<i>The Last Emperor.</i> China/Italy/Great Britain/France. Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci
  • The Last Emperor

    1987. China/Italy/Great Britain/France. Bernardo Bertolucci. 163 min.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011, 4:30 p.m.

Theater 1 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 1), T1

  • The Last Emperor

    1987. China/Italy/Great Britain/France. Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. With John Lone, Joan Chen, Peter O’Toole. It has been suggested that The Last Emperor made Bertolucci the new Marco Polo, as his film contributed to a renewed cultural interest in China in the late 1980s. The winner of nine Oscars (including Best Picture), it is considered one of the director’s near-perfect films. Through a series of flash-forwards and flashbacks, Bertolucci relates the intriguing life of Pu Yi, China’s last emperor, from his lofty birth and brief reign in the Forbidden City through his abdication, decline, and exploitation by the Japanese during World War II, and finally to his obscure existence as a mere peasant worker in the People’s Republic. Cinematographic transitions from opulent color to drab and dreary tones add metaphorical weight to the film’s exploration of Pu Yi’s decline, while Ryuichi Sakamoto’s serene score (with contributions by David Byrne and Cong Su) lends added pathos. 163 min.

In the Film exhibition Bernardo Bertolucci

Ticketing policies for film screenings

Sign up for now to receive MoMA's biweekly Film E-News