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Dramas > Last Tango In Paris

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message 1: by Baxter (last edited Feb 03, 2011 05:56PM) (new)

Baxter (julietrocksmysocks) | 589 comments I'm not exactly sure where to put this movie, but I figure drama is a safe category. I don't have a fancy put together review at the moment, but I really want to put down some thoughts I had about the movie, even if doesn't make much sense.

What really impressed me about the movie was that plot wise it was fairly simple, if somebody asked me to describe the story, I could easily do so in no time at all. But emotionally it was like a labyrinth. The scene where Paul walked away from the girl and sat down to cry silently was the moment I really realised there was something more in the movie. It was a quiet and small moment, but it hit like a ton of bricks.

Every review I've seen of the movie praises the heck out of Marlon Brando's performance, and I have to totally agree. It was brilliant. When he insulted the body of his dead wife only to progressively break down...stunning. I also think that the girl (Maria Schneider) did a very good job as well, and was unfairly pushed to the side.

While watching it I kind of hated the music (the sax just bothered me), and while I still don't love it, after thinking for a while, the music has stuck with me. I think the problem was simply that I was expecting something a bit different. More minimal than dramatic.

Another interesting little bit was how minor characters were handled. The apartment lady who was crazy (and I think blind), the boyfriend who thought of life as a movie, the mother who just seemed to be constantly terrified, they all felt strange and almost surreal to me, which was in sharp contrast to the very realistic main characters. Maybe that was just me, though.

So what does everybody think about the movie? I'd love some insight into the film, or opinions on it in general.


message 2: by D. (new)

D. Turner (frameofmind12) | 59 comments What a timely review.
I haven’t seen the movie in awhile but Maria Schneider died today.


message 3: by Baxter (new)

Baxter (julietrocksmysocks) | 589 comments Seriously? Dang, I had no idea. Sad to hear she's gone, I thought she was fantastic and really look forward to watching her in other things.


message 4: by Steve (new)

Steve | 957 comments Saw about her death too. Some interesting quotes from her in her IMDB profile. I don't know much about the backstory:

"When I read Last Tango In Paris, I didn't see anything that worried me. I was 20. I didn't want to be a star, much less a scandalous actress - simply to be in cinema. Later, I realized I'd been completely manipulated by Bertolucci and Brando."

"[Bernardo] Bertolucci is more of a gangster than a movie director. He's one of my enemies."


message 5: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10781 comments hey baxter,

if you liked maria schnieder in this, check her out with nicholson in antonioni's "the passenger" - sorry to hear she passed away - she couldn't have been that old.

i think the film is ok, it's a quiet meditation on age and the futility of life, which is normally not my POV. yeah, the sleazy saxophone music is intentional, i don't think you're supposed to like it any more than you would "enjoy" all the ennui and downward spiral soul searching.

i have to say, of all the celebrated italian directors, bertolucci is my least favorite. i tried to go back and watch the conformist a few months ago and found it to be dreadful. 1900 is probably his best film, there's a great story there.


message 6: by Baxter (new)

Baxter (julietrocksmysocks) | 589 comments Phillip wrote: "hey baxter,

if you liked maria schnieder in this, check her out with nicholson in antonioni's "the passenger" - sorry to hear she passed away - she couldn't have been that old.

i think the film ..."


Ah, thanks for the recommendation. I'll have to agree with you about the movie. I recognize some brilliance and I do respect it, but at the end of the day it just didn't jive with me like I had hoped it would.


message 7: by Cindy (last edited Feb 23, 2011 09:41PM) (new)

Cindy (Webalina) | 583 comments I've always avoided this film for two reasons --

1) I'm not comfortable with sex scenes in film, and I'm under the impression that these are pretty graphic. This is especially a problem because of the following...
2) My dad resembles Marlon Brando a great deal...at least up until the time Brando went all Goodyear Blimp. That's not just my opinion..other people have commented on it. That was a little more than I was psychologically ready to handle.

But Baxter's review has put the film in a different light for me. I wasn't really aware that there was much of a story along with the sex. I may have to check it out now. That's why I love this board! :)


message 8: by Maryanne (new)

Maryanne Raphael (maryanneraphael) | 250 comments I remember how I had very mixed feelings about Last Tango in Paris. I found it interesting with excellent acting but the sex scenes did shock me. Maryanne RAPHAEL


message 9: by Geoffrey (new)

Geoffrey | 209 comments It would be difficult not to be shocked by the sex scene.

Those scenes serve as a counterpoint to the tango scene in which Brando and Schneider mock the effete courtship rites of a bygone era. This is the essential significance of the movie in that in contemporary life, the display of peacock feathers, the coquettishness of the demure, the long and drawn out ritual of courtship have succumbed to the dustpin of cultural history. What is left is the tango of a past era, no longer a form of courtship in its own right, but merely a social habit devoid of meaning, for public display and competion only, void of passion.

At the other extreme is the vacuous overly mawkish romanticism of the boyfriend who knows nothing of the Schneider character. He appeals to her egotism to romance her, but is bereft of any real emotion. The third point on this triangle of modern love is outlined so well in the movie`s plot itself, raw, unadulterated, carnality, void of sentiment, emotion, care or understanding. Theirs is only a great F_ _ K.

This is a story of the disjointed mechanism of modern love in which the three points come together in a single story without profoundly touching the three principal characters. This lack of holistic synthesis is the reason she shoots him at the end. It`s not that the sex was so raw that the Scneider character kills Brando`s character but that he transgresses the separation of these three modes of loving.


message 10: by Geoffrey (last edited Mar 08, 2011 10:00AM) (new)

Geoffrey | 209 comments And yes, this is one of the most brilliant movies I have ever seen. Bertolluci is a true genius. Schneider is an ingrate. Too bad she wasn`t a wiser woman, she would have realized that acting is an experience that developes your maturity. Had she learned something from this film other than hatred for Brando and Bertolucci, she would have grown as an actress. Tis a shame.


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