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Remembering the filmmaking careers of late directors Nic Roeg and Bernardo Bertolucci




Bernardo Bertolucci on stage during the Closing Ceremony at the 70th Venice International Film Festival in 2013.
Bernardo Bertolucci on stage during the Closing Ceremony at the 70th Venice International Film Festival in 2013.
Ian Gavan/Getty Images

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Earlier this week, acclaimed directors Nicolas Roeg and Bernardo Bertolucci passed away.

Nicolas Roeg, acclaimed British director who climbed his way through the filmmaking ranks, has died at the age of 90 last Friday, the cause and location were not given.He was born on Aug. 15, 1928, in London and did not attend film school, but rather worked his way up in the film industry working as a camera operator and then cinematographer on films such as “Fahrenheit 451” and “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”. He would later go on to direct his first film “Performance” starring Mick Jagger in 1970. Roeg would continue to direct singers turned actors such as David Bowie in 1976’s “The Man Who Fell to Earth”, and Art Garfunkel in 1980’s “Bad Timing”.

Bernardo Bertolucci, the sensual and stylistic Italian director, died on Monday at his home in Rome at the age of 77. Bertolucci films were known for their  revolutionary spirit, especially the way they addressed how the world had begun to socially shift. Arguably one of Bertolucci’s most successful films is 1987’s “The Last Emperor” which won all nine Academy Awards for which it was nominated, including best picture and best director. However, Bertolucci’s best-known and most controversial film was 1972’s “Last Tango in Paris”, which some praised as pushing the boundaries of sexual representation, while others denounced it as misogynistic or pornographic.  Bertolucci’s career spanned more than five decades with his first film “The Grim Reaper,” which had its premiere at the Venice Film Festival, released in 1962 to his last film in 2012 "Me and You", which he directed from a wheelchair due to his poor health and back problems.

Guests:

Lael Loewenstein, KPCC film critic; she tweets @LAELLO

Wade Major, film critic for KPCC and CineGods.com

Charles Solomon, film critic for KPCC, Animation Scoop and Animation Magazine