• Wheelchair-bound Bertolucci says filming is ‘like therapy’


    ROME, Oct 18, 2012 (AFP) – Italian filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci, the man behind “Last Tango in Paris” and “The Last Emperor”, said on Thursday that filming was “like therapy” after the release of his first film in a decade.

    The director, who has been in a wheelchair after some unexplained health problems, said he had “started filming again but also started living again”.

    His film “Io e Te” (“Me and You”), a drama film about a teenage boy and his drug addict stepsister, was premiered at the Cannes film festival this year.

    “I fear you will have more films of mine soon,” the 71-year-old said.

    “Io e Te” will go on general release initially in Italy next week. The film is based on a short novel by acclaimed Italian writer Niccolo Ammaniti.

    Bertolucci’s last film “The Dreamers”, an erotic drama set in Paris in the 1960s starring Michael Pitt and Eva Green, was released in 2003.

    Bertolucci also spoke about the difficulties for wheelchair users in the Italian capital, saying Rome had become “a forbidden city” for him.

    “I cannot go around with an electric wheelchair,” he said, blaming pavements that are badly maintained and often taken up by illegally parked cars.

    He also said he once had to be physically carried by some passers-by to go up to the mayor’s office in Rome to attend a marriage.

    “When we asked us if there was a ramp, they looked at us like we were aliens,” said Bertolucci, describing the experience as “humiliating”.

    Bertolucci recently sent an open letter to Rome mayor Gianni Alemanno about the problems.

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