Emotion and Cognition in the Films of Bernardo Bertolucci
by Silvana Serra
This is the first book to analyse the aesthetics and narrative structures of Bertolucci’s films by using affective and cognitive theory in order to determine the ways in which they engage viewers emotionally and intellectually, as well as to re-establish a sense of proportion with regard to the psychoanalytical interpretations of his work, particularly the omnipresence of the Oedipus complex and the consequent proliferation of perceived father and mother figures. This innovative study analyses Bertolucci’s fiction films from the beginning of his career up to his controversial depiction of the 1968 student protests in The Dreamers. The volume also focuses on several critically neglected works such as La luna, Little Buddha and Stealing Beauty.
Bernardo Bertolucci is one of Italy’s most influential film-makers, director of the iconic Last Tango in Paris and of the Oscar-winning The Last Emperor. This volume is the first substantial academic project on Bertolucci to draw on and engage with English and Italian scholarship on the director. It sheds light on the cinematic techniques that Bertolucci uses to create the fascinating fusion of the emotional and the intellectual for which he is regarded as one of Italy’s most talented directors. The volume also offers a thorough overview of the controversies and critical debates that surrounded Bertolucci’s different phases of filmmaking.