Last week I previewed some of the high profile documentaries playing this year’s BFI London Film Festival in October. In terms of the festival, it’s a really remarkable year for factual films: in total there are 42 documentary features on offer, 12 of which are in competition for the Grierson Award.
Having previewed some of the more gala films in that article, I am also attempting to bring some of the more under-the-radar films to your attention in the coming weeks. I previously looked at Jodorowsky’s Dune, a potential cult treat that has seen some favourable reviews, and now I am turning my attention to Bertolucci on Bertolucci, which, for reasons I do not comprehend, is appearing in the ‘Love’ strand of this year’s festival.
One tongue-in-cheek interpretation of this strange bit of programming is to suggest that famous Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci’s love is inward-facing. Much of the film features interviews with the director himself – at varying stages of his career – and reviews note that he is a man who deeply self-reflects on both his career and the filmic work of others.
While I would not expect the film, which is comprised of archive footage and interviews, to be anything other than a standard profile, praise is already being aimed at directors Luca Guadagnino and Walter Fasano for their storytelling.
Bertolucci was the Jury President at the recently ended 70th Venice Film Festival; now seems like a perfection moment to reflect on the great filmmaker.