Film Scouts Diaries

1996 Cannes Film Festival Diaries
Diary #7: Bertolucci & Tyler

by Lisa Nesselson

May 16

Bertolucci's "Stealing Beauty" is really pretty enjoyable. My colleagues who had seen advance screenings in Paris had roundly denounced it as pointless. I suspect they find a 19-year-old virgin either beyond the realm of believability , or else, a non-issue.

Liv Tyler is very unpretentious and charming at the press conference. Bertolucci is pretty adorable himself when, mixing French and English, he says that he asked Tyler to come to London for a screen test, the French term for which is "bout d'essai" pronounced "boo des-ay". But Bertolucci's religious interests come peeking through his pronunciation, which sounds like "Buddha Say".

Asked about his likely next film project, Bertolucci launched into a wistful and fascinating account of what the late '60s meant to him and his generation. "My return to Italy after 15 years has been sort of tip-toeing. Looking at the beauty of Italy rather than Italy itself. I'd like to do a kind of sequel to "1900", which ended in 1945 -- start it there and take it through to the end of the century, which is the end of the millenium, and try to see how we got to where we are now in Italy. But Italy is a fragment of the rest of the world. Then I thought, how about, out of this big fresco, let's pull out one year: 1968 in Rome, Paris, Berkeley. I thought it would be very interesting to take the kids of today back to 1968. What '68 meant to us in terms of the incredible capital of dreams, rebellion, freedom. They don't know the amount,the VOLUME of hope that we had. I would like to put them on an H.G. Wells time machine and take them back to confront the kids of 1968. But cinema IS a time machine. Then again, the kids today -- their PARENTS are the lids of '68. So how is it that todays kids know nothing about '68?"

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