Bernardo Bertolucci was presented with the new Palme d'Honneur, a lifetime achievement award, by Festival President Gilles Jacob at Cannes on Wednesday.
At a young age of 21, Bertolucci debuted his first film, La commare secca The Grim Reaper (1962). The film is about a murdered prostitute and the suspects the police interrogate.
Bertolucci won recognition for his second film, Before the Revolution, which was nominated for best screenplay at the Academy Awards, but did not win.
Though he was nominated for an Academy Award once again in 1972, for Last Tango in Paris, starring Marlon Brando, it was not until 1987 that he took home the prestigious award.
His film The Last Emperor was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including best director. The film garnered all nine awards. Though this was admirable in itself, what also makes that night rare was his fellow nominees for best director were all non-Americans, a unique moment in history.
This week Bertolucci met with the press at Cannes where he told them, [Making The Last Emperor] was the most amazing experience of my life. I didn't know China and I saw it changing before my very eyes. On the streets of Beijing, I saw the smiles slowly forming on people's faces.
The Italian filmmaker, who is known for his vibrant, colorful, and sensual films, is set to begin work on the 3-D Io e Te Me and You. The film is based on an Italian novelist's book about a 14-year-old boy who, along with his 25-year-old sister, hide from the world in their families basement.
Bertolucci, who believes 3-D films should not be limited to only sci-fi and horror films, told the media at Cannes that the film Avatar inspired him to create a 3-D film.
I've seen Avatar and am fascinated by 3D. Why should it be restricted to science-fiction? Ingmar Bergman's Persona (1966) would have been stunning in 3D!