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Bertolucci banters on Croisette

Riffs on sex and 3D before receiving Palme d'Or

Bernardo Bertolucci was in a playful mood Wednesday at the presser before he received his honorary Palme d’Or.

The 70-year-old Italo auteur fired off quips about being wheelchair-bound and about the special place that 3D and sex have in his cinematic vision.

After thanking Cannes artistic director Thierry Fremaux for the nod, and also for picking “The Conformist” to unspool in a freshly restored version, Bertolucci mused: “At this point, I wonder if some cinematheque, instead of restoring my movies, should restore me,” prompting a big burst of laughter in the room.

As for “Io e Te,” the 3D movie Bertolucci is preparing to shoot, he said he became attracted to the idea of making a 3D movie in an auteur vein after seeing “Avatar.” “I wondered, why is 3D just being used for horror, science fiction, or these kinds of movies?”

The last question was about the role of sexuality in his movies.

Bertolucci said that after he finished “Last Tango in Paris,” he met Nagisa Oshima, who had just made “In the Realm of the Senses.”

“We discovered that there was a scene that we both wrote but never shot: It was a man and a woman after a long time (in bed) saying, ‘Let’s not open the window, let’s not open the door anymore; let’s keep our smell in the room.’

“But we didn’t shoot it because smell is so difficult to convey in cinema. After 3D, we need to start working on smell-o-rama.”

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