes. Bertolucci's complex use of operatic, painterly, and literary references--especially to Verdi, Bacon, Magritte, and Borges--reveive special notice.
More than a study of a single filmmaker, Bertolucci examines cinema as a synthesizing art, able to draw upon influences from many disciplines in its effort to explore history and the unconscious. The book also serves as a study of modern cinema's movement and direction over the past twenty years.
About the Author:
Robert Phillip Kolker is Professor of Film Studies at the University of Maryland. His previous books are A Cinema of Loneliness and The Altering Eye.show more