Last Tango in Paris (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1972)

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dda1996a
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Re: Last Tango in Paris (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1972)

#101 Post by dda1996a » Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:06 am

Well considering Storaro also echoed Bertolucci's claims maybe they are telling the truth? I guess we will never really know but maybe, everything except the butter was written in the script?

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hearthesilence
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Re: Last Tango in Paris (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1972)

#102 Post by hearthesilence » Wed Dec 07, 2016 2:47 pm

I'm seeing some people claim that she was actually penetrated, but I'm having trouble finding where this has been stated or accurately suggested by Schneider or anyone else who was actually there. I was always under the impression that what she went through was terrible enough, but there's a grapevine effect going on here that's distorting what actually happened.

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mfunk9786
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Re: Last Tango in Paris (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1972)

#103 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Dec 07, 2016 2:54 pm

Having your anus touched and penetrated are not too far off from one another when you didn't consent to it happening

dda1996a
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Re: Last Tango in Paris (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1972)

#104 Post by dda1996a » Wed Dec 07, 2016 2:57 pm

Well I'm vehemently against it, but there is indeed a difference. But no one ever said, including Schneider, that she was penetrated.

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hearthesilence
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Re: Last Tango in Paris (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1972)

#105 Post by hearthesilence » Wed Dec 07, 2016 3:02 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:Having your anus touched and penetrated are not too far off from one another when you didn't consent to it happening
I didn't see a reliable account that mentioned that kind of touching either - did this come from Schneider? Where was this? There was another post that mentioned that Brando actually applied the butter to Schneider's behind, but I can find no reliable source for this either.

Honestly, I have no interest in digging up what could be pornographic details of how a woman was abused, but imaginations are running out of control, in a way that makes a very significant difference.

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mfunk9786
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Re: Last Tango in Paris (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1972)

#106 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Dec 07, 2016 3:49 pm

The fact remains that someone employed to do a job should be told what is going to happen to their body before they happen - not some of the time, all of the time.

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hearthesilence
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Re: Last Tango in Paris (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1972)

#107 Post by hearthesilence » Wed Dec 07, 2016 3:52 pm

That's for damn sure, would never dispute that.

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Brian C
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Re: Last Tango in Paris (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1972)

#108 Post by Brian C » Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:08 pm

I don't think anyone else is disputing it either.

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Mr Sausage
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Re: Last Tango in Paris (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1972)

#109 Post by Mr Sausage » Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:11 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:The fact remains that someone employed to do a job should be told what is going to happen to their body before they happen - not some of the time, all of the time.
No one here has come close to saying otherwise.

Countering rumour and hysteria with facts and information is precisely how to respond to this.

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hearthesilence
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Re: Last Tango in Paris (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1972)

#110 Post by hearthesilence » Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:15 pm

Brian C wrote:I don't think anyone else is disputing it either.
Obviously, but now my original question's been buried.

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mfunk9786
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Re: Last Tango in Paris (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1972)

#111 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:22 pm

Whether actual penetration took place - listen, I get it - I just think it's a very similar situation being discussed whether or not it's the case. Didn't mean to give you the impression that I thought you were saying it was suddenly made acceptable if penetration didn't occur, but continues to seem beside the point to me

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Mr Sausage
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Re: Last Tango in Paris (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1972)

#112 Post by Mr Sausage » Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:44 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:Whether actual penetration took place - listen, I get it - I just think it's a very similar situation being discussed whether or not it's the case. Didn't mean to give you the impression that I thought you were saying it was suddenly made acceptable if penetration didn't occur, but continues to seem beside the point to me
It's not beside the point if the point is to determine precisely what happened. It may or may not be beside the point if the point is to feel negatively about it.

Considering that people seem to be getting the impression that Maria Schneider was forcibly sodomized against her will on camera, and are broadcasting that impression to a wide audience, it's important to look closely at what those involved actually said, especially Ms. Schneider herself. And I think doing that is important, because we've already had too much these days of people allowing their strong emotional reactions to justify all kinds of abuses to truth and common sense. Saying 'in the end it hardly matters what precisely happened to Ms. Schneider so long as we agree it's bad' is doing her a disservice. I imagine the reason she came out publicly was to set the facts straight about what happened to her and how she felt about that. I don't imagine that she'd be happy if what got around was different from what she said--whether that difference made it sound better or worse.

All of us have already agreed that this is a disturbing and deplorable thing. There's no point in confining discussion to endless reiterations of that. That just turns into hollow purity tests. Discussion has to be opened up elsewhere: to what we are able to know about this situation, to the reaction this is causing and the implications of that, to what this says about the power dynamics of movie-making, or power dynamics in general, etc. We can have positive, valuable discussions there.

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furbicide
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Re: Last Tango in Paris (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1972)

#113 Post by furbicide » Wed Dec 07, 2016 5:52 pm

Agreed with the above. There are most certainly gradations of sexual assault. A court of law would recognise that, so there's no reason why we shouldn't.

I'm surprised no-one (here or in general) has dealt with the question I posted on the previous page of whether the film should be censored or banned in light of this. It's hardly a radical proposal and I suspect some jurisdictions (such as the Australian classification system) might well consider it in future. I think that's a fascinating and troubling line of discussion.

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gcgiles1dollarbin
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Re: Last Tango in Paris (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1972)

#114 Post by gcgiles1dollarbin » Wed Dec 07, 2016 7:26 pm

I would respond that we not only have to preserve the film itself and make it available to the public, but we also need to document and preserve the context carefully and thoroughly, enforcing and clarifying the circumstances surrounding the event. So no: don't ban or censor it. It will serve society in the future as a vivid example of what reprehensible garbage could occur on the male-dominated sacrosanct film set in the name of art. To suppress that would be to deny its existence, which is precisely why we preserve racist content in older films. I think preservation, availability, and careful documentation would also serve as an act of respect towards a woman who has had the courage to accuse these powerful men of behaving criminally, with nothing to gain but ridicule, equivocation, and pshaws from a lot of people--a woman who has died without anyone involved admitting to the accuracy or severity of her accusations.

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Brian C
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Re: Last Tango in Paris (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1972)

#115 Post by Brian C » Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:39 pm

I think any new releases of the film should have text crawling along the bottom of the screen during the butter scene that says "In her later years, Ms. Schneider expressed feelings of pain and humiliation in regards to the methods used by her director and co-star during the filming of this scene. If you are enjoying this scene, it means you are an asshole. Go die in a fire, asshole."

That should make everyone happy - people still get to see the movie, but are properly shamed in the process.

calculus entrophy
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Re: Last Tango in Paris (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1972)

#116 Post by calculus entrophy » Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:48 pm

Perhaps that was the director's implied intent?

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gcgiles1dollarbin
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Re: Last Tango in Paris (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1972)

#117 Post by gcgiles1dollarbin » Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:15 am

Brian C wrote:I think any new releases of the film should have text crawling along the bottom of the screen during the butter scene that says "In her later years, Ms. Schneider expressed feelings of pain and humiliation in regards to the methods used by her director and co-star during the filming of this scene. If you are enjoying this scene, it means you are an asshole. Go die in a fire, asshole."

That should make everyone happy - people still get to see the movie, but are properly shamed in the process.
I think that's too severe and wouldn't make anyone happy, if I can take what you're saying seriously for a moment. Making sure that people have access to the fact that a sexual crime was committed on a film set is not the same thing as ordering them to feel ashamed about it (or making them feel partially responsible simply because they enjoy the movie).

The production of art is complicated and fraught; sometimes shitty things are done in order to create it. Given that, certainly the least we can do is remember those shitty things in perpetuity and honor the people who were treated like garbage by protecting an accurate account. I realize a non-consensual butter assault isn't the Rwandan genocide, and probably not even a legally defined rape, but the denial by key players in this case is strong enough that it risks being forgotten over time without a certain level of exacting precision with regard to the details and conflicting claims. The fact that this is a conspicuously public example of the epidemic tendency to trivialize sexual assault claims makes it all the more important to remember Schneider's accusations beyond her death.
calculus entrophy wrote:Perhaps that was the director's implied intent?
He certainly intended it to be a deeply disturbing scene; "enjoying" it as a viewer would be a remarkable feat of disassociation. The art is successful even if the means to achieve it are cruel and criminal.

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furbicide
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Re: Last Tango in Paris (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1972)

#118 Post by furbicide » Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:05 pm

(sorry to bump this old thread and respond to a two-year-old post, but obviously this is back in the public eye now that Bertolucci has croaked, and I think there is a lot of discussion still to be had about it.)
gcgiles1dollarbin wrote:He certainly intended it to be a deeply disturbing scene; "enjoying" it as a viewer would be a remarkable feat of disassociation. The art is successful even if the means to achieve it are cruel and criminal.
Unfortunately, it seems like people did enjoy it, given the locker-room-style guffawing about butter that accompanied references to the film in decades afterwards. People can have a cruel streak and get off on seeing simulated or even real footage of people being hurt or humiliated. We all know that. And that means that you can't really control how people react to a given scene, or necessarily always fall back on intent as the only relevant factor.

I also wonder about this idea that the film should be preserved purely as a warning about the harms of sexual assault and a male-dominated film industry. I see the logic, but would Schneider have wanted this footage to be used this way? Did she ever consent to it being seen into perpetuity as some kind of educational tool? And, as an ethical principle, shouldn't sexual assault victims be able to have some control over what happens to footage of their assault?

I don't agree with the suggestion (if it's to be taken seriously; I presumed it was a joke) about the film being released with a disclaimer running over the screen. That's silly and just an attempt to didactically tell people what to think (imagine if the only way to see Birth of a Nation was with a watermarked disclaimer saying "this film is racist" – I mean, really!). I support Last Tango in Paris remaining available and fully intact (say, in university libraries and archives) to specialists interested in the history of cinema, because that's important, but I do wonder about the ethics of commercial exhibition (through DVD sales and rep theatre screenings). I'm not saying I have a firm view that it should be banned/censored, but I think it's something that needs to be discussed in earnest, because the likelihood is that any future attempt to screen it in the English-speaking world would be picketed:

https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/mo ... 4yzwp.html

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Brian C
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Re: Last Tango in Paris (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1972)

#119 Post by Brian C » Wed Nov 28, 2018 1:42 am

Well, yes, obviously my suggestion of a disclaimer was a joke. But I also think that, even as a joke, it's a better idea than reserving the film exclusively for "specialists."

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furbicide
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Re: Last Tango in Paris (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1972)

#120 Post by furbicide » Wed Nov 28, 2018 2:50 am

Do you think there are any cases in which a film should be withheld from commercial distribution on ethical grounds? I would have thought we could all imagine at least extreme cases where we’d support such a move (child exploitation, snuff films and the like), so it seems to me that it’s less about principle than where one draws the line.

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swo17
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Re: Last Tango in Paris (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1972)

#121 Post by swo17 » Wed Nov 28, 2018 2:54 am

And who draws the line

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furbicide
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Re: Last Tango in Paris (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1972)

#122 Post by furbicide » Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:28 am

Ideally it’d be government, right (through its organs such as the BBFC and the Australian Classification Board*)? I mean, that’s the only method I’d trust (I have no time for distributors self-censoring; see Devils, The).

*For those of us who don’t live in libertarian wonderlands... ;)

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MichaelB
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Last Tango in Paris (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1972)

#123 Post by MichaelB » Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:53 am

The BBFC isn’t a government body - it’s an independent organisation founded and funded by the film industry to act as a flak-catcher on its behalf.

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furbicide
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Re: Last Tango in Paris (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1972)

#124 Post by furbicide » Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:57 am

Thanks for the clarification, Michael! I wasn’t aware of that (my presumption was that it was more or less equivalent to the Australian/NZ classification boards, which are government departments).

I do think, in any case, that either an industry self-regulating body like the BBFC or a government review board would easily be able to make a call on Last Tango, although in some cases might potentially need provisions added to deal specifically with filmed exploitation. Either way, it’s not fundamentally different from existing processes.

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david hare
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Re: Last Tango in Paris (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1972)

#125 Post by david hare » Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:23 pm

They chose not to in 1972 and the film played uncut here. Until the current round of metoo inspired virtue signalling I have never even heard any substantial commentary about the film and that sequence apart from much boader discussion of Scneider’s part, whether it might have been played by a man,how little or well the Whole role was conceived and written. As for her “a litle raped” claim I think she makes it perfectly clear herself she was not physically assaulted let alone actually sodomized but that she came to regret doing the scene and felt ashamed of doing it and felt it detracted from her career and persona. People who are making their own masturbatory fantasy versions of actual or partial pentration are not serving their own argument. As one who has frequently engaged in anal sex, in both directions, one thing is monumentally clear. You cant be a little bit in you’re either in or you’re out. The sequence was planned evenblocked for the long take and Brando threw in the butter line as a surprise. The shot then proceeded as planned it’s interesting nobody ever talks about the finger fucking dialogue and action at the restaurant table later in the movie or indeed the way all the sex in themovie is depcted as miserable. But, you know who needs facts or context or actual movie making and styles of representation when everyone believes things like the lies put out about Allen by Mad Mia, and this whole appalling lynchmob culture of conflating sexuality to Crime.

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