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

The Playlist By Ken Guidry | The Playlist May 29, 2013 at 10:18AM

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.
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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]

This article is related to: Bernardo Bertolucci, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Television, TV News


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