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Last Tango in Paris

Year: 1972
Production Co: Les Productions Artistes Associés
Director: Bernardo Bertolucci
Writer: Bernardo Bertolucci
Cast: Marlon Brando, Maria Schneider
No, it's not all about butter-assisted anal rape. What it's about is the perfect vehicle for Brando at the time. No longer the teen heart-throb at the behest of the studios and some years away from his career as the world's most eccentric but best actor, he solidified the reputation Apocalypse Now and The Godfather would galvanise perfectly here.

As such it's only interesting to watch because of the transformation Brando's making of his talent and career, not for any sort of story.

Bertolucci is more interested in shagging than Ron Jeremy. His latest film as I write this - Dreamers - is about three film buffs in Paris during the 1968 riots who spend their days talking about movies and rooting.

And Tango is no different here. When a young Parisienne woman (Schneider) goes to rent a flat and finds a middle aged American (Brando) already in it they decide to share it purely to hump each other in not even slightly erotic and frequently disturbing ways.

At the man's insistence, they'll meet only for sex and not learn a thing about each other, related somehow to his wanting to close his heart off following the death of his wife.

The point seems to be that they fall in love despite these wishes that it all be left loose and uncomplicated, so maybe Bertolucci is commenting on the heart having to intertwine when the flesh does, or maybe he's just the world's most revered and respected porn director masquerading as an auteur.

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