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Bernardo Bertolucci once named his 10 favourite films


Undoubtedly one of the most prominent Italian filmmakers of all time, screenwriter and director Bernardo Bertolucci is considered one of the greatest European directors of the 20th century, achieving international acclaim for such films as The Conformist, Last Tango in Paris and Stealing Beauty. Becoming the first Italian filmmaker to win the Academy Award for Best Director for his 1987 film The Last Emperor, the late filmmaker is still celebrated to this very day. 

Often dabbling with themes of sexuality, politics and class conflict, the films of Bernardo Bertolucci can be easily identified by their visceral colour and strikingly sensual style that would have a great influence on world cinema throughout the 1960s and ’70s. Inspired by the films of fellow Italian visionary Pier Paolo Pasolini, Bertolucci worked with the likes of Marlon Brando, Maria Schneider, Peter O’Toole, Liv Tyler, Jeremy Irons, Eva Green and Keanu Reeves throughout his celebrated filmography.

A purveyor of world cinema as well as an iconic Italian filmmaker, Bernardo Bertolucci took part in the Sight and Sound poll of 2002 that asked several directors to pick their favourite films of all time. Raising such names as Jean Renoir, Roberto Rossellini, Jean-Luc Godard, David Lynch, Charlie Chaplin and Alfred Hitchcock, Bernardo Bertolucci’s personal picks span each and every eclectic corner of the cinematic medium. 

Listing his favourite films in no particular order, Bernardo Bertolucci names David Lynch’s 1986 film Blue Velvet as one of his picks, a film that shares many similarities to his own films, as well as Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights, a slapstick comedy classic that shares no similarities to his own career.

As well as these two choices, Bertolucci also picks Jean-Luc Godard’s iconic French new wave classic, À bout de souffle (Breathless), starring Jean Seberg and the late Jean-Paul Belmondo, a film that pioneered a new approach to independent European filmmaking. For similar reasons, the filmmaker also went for the 1961 film Accattone made by his friend and fellow Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini. 

Take a look at the full list of Bernardo Bertolucci’s ten favourite films, below.

Bernardo Bertolucci’s 10 favourite films:

  • La Règle du jeu (Jean Renoir, 1939)
  • Sansho Dayu (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1954)
  • Germany Year Zero (Roberto Rossellini, 1949)
  • À bout de souffle (Jean-Luc Godard, 1960)
  • Stagecoach (John Ford, 1939)
  • Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986)
  • City Lights (Charlie Chaplin, 1931)
  • Marnie (Alfred Hitchcock, 1964)
  • Accattone (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1961)
  • Touch of Evil (Orson Welles, 1958)

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