Cinema: An Epic Century

1900

Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci

Screenplay by Bernardo Bertolucci, Franco Arcalli and Giuseppe Bertolucci

This $8 million epic, Bertolucci's first effort since Last Tango in Paris, is a fabulous wreck. Abundantly flawed, maddeningly simpleminded, 1900 nonetheless possesses more brute poetic force than any other film since Coppola's similarly operatic Godfather II. If Bertolucci irritates as much as he dazzles, he never bores: his extravagant failure has greater staying power than most other directors' triumphs.

Happily, American moviegoers will soon get an opportunity to judge 1900 for themselves. For many months the film's future has...

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