Viet Nam News
ROME — Italian film director Bernardo Bertolucci, whose films include Last Tango In Paris and 1900, died on Monday aged 77.
Considered one of the giants of world cinema, Bertolucci was the only Italian ever to win the Oscar for best film, snapping up the award in 1988 for The Last Emperor.
He had gained notoriety for his 1972 erotic drama Last Tango In Paris starring Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider, which featured a controversial sex scene involving butter.
The filmmaker died at his home in Rome early Monday, his press office Punto e Virgola said in an email. He had been wheelchair-bound for several years because of back problems.
Nine Oscars for one film
Bertolucci’s biographical masterpiece about the last Chinese emperor won a total of nine Oscars, all of those for which it was nominated. He won an honorary Palme d’Or for his life’s work at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.
Former festival president Gilles Jacob said he was saddened by the death of "the last emperor of Italian cinema, the lord of all epics and all escapades."
"The party is over: it takes two to tango," Jacob said.
Born in Parma, northeastern Italy, on March 16, 1941, Bertolucci made films that were often highly politicised, dealing with workers’ struggles in 1900 or the fate of left-wingers in fascist Italy in The Conformist.
A member of the Italian Communist party, he made the epic 1900 about the class struggle between Italian peasants and aristocrats spanning almost a century and starring Robert De Niro, Burt Lancaster and Gerard Depardieu.
His father, a poet, history lecturer and cinema critic, gave him his first 16mm camera aged 15.
Bertolucci studied literature before turning to film, working as assistant director for Pier Paolo Pasolini on Accattone in 1961. He co-wrote the 1968 spaghetti Western classic Once Upon a Time in the West along with Dario Argento and director Sergio Leone. — AFP