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Interview: New technologies, globalization make cinema "surprising": director Bertolucci [China Economic Information Service (Xinhua)]

August 28, 2013


Interview: New technologies, globalization make cinema "surprising": director Bertolucci

by Marzia De Giuli

VENICE, Italy, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- Bernardo Bertolucci, the iconic Italian director who is the chairman of the International Jury for the Competition of the ongoing 70th Venice International Film Festival, said he was looking forward to appreciating "vital and surprising" films resulting from an intelligent use of new technologies and the process of globalization.

In an exclusive interview with Xinhua on Wednesday, the festival's opening day, the man who can be considered the most famous working Italian director in the world and one of the most influential in the cinema's history -- his masterpieces include Last Tango in Paris, 1900, The Last Emperor -- said that he was "extremely curious of new technologies."

"The digital world is still something unexplored," the 72-year- old said. In his view, these modern tools have the power to "re- give life to films which by now belonged to the past," including to his greatest success The Last Emperor, a 1987 biopic about the life of the last emperor of China. The film that earned Bertolucci nine Oscars including the ones for best director and for best non- original screenplay.

"The Last Emperor, a film of some 30 years ago, was remade in 3D, thus today it has a new life," he said.

Bertolucci said he hoped "the surprises held by this year's festival will be beyond any hopes." He added it was "a shared desire of the jury's members to see a really surprising movie as the winner. This edition has many important awards and what I want more is to be surprised also in the prize giving."

Closely interlaced with new technologies, globalization plays a fundamental role in shaping the new cinema, Bertolucci stressed. "I am sure that both filmmakers and the public will have to get a sense that movies will be watched in different places from the traditional ones."

The director transformations is how films are made can be "very dramatic" for directors who are used to making films a certain way. But filmmakers have a duty to reinvent their work by exploring new methods at their disposal, Bertolucci said.

He said he was especially confident in the new generation of young filmmakers, one of the reasons why -- after an initial refusal -- he decided to accept to chair the international jury for the competition, which will award the top Golden Lion prize and other awards.

In 1983, Bertolucci was the president of the jury for the 40th edition of the Venice Film Festival. "Thus I knew it would be a very hard job when I was invited to be the chairman again. But at the end I was convinced to make it after I was reminded of certain responsibilities I should take for cinema and for young directors."

Bertolucci said he had a passion for Chinese cinema, adding "China is at the forefront of transformation and globalization" as proven by the country's active presence at the Venice Film Festival.

"Curiosity," was how the director chose to describe his desire to further deepen his knowledge of Chinese works.

Bertolucci said that he was especially looking forward to meeting Chinese director Jiang Wen again, who he first came across when he debuted as a young actor in Red Sorghum (1987) by Zhang Yimou.

Jiang Wen has been chosen as a member of the jury for the competition this year at the Venice Film Festival.

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