This short documentary starts with Bertolucci making the shocking statement that he was tempted to do a third act. Then, he claims, he realized that the political involvement of Italians had changed too much, so he passed. Yeah, either that or he noticed that his beloved Novecento was already a massive, lumbering giant and if he added any more acts it would crush itself with its own weight.
Bertolucci also intended Novecento to be the bridge between the United States and the Soviet Union. Thankfully, his next line is "I was completely nuts." 1900 was hardly shown in either country, as Bertolucci mentions, but then he mentions that it was incredibly successful in Europe, which I didn't know, but never properly released in the U.S., which is certainly true. There were so many problems with the length and content of the film that the release was severely restricted, which some professional film critics argued might have been the best way to go, for the film to go down in history as a "great lost classic" rather than released as it was.
Bertolucci explains that with the film he wanted to remind the Italians that their original culture was from the countryside, because a recent economic boom seemed to be making too many people forget that. But what really sticks with me about this short documentary are the incredibly obvious or downright bizarre statements that Bertolucci makes, such as the first one about wanting to add a third act, or another one that he makes later about the length of the film - "The film had the risk of being very very long, being kind of saga."
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