By MCN Editor editor@moviecitynews.com

Bertolucci 2014

Last Tango, When I started, I didn’t know where I could go with Marlon Brando and Maria. Because there is something that you can’t tell in the screenplays—and it’s exactly what’s missing from screenplays—which is the flesh and blood of the real people in front of the camera. The script describes the characters, but when you go to shoot, you try to invent life in front of the camera. I don’t know… My wife says that I could make a cup of tea look sexy. When I did that film, nobody could have stopped me. In Italy it had been banned—it couldn’t be shown for I think 10 years after the opening, and I was condemned for two months in prison with suspension. Just a few months ago I was at the Cinémathèque Française for a retrospective and someone asked about shooting that scene in Last Tango. It was Marlon’s idea to use the butter. She knew there was a sex scene, but she didn’t know about the particulars. She was offended that I didn’t tell her, because I wanted her to react like a girl would react to that surprise. And that became a kind of scandal: “You make actors copulate in front of the camera, shame on you.” People thought they were really fucking! This is not the only film that I’ve done, but it’s the one that goes on and on and on.”
~ Bernardo Bertolucci 2014

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