THE SHELTERING SKY, 1990, Warner Bros., 138 min. Dir. Bernardo Bertolucci. Kit (Debra Winger) and Port (John Malkovich) journey to the Sahara as "travelers," not "tourists" - they make the distinction because they see tourists as seeking the comforts of home wherever they go, whereas Kit and Port want adventure. As their vacation progresses, however, it becomes clear that what theyre really in search of is the love they used to have. Stunning landscape photography by Vittorio Storaro and career-best performances by Malkovich and Winger make this a must-see masterpiece.
BESIEGED, 1998, Fine Line Features, 93 min. Bertolucci sets the epic sweep of 1900 and THE LAST EMPEROR aside for this chamber piece in which African refugee Shandurai (Thandie Newton) takes a job working for the reclusive Mr. Kinsky (David Thewlis) in Rome. As employee and employer become attracted to one another, Bertolucci uses their relationship to comment on a wide array of issues having to do with all forms of denial and awakening in both a personal and political sense. [35mm]