Bernardo Bertolucci

I think that Hollywood should also be influenced by directors from Hong Kong. You see how Quentin Tarantino is really the example of how you can develop, and how you can go ahead if you accept the existence of different cinematic cultures. There you have Quentin playing with kung-fu. That’s why the independents are the most interesting.

The problem in Hollywood is that they try to become the only kind of cinema in the world, okay? The imposition everywhere of a unique culture, which is Hollywood culture, and a unique way of life, which is the American way of life. But Hollywood has forgotten that, in the past, what made Hollywood great and what made it go ahead was the fact that Hollywood was fed with, for example, Jewish directors coming from Germany or Austria and enriching Hollywood. In 15, 20 years, Hollywood became imperialistic. Cinema goes ahead when it is marriaged by other culture. Otherwise, it turns on itself.

I think that what I learned then, I didn’t know I was learning. I just knew that I was very privileged to see somebody who was a writer, a great poet, and very smart-faced. Suddenly Pasolini becomes a director, so he has to invent cinema. It was like watching the invention of cinema. But I found out that Pasolini taught me a lot. It was, especially, the kind of respect that he had for reality. He had kind of epiphanies in his movies, like when a moment becomes full of grace, and it is like as if it was the most important moment in the life of a character.

The life before ’68 was very different from the life after ’68. Before ’68, our days were full of authoritarian moments. There were authorities everywhere. In fact, the movement of ’68 was young people against their authorities, children against their parents. And that remained. The most important thing of all, the thing that lasted, was the first feminist movement and the position of women in society. That completely changed and that was very, very important.

What I was talking about was, of course, very autobiographical – ’68 was the moment when all the young people were incredibly excited, because when we were going to sleep, we knew we would wake up not tomorrow, but in the future. There was a sense of future that was the result of the mixture of politics, cinema, music, the first joints. And the movies were a very important part of that cocktail.