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Last Tango in Paris (1972) - Bernardo Bertolucci

Related: Italian cinema - tango (music) - Bernardo Bertolucci - 1972 - eroticism in mainstream movies

The film caused a deep scandal in Italy for a sodomy scene ("Get the butter." — Paul); the film was sequestered by censorship and officially all the copies were destroyed. An Italian court revoked Bertolucci's civil rights for five years plus it gave him a four-month suspended prison sentence. Many years after, when the general modesty had changed and the censorship commission had been abolished, the film reappeared (because Bertolucci had kept a clandestine copy) and was projected in a slightly censored version. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_Tango_in_Paris [Sept 2006]

Last Tango in Paris (1972) - Bernardo Bertolucci [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Amazon review

Bernardo Bertolucci's controversial 1972 film stars Marlon Brando as an expatriate American in Paris reeling from his wife's suicide and entering into a nihilistic sexual relationship with a young woman (Maria Schneider). The film is still shocking, not simply because of its (sometime unconventional) sexual sequences, but because Brando's protagonist needs his liaison with Schneider's character to remain anonymous, an experience not to be shared but indulged on either end. Bertolucci is also operating on subtext here: in a way, Brando's nonengaging engagement is a metaphor for a certain attitude toward directing movies. Jean-Pierre Léaud costars, but the film is more than anything a vehicle for a great performance by Brando. --Tom Keogh, Amazon.com

The film’s perverseness is non-linear

The film’s perverseness is non-linear, with its sexual undertones concealed from the naked eye, much closer to the mentality of flicks like Steven Soderbergh’s Sex, Lies and Videotape and Mike Leigh’s Naked than it is to Adrian Lyne’s 9 1/2 Weeks. In other words, there’s more talking... and less fornication. That’s not to say that there isn’t full frontal nudity or the infamous “Go get the butter” scene, but this film is likely to disappoint those looking for cheap sexual thrills. The eroticism here is entirely more like watching a quality high-brow soft-core porn film directed by a melancholy, smut-pushing, genius. Not only does Last Tango in Paris benefit from the sumptuous screenplay and enticing subject matter, but its true legacy is in the masterful performances... full of obsessed longing, utter disillusionment and sheer depravity. Brando is full of fire and fury, pulling the viewer into the world that Paul inhabits... a place without rules, inhibitions, taboos, or even names, and in the end, a world devoid of meaning... --Patrick Byrne

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