Tickets for all four Bertolucci films are still available directly at the Castro Theatre (429 Castro Street). See you at the cinema!



BERTOLUCCI - A Film Series

October 18, 2014

Castro Theatre, San Francisco



12:30pm - The Conformist (111 mins.)

3:00pm - The Sheltering Sky (137 mins.)

6:00pm - The Last Emperor 3D (163 mins.)

8:30pm - Party: Inside the Forbidden City

9:30pm - Last Tango in Paris (128 mins.)


Order Tickets and Passes


Following the success of the 2013 film series PASOLINI, we are presenting four of the most successful and loved works by legendary Italian film director Bernardo Bertolucci, engaging the audience in a one-day pursuit of a dream that arose from a prolific cinematic career spanning over fifty years. Special guests to be announced.

Celebrated actress and filmmaker Joan Chen will be in attendance at THE LAST EMPEROR 3D.

Presented by Istituto Luce-Cinecittà, Rome and the Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco. The exhibition is organized by: Program Director Amelia Antonucci, Cinema Italia San Francisco; Camilla Cormanni and Paola Ruggiero of Istituto Luce-Cinecittà. Presented in association with the Ministry of Culture of Italy, under the auspices of the Consul General of Italy in San Francisco. 



Sat. October 18, 2014 at 12:30pm
Buy Tickets - $12.00 

(111 mins. 1970 – Italy, France, West Germany – in Italian with English subtitles)

Digital cinema (DCP) projection

Northern California Premiere of New Restoration

With The Conformist, Bertolucci was anything but, distinguishing himself with a sumptuous masterpiece that delves into the clash between repressed guilt and political acquiescence. The titular “conformist,” Marcello Clerici is a suave intellectual who has risen through the ranks of Mussolini’s fascist government. A long sublimated molestation has driven him to seek “the impression of normalcy,” so he forfeits all moral value in the pursuit of anonymity. When he is sent to Paris to organize the assassination of his former mentor, an antifascist professor, Clerici must confront his tortured past. Bertolucci’s chilling study of the fascist personality is told through flashbacks refracting as though through a faceted gemstone. The accumulating story is re-collected via an exacting design of Art Deco excess, disorienting scale, and uncanny lighting. Clerici (portrayed by Jean-Louis Trintignant with unnerving control) is captive to an interior inertia reflected by these strident surroundings. Throughout his films, Bertolucci has perused the interplay of moral convention and psychological failing. The Conformist breaks with the norm in its lavish condemnation of follow-the-leader. —Steve Seid, Pacific Film Archive, UC Berkeley

View new U.S. trailer

Written by Bernardo Bertolucci, based on the novel by Alberto Moravia. Photographed by Vittorio Storaro. Starring Jean-Louis Trintignant, Stefania Sandrelli, Dominique Sanda, Pierre Clémenti. Print Source:  Istituto Luce- Cinecittá S.r.L. Bertolucci US. Permission: Paramount Pictures.

Print Source:  Kino Lorber, New York City 




Sat. October 18, 2014 at 3:00pm

Buy Tickets - $12.00 

(137 mins. 1990 – Italy, UK – in English)

35mm film projection

Based on the acclaimed novel by Paul Bowles, The Sheltering Sky stars John Malkovich  and Debra Winger as a sophisticated couple, married for ten years, who have come to the African desert in search of renewal and personal inspiration.

 “The Sheltering Sky is a long, beautifully modulated cry of despair. It's the sort of dark, romantic movie that only Mr. Bertolucci. The time is shortly after the end of World War II, when the civilized world is still trying to rediscover the reassuring boundaries of commonplace routine. The film somehow manages to find cinema equivalents to the Bowles prose in which exterior and inner landscapes are evoked with the same fine clarity of expression.….Like the novel, which is piercing and specific even when it is describing emotional inertia, the movie makes the unhappy love story of Port and Kit seem vital, and inseparable from the terrain in which it all comes to an end. "The Sheltering Sky" is stunning to look at (Vittorio Storaro was the cameraman), but it is never simply picturesque. It mesmerizes.”

 –Vincent Canby, The New York Times, December 12, 1990


View trailer


Written by Mark Peploe and Bernardo Bertolucci, based on the novel by Paul Bowles. Photographed by Vittorio Storaro. Starring Debra Winger and John Malkovich. Print Source: Istituto Luce-Cinecittá S.r.L. World Sales: HanWay Film, London




Sat. October 18, 2014 at 6:00pm
Buy Tickets (Film) $15.00, (Film+Party) $25.00 

(163 mins. – 1987 – China, Italy, UK, France – in English)

3D digital cinema (DCP) projection

Exclusive Northern California Premiere of New Version

In Person: Actress Joan Chen 

The new 4k restoration and 3D conversion of nine time Academy Award-winning film The Last Emperor from legendary director Bernardo Bertolucci. 2013 marked the 25th anniversary of the first international release of this masterpiece in 1987. A reel of the film was sent to be screened at the Cannes Opening Ceremony in 1987 as a gift from Bertolucci. A film of unsurpassed splendour, The Last Emperor was beautifully shot with attention to the smallest detail in the production design, costume and cinematography, and the 4K 3D conversion allows an audience to really appreciate the magnificence of this cinematic experience. The sound has also been remastered from the original 6-track to make the most of Ryuichi Sakamoto’s exquisite score. The film follows the life of Emperor Pu Yi, who took the throne at age three in 1908 before witnessing decades of cultural and political upheaval, within and without the walls of the Forbidden City. Recreating Ching dynasty China with astonishing detail and craftsmanship by cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, production designer Ferdinando Scarfiotti and costume designer James Acheson, The Last Emperor is also an intimate character study of one man reconciling personal responsibility and political legacy. Winner of 9 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, 3 BAFTAs including Best Picture and 4 Golden Globes including Best Director.


"It probably is unforgivably bourgeois to admire a film because of its locations, but in the case of "The Last Emperor" the narrative cannot be separated from the awesome presence of the Forbidden City, and from Bertolucci's astonishing use of locations, authentic costumes and thousands of extras to create the everyday reality of this strange little boy." –Roger Ebert, December 9, 1987

View the trailer for the original 2D version

Written by Bernardo Bertolucci and Mark Peploe. Photographed by Vittorio Storaro. Starring John Lone, Joan Chen, Peter O'Toole, Ying Ruocheng, Victor Wong, Dennis Dun, Wu Jun Mei, Maggie Han, Ric Young, Jade Go, Cary Hiroyuki Tagawa and Ryuichi Sakamoto. Print Source and World Sales: HanWay Film, London.



The special party “Inside the Forbidden City” in the Castro Theatre’s mezzanine will take place following the screening of “The Last Emperor,” featuring Italian and Chinese cuisines and drinks. Tickets are $15.00 each.





Sat. October 18, 2014 at 9:30pm
Buy Tickets - $12.00 

(128 mins. – 1976 – France, Italy – in English and French with English subtitles)
35 mm film projection

In Bernardo Bertolucci's art-house classic, Marlon Brando delivers one of his characteristically idiosyncratic performances as Paul, a middle-aged American in "emotional exile" who comes to Paris when his estranged wife commits suicide. Chancing to meet young Frenchwoman Jeanne (Maria Schneider), Paul enters into a sadomasochistic, carnal relationship with her, indirectly attacking the hypocrisy all around him through his raw, outrageous sexual behavior. Paul also hopes to purge himself of his own feelings of guilt, brilliantly (and profanely) articulated in a largely ad-libbed monologue at his wife's coffin. If the sexual content in Last Tango is uncomfortably explicit (once seen, the infamous "butter scene" is never forgotten), the combination of Brando's acting, Bertolucci's direction, Vittorio Storaro's cinematography, and Gato Barbieri's music is unbeatable, creating one of the classic European art movies of the 1970s, albeit one that is not for all viewers.

Written by Bernardo Bertolucci and Franco Arcalli. Photographed by Vittorio Storaro. Starring Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider. Print Source: Istituto Luce-Cinecittá S.r.L. Permission: Park Circus


The son of poet and film critic Attilio Bertolucci, Bernardo Bertolucci was born on March 16, 1940 in Parma. Surrounded by an atmosphere of comfort and intellectualism, Bertolucci began making films as a teenager, with two short 16 mm films about children, and started his film career as an assistant director to Pier Paolo Pasolini. In 1962, soon after Pasolini's Accattone, he embarked on his own independent film study. In his impressive body of work, Bertolucci has explored with insatiable curiosity the world around us and the ever evolving language of film, discovering and bringing to our attention what is most vital and beautiful. “I am looking for a spectator capable of abandoning himself to the unconscious work developed by the film and who is able to participate in it,” Bertolucci once said. We are proud to present a unique selection of four of Bertolucci’s films, in new 35mm prints and the exclusive Northern California Premiere of the newly-restored 3D version of the nine-time Academy Award-winning masterpiece, The Last Emperor, converted by the international visual effects company, Prime Focus World. 


In commemoration of the film screenings, Colpa has made a limited-edition poster for each film. Each poster is an edition of 50 and will be available exclusively at the event. 



Amelia Antonucci, Program Director

Sophoan Sorn, Festival Advisor

Daniela Cilia, Development Coordinator 

Sarah Flores, Box Office Manager

Luca Antonucci, Visual Campaign Designer

Patrick Sullivan, Operations Associate


Larsen & Associates, Publicity



Presented by Istituto Luce-Cinecittà, Rome and the Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco. The exhibition is organized by: Program Director Amelia Antonucci, Cinema Italia San Francisco; Camilla Cormanni and Paola Ruggiero of Istituto Luce-Cinecittà. Presented in association with the Ministry of Culture of Italy, under the auspices of the Consul General of Italy in San Francisco.



For details on becoming a sponsor or community partner, click here to download the PDF of the sponsorship package deck.

Movie Mezzanine

Indieplex by Ron Merk

Bay Area Reporter by David Lamble

San Francisco Examiner by Bonnie Steiger

San Francisco Chronicle by Hugh Hart

San Francisco Examiner by Ed Moy 

Italo Americano

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Contact: Amelia Antonucci - Program Director -


Volunteer Opportunities: For more information, email 


Press & Media Inquiries: Contact Larsen Associates at or (415) 957-1205



 PASOLINI - September 14-15, 2013