With Bernardo Bertolucci in Rome

Posted by By at 14 November, at 13 : 43 PM Print

With Bernardo Bertolucci in Rome

With Bernardo Bertolucci in Rome

On November 13, 2017, I had a unique opportunity to meet and chat with a master, legendary director Bernardo Bertolucci, for the third time. We talked about our common friend, the great Gato Barbieri, the Argentinian composer and saxophone player who composed the soundtracks for two films for him and two films for me (Manhattan by Numbers (1993) and Seven Servants (1996), in my case). Our friend passed away two years back, and we praised Gato for the fascinating music he composed for the masterpiece Last Tango in Paris.

Besides that, we talked about the unforgettable Iranian poetess Forough Farrokhzad and how Bertolucci met her at the Pesaro Film Festival and then again later in Iran. Bertolucci told me how sorry he is that he never made a film about her, once again confirming that the letter that he sent me in 2000 is correct: there is no film by Bertolucci about Farrokhzad.

We talked for about an hour, a very joyful and informative experience that I will never forget.

Gato Barbieri’s wife Michelle was Mr. Bertolucci’s assistant on his first two feature films. Michelle, who was very knowledgeable and kind, asked me to write a book with her in New York about Bertolucci, but she passed away from cancer and I subsequently abandoned the project. When Michelle died, Gato asked me to deliver the eulogy, which I did. Afterwards, we went for lunch with a group of musicians and celebrities, including Mr. Bertolucci, who flew from Rome to participate in her memorial ceremony. After lunch, Gato introduced me to Mr. Bertolucci, and I am proud that our contact has continued to be alive and well since then.



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