SHORT TAKES : Bertolucci Clear for Buddha Film

From Times Staff and Wire Service Reports

Italian film director Bernardo Bertolucci can go ahead with a movie on the life of Buddha. A London court Wednesday rejected a Hong Kong company’s bid for an injunction stopping the director.

Waco Productions Ltd. of Hong Kong announced plans in September to make a film based on the life of Buddha to be directed by Bertolucci, whose previous films include “The Last Emperor,” “Last Tango in Paris” and his newest, “The Sheltering Sky.”

But negotiations broke down, and the director announced that he was seeking financial backers for an independent project on the same theme.

The film company claimed the idea for the film and a historical synopsis shown to Bertolucci were original and confidential and sought an injunction to stop him from exploiting the material.


The court agreed that Waco Productions Ltd. Chairman Richard Colson had spent time and $1.4 million on planning for the film.

But the judge said that no injunction could be granted in such broad terms and that there was no evidence that Bertolucci was in any way threatening to use any original or confidential ideas from Waco.