Bertolucci's "Last Emperor": Multiple Takes - Contemporary Approaches to Film and Media Series (Paperback)
  • Bertolucci's "Last Emperor": Multiple Takes - Contemporary Approaches to Film and Media Series (Paperback)

Bertolucci's "Last Emperor": Multiple Takes - Contemporary Approaches to Film and Media Series (Paperback)

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Paperback Published: 30/04/1998
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In this anthology, filmmakers, psychoanalysts, film scholars and cultural historians use a psychoanalytic approach to examine Bernardo Bertolucci's epic film "The Last Emperor" (1988). Evolving out of a conference on Bertolucci's work, the essays interweave psychological, political and cinematic themes in "The Last Emperor" as well as in much of Bertolucci's other works. This volume includes a foreword by Bernardo Bertolucci and is organized into four parts or "takes", including "Filmcraft", "Psychoanalysis", "Film Scholarship" and "Cultural History". The collection begins with the filmmaker's perspective. In "Take One", an interview with Bertolucci discusses the potential of psychoanalysis to transgress social order which Bertolucci explores in "The Last Emperor"; cinematographer Vittorio Storaro's essay on the photographic conception of "The Last Emperor" offers a glimpse of the creative impulse at work; and a chapter from Fabien S. Gerard's shooting diary records the excitement and tedium on the set of "The Last Emperor". Analyzing the character and psychopathology of Aisingioro Pu Yi as Bertolucci represented him, clinicians Bruce H. Sklarew, Estelle Shane and Morton Shane explore the relationship between psychoanalytic theory and art criticism in "Take Two". Diane Borden and Bonnie S. Kaufman look at the use of psychoanalysis and the formal aspects of filmmaking, such as images, camera shots and framing in "The Last Emperor". In "Take Three", Farimah Tobing Rony investigates Bertolucci's representation of Eastern culture from what she argues is a Europhallocentric position; T. Jefferson Kline gives an overview of Marxist, psychoanalytic and cinematic issues intersecting in the film; and Lynda K. Bundtzen looks at the theme of castration and its resonance with "auteur" theory. In "Take Four", the late sinologist John K. Fairbank and academic art historian Ding Ning look at historical versus artistic representations of history in "The Last Emperor", while Robert Burgoyne, Robert Zaller and Ellen Handler Spitz look at contrasting historical processes. Although we can never fully know the real Aisingioro Pu Yi, Bertolucci used his vision of the intricate relationship between art, ideology and the psychic experience to tell the story of one ordinary man's extraordinary life. "Bertolucci's 'The Last Emperor'" hopes to illuminate this complex and often enigmatic creation as well as renew an excitement about the possibilities of interdisciplinary criticism in film studies.

Publisher: Wayne State University Press
ISBN: 9780814327005

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