This week saw the death of two artists, giants in their respective fields. On Monday, Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci died at age 77. Bertolucci rose to fame with the 1973 release of Last Tango in Paris, a controversial film that was earned an X rating after extensive cuts. One of these scenes depicted a middle aged man (Marlon Brando) raping his young lover (Maria Schneider), using only butter as a lubricant. Neither Bertolucci nor Brando informed Schneider that this was to take place, as Bertolucci wanted her reaction “not as an actress, but as a girl.” After filming wrapped, Schneider refused to speak to Bertolucci, as she “felt humiliated and… a little raped,” by both the director and Brando.
Bertolucci eventually won the Academy Award for Best Director for 1987’s The Last Emperor, the first Western film made with the cooperation of China’s communist government.
On the opposite end of the entertainment spectrum, we mourn the passing of Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of SpongeBob SquarePants. SpongeBob is the longest running tv show in American History, and has brought joy to generations of children around the world. For those unfamiliar with this ubiquitous sea
creature, SpongeBob is an enthusiastic, cheerful fry cook who lives in a pineapple under the sea. The show follows SpongeBob and his friends’ adventures and mishaps.
You can find Bertolucci films like The Last Emperor (DVD 4098) and Last Tango in Paris (DVD 4560) in our collection. We also have the first three seasons of SpongeBob SquarePants (DVD 14168, 14169, and 14170). You should definitely check out the second season, which features my favorite episode—“Band Geeks.”