Hollywood Remembers Bernardo Bertolucci as a ‘Giant of Italian Filmmaking’

“A giant of Italian filmmaking, he will remain forever a leading light in world cinema,” Cannes Film Festival says, as Guillermo Del Toro and Alex Gibney also pay tribute to Italian director

Last Updated: November 27, 2018 @ 7:56 AM

Hollywood is paying their respects to Bernardo Bertolucci, the famed Italian art-house director who died Monday at age of 77 after battling cancer.

Filmmakers and critics celebrated his life’s work, which included films “Last Tango in Paris,” “The Last Emperor” and “The Conformist,” in tributes on Monday morning.

“Farewell to Bernardo Bertolucci, Honorary Palme at #Cannes2011 for his entire career after chairing the Jury in 1990,” the official account of the Cannes Film Festival tweeted. “A giant of Italian filmmaking, he will remain forever a leading light in world cinema.”

“He was a great filmmaker. May he rest in peace,” Robert De Niro, who starred in the director’s epic historical drama “1900,” said in a statement to TheWrap.

Director Guillermo Del Toro took the time to rank his top three Bertolucci films, starting with “The Conformist,” followed by “1900” and “The Last Emperor.”

Bertolucci won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for “The Last Emperor” and was also nominated in that category for “Last Tango in Paris.” Thomas Schlamme, president of the DGA, said this in a statement following Bertolucci’s passing:

“Bernardo turned mainstream cinema on its ear more than once during his long and inspiring career.  His films were provocative, meticulous and courageous.  In ‘The Last Emperor,’ for which he won the DGA Award, Bertolucci majestically captured turn-of-the-century China during a time of political and cultural transition–the result was epic filmmaking at its most masterful. Upon accepting the award, Bertolucci shared a quote about cinema that continues to inspire so many directors: ‘Maybe I’m an idealist, but I still think of the movie theater as a cathedral where we all go together to dream the dream together.’ He will forever stand as inspiration for many generations of filmmakers to come.”

Bertolucci’s “Last Tango in Paris,” starring Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider, was banned in his native Italy and re-cut in several other countries — including the United States — due to its sexual violence. But it also garnered renewed attention when a series of headlines misconstrued a quote by Bertolucci saying that the film’s rape scene was nonconsensual. At the time Bertolucci called the accusations a “ridiculous misunderstanding,” but it sparked a debate about the appropriate way to film such scenes.

Below, see some of the outpouring of support from critics and filmmakers including Alex Gibney, Carl Weathers and more.