Bernardo Bertolucci Getting A Retrospective Thanks To MoMA

New Yorkers, get ready for yet another must see retrospective.

According to Variety, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, along with Italy’s Cinecitta Luce, director Bernardo Bertolucci (The Last Emperor, La commare secca) will be receiving his first complete retrospective.

The retrospective will feature 17 films, all restored, and even re-subtitled, starting with the 1970 film, The Conformist, which the director himself introduced on December 15. The screenings will end on January 12th, 2011.

One of the filmmaker’s most beloved film, The Last Emperor, will be a part of this retrospective, as will La Via del petrolio, and his classic film, Last Tango In Paris.

From the MoMA Bertolucci Page:

In collaboration with Cinecittà Luce, Rome, MoMA presents a complete retrospective of the films of Bernardo Bertolucci, featuring new prints produced by Cinecittà Luce, with sound and color corrections overseen by cinematographers who have worked with Bertolucci in the past, including Vittorio Storaro, Darius Khondji, and Fabio Cianchetti. Bertolucci himself will be present to introduce the exhibition’s opening screening, The Conformist (1970), a film that has deeply influenced American filmmakers as different as Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg. The retrospective also includes the U.S. premiere of a rare documentary by the director, Oil (1967), which returned to public view at the 2007 Venice Film Festival.

At the age of twenty-one Bernardo Bertolucci debuted his first film, The Grim Reaper (1962), at the Venice Film Festival; he has since gone on to earn every award and accolade to which a filmmaker can aspire. Tirelessly experimenting with form and content, Bertolucci has garnered both critical and popular acclaim; he consistently pushes the boundaries of the medium, yet still creates Oscar-winning epics with mass appeal. What unites his body of work’”and imbues his individual films with texture and depth’”is the director’s enormous passion and uncanny ability to fuse the lyrical and the dramatic. Watching the films in this series together, one witnesses his development as an artist, from grappling with the influence of cinematic trends and filmmaking icons to developing and refining his own voice, and ultimately becoming an enormously influential auteur who creates films of beauty and consequence.

Personally, of all the legendary filmmakers of his generation, Bertolucci is far and away one of the most interesting, and most worthy of a complete retrospective.   He is not only a genuinely fantastic filmmaker, but he is also one of the rare filmmaking icons that many modern film goers simply haven’t seen much, or even heard, of.   I’m familiar with much of his canon, and I can’t think of a more worthy filmmaker when it comes to receiving a full retrospective.

If you attend any of these screenings, please, let us know.   Could these new prints mean a possible Criterion release of something like Last Tango? Stranger things have happened.

[Note from the Editor: If Criterion ends up posting a video of Bertolucci in the legendary closet of DVDs and Blu-rays, on Facebook, it’s safe to assume that we’ll get something out of this retrospective. – Ryan]

Source: Variety / MoMA

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