After beginning his career more than fifty years ago, Bernardo Bertolucci has been making films that are as psychologically thrilling as they are visually rich. The Italian director best known for The Conformist, Last Tango in Paris, The Last Emperor, and his most-recent sexually-charged study The Dreamers, is now back after a nine year feature hiatus with the drama Me & You.
The film premiered last Spring at Cannes to a mixed reception and has yet to find US distribution. However, a trailer for the film has now arrived and here we see an enigmatic look at the intimate story sans dialogue but with plenty of emotion. Me & You, which stars Jacaopo Olmo Antnori and Tea Falco, tells the story of a 14-year old boy who tells his family he’s gone on a class skiing trip but really hides away in a vacant basement. His 25-year old half-sister, a junkie, shows up to said basement looking to detox, and from there their story unfolds through a series of arguments and bonding.
In order appease the MPAA, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is cutting some "graphic" sex scenes from his directorial debut Don Jon’s Addiction. But I wonder if he’s concerned at all about how that will effect the film has a whole? Not to say that I’m assuming it relies on purely on sexual appeal, but for a film about a porn-addicted lothario who is desperately trying to unplug himself from an online world of smut, you’d think to make it really interesting we’d want to see all the gritty and gross aspects of his life. We want to see that point where porn loses all sexual appeal and just becomes this sad and frightening crutch for comfort, offering as much emotional and psychological nourishment as a bowl of M&Ms.
But whatever, apparently JGL, who is currenrly at the Berlin Film Festival promoting the picture, says, "Yes, we expect we have to do that and I’ll be getting started on it as soon as I get back. But like, I can’t imagine JGL’s world being any more graphic and starkly sexual than Steve McQueen’s Shame, which operated fine within the R rating confines. "I think it is important that those images are in there but what precisely you see isn’t that important," JGL went on to say. "We were very careful about picking just the right moments, just the right videos, and cropping them just the right way so that it feels like you’re seeing more than you’re actually seeing. You don’t technically see anything that’s not allowed in a rated R movie." Not allowed? Well, just as a reminder, here are some films that were originally given an X rating and still remain some of the best work of the last century.