Bernardo Bertolucci, the Italian filmmaker behind such sexually charged movies as “Last Tango in Paris” and “The Dreamers,” will be the guest artistic director at this year’s AFI Fest.
In the role, the 72-year-old director-writer will screen four of his favorite films: the musical “42nd Street,” the silent film “Sunrise” and the French films “La Regle du Jeu” and “Vivre Sa Vie.” The festival also will screen “Electric Chair,” a behind-the-scenes look at how Bertolucci put together his upcoming film “Me and You” -- the first Italian-language film he has made in 30 years.
Last year, Pedro Almodóvar held the festival’s honorary title, and David Lynch was guest director in 2010.
In a statement, Jacqueline Lyanga, AFI Fest’s director, said festival organizers settled upon Bertolucci this year because they were “inspired by the extraordinary way in which he has lived a life of film, brought this intention to his visual style and elevated the art of cinema.”
Bertolucci has twice won Academy Awards: one for directing 1987’s “The Last Emperor” — a biopic of China’s Aisin-Gioro Puyi — and another for its screenplay. Last year, he received an honorary Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and will accept the European Film Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award come December.
Those movie lovers who can’t wait to get their Bertolucci fix at AFI Fest will have the opportunity to see the filmmaker’s work in the weeks leading up to the festival at “Bernardo Bertolucci: A Retrospective.” His films will be shown from Oct. 12 through Nov. 4 by the UCLA Film & Television Archive, American Cinematheque, Luce Cinecitta and Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Los Angeles.
AFI Fest, which is sponsored by the Los Angeles Times, kicks off Nov. 1 with the premiere of “Hitchcock,” starring Anthony Hopkins as the famed director. The festival is held in Hollywood and will close with a screening of Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” on Nov. 8.