This is not Matt. This is a ghostwriter. I am not where Matt is. I think he’s in Cairo. I never leave the house. My rooms have no windows.
He rang me in the middle of the night. I shouldn’t have given him my number. He said he couldn’t sleep, he was troubled. Bernardo Bertolucci had died. He wanted to talk, to write something. A few days ago he saw the pyramids and cried for an hour in his hotel room, drinking vodka. He’s needy, selfish, maybe crazy. And I should have never given him my number.
But like all ghosts, I am cursed. And my curse is to make sense of what people tell me. All their ramblings. And try to make sense of it, and write without ever signing my name. He knows this. He exploits me. But he does it with a smile.
“Jean Louis-Trintignant in The Conformist. That’s me.
But am I Brando or Leaud?
Am I before or after the revolution?
When I was in Bologna at Il Cinema Ritrovato two years ago, I watched all the films of Jean Vigo in less than 24 hours – twice! Bertolucci filmed an intro for the open air screening of L’Atalante. He said the first time he watched it in the cinema, he got up, walked towards the screen and genuflected.
When I watched Novecento in my early teens, I thought I had sinned.
It opened with a shot of Pelizza’s The Fourth Estate. I thought it would be some sort of epic chronicling Communism in Italy. I didn’t know Bertolucci, though I had heard about him. Soon after, I was swept away by the ugliness. The eruption of sex, lust and shit on the screen. It was disgusting and wrong. But I couldn’t look away.
It was too exciting.
I did not genuflect. But I worried my parents would walk into the room…
Why do people like Bertolucci? Is it because everyone else says they like him? I don’t think they understand him. Like Pasolini. Most people say they respect him. But when you ask them why they make him sound like William Wordsworth wandering lonely as a cloud that floats on high o’er vales and hills…
Bertolucci was an ugly director. The uglier it got, the better it was. The more dominated the dominated were, the better it was. The more luxurious the settings, the more fun it would be to look underneath the surface…
He looked beyond the image and smeared it. But there was so much tenderness in perversion. (Anarchy, after all, can only exist between people who love and respect each other.) The Last Emperor: married couples put rings on their fingers; lovers put rings on their toes.
The MailOnline writes an article titled: Why Last Tango was the first MeToo movie: He was a genius director, but Bernardo Bertolucci, who’s died at 77, will always be remembered for THAT sex scene its teenage star said ‘felt like rape.’ Novecento gets a lower score than what I got for Maths in my Leaving Cert exams.
THAT sex scene. Ma come si fá…
What was that quote… A tourist is someone who thinks about going home the moment they arrive. Whereas a traveler might not come back at all.
I’m tired. I wonder… Did Bertolucci genuflect watching Leone’s shots of the horses’ asses? Did he really believe in reincarnation? Gli animali sono anime di esseri umani che se la passano veramente male, I say.”
– Matt Micucci