Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor won nine Academy Awards, unexpectedly sweeping every category in which it was nominated—quite a feat for a challenging, multilayered epic directed by an Italian and starring an international cast. Yet the power and scope of the film was, and remains, undeniable—the life of Emperor Pu Yi, who took the throne at age three, in 1908, before witnessing decades of cultural and political upheaval, within and without the walls of the Forbidden City. Recreating Ching dynasty China with astonishing detail and unparalleled craftsmanship by cinematographer Vittorio Storaro and production designer Ferdinando Scarfiotti, The Last Emperor is also an intimate character study of one man reconciling personal responsibility and political legacy.
Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. Written by Enzo Ungari, Mark Peploe, & Bernardo Bertolucci (based on the autobiography “From Emperor to Citizen, The Autobiography of Aisin-Gioro Pu Yi”). Cinematography by Vittorio Storaro. Starring John Lone, Joan Chen, Peter O’Toole, Chen Kaige & Ryuichi Sakamoto.
Filmed in China. This was the first Western film made in and about the country to be produced with full Chinese government cooperation since 1949.
Co-presented by Bay Area Chinese Culture Salon