Master of cinema Bernardo Bertolucci revisits his career in an interview marking a major retrospective of his work at BFI Southbank. Beginning with his debut, The Grim Reaper, the director talks through the radical views he held as a youth and how he decided to merge politics and cinema, wanting to “die on the barricade of Renoir”. Although the Italian press loathed his second film, Before the Revolution, the film was a hit at Cannes (and praised by his idols at Cahiers du cinéma) and he began to be recognised internationally.
Bertolucci explains that he left Italy when he began to sense “the smell of corruption” in the 1980s and travelled to China where he fell in love with the culture, and where he would make his Oscar-winning triumph The Last Emperor. He rounds off the interview by revealing his new project - an Italian film that will be shot in 3D.