Last tango in Paris

Front Cover
BFI, 1998 - Fiction - 96 pages
4 Reviews
"Last Tango left me depleted and exhausted. Some of the pain I was experiencing was my very own. Thereafter I decided to make my living in a way that was less devastating emotionally." Thus Marlon Brando recalled, in his autobiography, making Last Tango in Paris.
Bernardo Bertolucci's graphic and harrowing account of sexual obsession, grief, psychic breakdown, and murder premiered in 1972 at the New York Film Festival. The print was escorted to the screening by armed guards. On the film's subsequent release in Italy, Bertolucci, Brando, co-star Maria Schneider, and producer Alberto Grimaldi were indicted on obscenity charges and found guilty. Controversy and censorship dogged the film, but it was a great commercial and critical success. Venerated New Yorker critic Pauline Kael called Last Tango "the most powerfully erotic movie ever made."
David Thompson's fluent account of Last Tango in Paris details the conception, production, and fortunes of the film. Drawing on a new and extensive interview with Bertolucci, Thompson shows how the film crystallized Bertolucci's interest in art, literature, and psychoanalysis, and how it was realized through the consummate skills of cast and crew. Ending with a discussion of how important this film is for an understanding of Brando, Schneider, and Jean-Pierre Leaud, Thompson unravels the brilliance of Last Tango in Paris' depiction of human behavior and emotion. "Last Tango left me depleted and exhausted. Some of the pain I was experiencing was my very own. Thereafter I decided to make my living in a way that was less devastating emotionally." Thus Marlon Brando recalled, in his autobiography, making Last Tango in Paris.
Bernardo Bertolucci's graphic and harrowing account of sexual obsession, grief, psychic breakdown, and murder premiered in 1972 at the New York Film Festival. The print was escorted to the screening by armed guards. On the film's subsequent release in Italy, Bertolucci, Brando, co-star Maria Schneider, and producer Alberto Grimaldi were indicted on obscenity charges and found guilty. Controversy and censorship dogged the film, but it was a great commercial and critical success. Venerated New Yorker critic Pauline Kael called Last Tango "the most powerfully erotic movie ever made."
David Thompson's fluent account of Last Tango in Paris details the conception, production, and fortunes of the film. Drawing on a new and extensive interview with Bertolucci, Thompson shows how the film crystallized Bertolucci's interest in art, literature, and psychoanalysis, and how it was realized through the consummate skills of cast and crew. Ending with a discussion of how important this film is for an understanding of Brando, Schneider, and Jean-Pierre Leaud, Thompson unravels the brilliance of Last Tango in Paris' depiction of human behavior and emotion.

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Review: Last Tango in Paris (BFI Modern Classics / BFI Film Classics)

User Review  - Caitlin - Goodreads

what did I learn from this book? That Marlon Brando is a skeezy perv who likes Grandpa sweaters and well shaped breasts. Well, there was also a lot of useful information about the release/making of this film. Read full review

Review: Last Tango in Paris (BFI Modern Classics / BFI Film Classics)

User Review  - Clare - Goodreads

A very informative book about the film and the circumstances in which it was made and the aftermath. Read full review

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About the author (1998)

David Thompson is a producer of arts documentaries at the BBC. He has made profiles of such directors as Jean Renoir, Quentin Tarantino, and Milos Forman, and is the coeditor of Scorsese on Scorsese.

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