Continuing a tradition of Italian film retrospectives from the archives of the legendary Cinecittà Luce in Rome, this year MFAH Films spotlights the prolific, often-controversial Bernardo Bertolucci (b. 1940). After pursuing a career as a poet—a background that surely contributed to his later proclivity for making literary references during interviews—he turned to filmmaking in the 1960s. Initially influenced by Pasolini and Godard, Bertolucci’s early films evince a preoccupation with politics, followed by historical narratives, sensual explorations, and nuanced character studies.
(ULTIMO TANGO A PARIGI)
Vast, empty rooms mirror the insular life of Paul (Marlon Brando), a middle-aged American hotel owner mourning his wife’s recent suicide. Paul shuts out the world beyond the doors of his unfurnished apartment, and attempts to smother the emptiness that engulfs him—a desperate blankness that is brilliantly evoked by Vittorio Storaro’s cinematography—by taking up an anonymous sexual relationship with Jeanne (Maria Schneider), a young, hapless Parisienne. Their brutal sexual encounters seem meaningless at first, but Paul’s emotional need and desperation soon rise to the surface. A score by Argentine saxophonist Gato Barbieri punctuates starkly erotic scenes that have lost none of their effect since the film’s controversial debut.
Recommended only for mature audiences. NC-17
(France/Italy, 1972, 136 min.)
English, French and Italian with English subtitles.
Let's gather inside the Law Building on the lower level stair landing in front of the Public Dress display (look for the green tiara). There are several buildings associated with the museum. Please be sure that you are in the Law Building.
Admission is $7.00 adult or $6.00 senior citizen 65+. Discount prices are available for MFAH Members and Film Buff Members. Tickets can be purchased online in advance or at the museum.
Free parking is available in four surface lots north of the Law Building. Two are along Main Street: one at Bissonnet, one at Oakdale; and two are off Montrose Boulevard: one at the Glassell Studio School and one at the Glassell Junior School.
Garage parking is available for $6.00 with proof of museum admission. The entrance is on Binz, marked by a large, yellow arrow.