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Even Bernardo Bertolucci Thinks American TV Is Better Than American Movies These Days

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by Ken Guidry
May 29, 2013 10:18 AM
6 Comments
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Bernardo Bertolucci

Legendary filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci was recently honored by the American Academy in Rome with the McKim Award. The man behind films such as “Last Tango in Paris,” “The Last Emperor,” and “The Dreamers” has been active in the film industry for over 50 years now and after receiving the prestigious award, spoke of his love for American culture from when he was very young as well as the disappointment he feels regarding the state of Hollywood today. It’s a sentiment that’s been echoed quite often by other filmmakers lately, but perhaps more amusing to learn is Bertolucci’s penchant for recent American television.

"My generation had an affair with American culture, there's no doubt about it. A street lamp and a fire hydrant made me sing in the rain,” said Bertolucci in an interview. "But the American films I like now do not come from Hollywood studios but from television series, like 'Mad Men', 'Breaking Bad', 'The Americans'.”  Bertolucci’s a “Mad Men” fan? Wonder what he thinks of the recent merger between SCDP and Cutler, Gleason, and Chaough…  

So how does he feel about the Hollywood of today? “Apart from a few independent productions, I think that everything that comes from Hollywood is generally sad. It makes me very sad.” Well, at least he’s got that last season of “Breaking Bad” to look forward to.

A back injury that occurred ten years ago has caused the 73-year-old director to be confined to a wheelchair, which has understandably slowed him down in recent years. 2012’s “Me and You” was the first film Bertolucci directed in nine years. He will be keeping busy later this year when he heads the jury at the Venice Film Festival in August. Plans regarding any future projects are, to put it in his own words, “still at the germination stage.” [Reuters]

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6 Comments

  • jeeem | May 29, 2013 7:19 PMReply

    Bertolucci's right about TV, of course. Going to movie theaters (apart from institutional series and festivals) is depressing these days. Even the commercial indie/foreign/arthouse offerings are pretty unimaginative.

    But, please: Let's get rid of the antiquated phrase "confined to a wheelchair" once and for all. Nobody is ordered into a wheelchair and confined within it. The wheelchair is liberating -- enabling movement, not restricting it.

  • AE | May 29, 2013 2:01 PMReply

    I thought the debate was over and it was already pretty much official.

  • wes | May 29, 2013 12:27 PMReply

    I hope he watched Curb and saw Larry David take a justified stab at Last Tango (the stab could be used against all of his films).

  • Louise | May 29, 2013 11:48 AMReply

    Agree with him.

  • Adam Scott Thompson | May 29, 2013 11:22 AMReply

    First off, Bernardo is PIMPIN' that Fred Krueger fedora!

    Second, LOL @ "...generally sad."

    Third, I'm sure he's wondering like the rest of us when the hell they're actually going to name the new agency -- and whether Ted's gonna kick Don's ass over Peggy like Duck did.

  • Chris | May 29, 2013 10:40 AMReply

    I hope he watches Louie.

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