Last Tango In Paris Controversy: Bernardo Bertolucci’s “Last Tango in Paris,” starring Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider, is a disturbing sexual film about loss and isolation. Paul, a middle-aged widower, and Jeanne, a young girl, have a sexual relationship that is both intense and distant, even though they do not know one another’s names.
Acting legend Brando was forty-eight when filming with the nineteen-year-old rookie Schneider in what would become her most notorious part. The controversial sequence in “Last Tango in Paris” is just one example of the esoteric film’s frequent shifts between lengthy soliloquies and immoral moments.
In her New Yorker review, Pauline Kael praised Bertolucci for “achieving realism with the fear of genuine experience still alive on the screen.” However, the filmmaker went too far with this realism, portraying a terrible real-life meeting that would distress and embarrass one of his stars.
There Was Sexually Explicit Material
The original MPAA classification for “Last Tango in Paris” was “X,” which was essentially a death sentence for the film’s distribution. Several nations outlawed the film, including Bertolucci’s native Italy, where he faced obscenity charges.
A particularly gruesome rape scene was the focus of most of the criticism. Despite his deep feelings for Jeanne, Paul is frequently nasty and forceful, making for a complicated sexual connection. Paul anally rapes Jeanne using butter as a lubricant in the notorious and divisive scene.
Images of Paul’s icy, distant body on top of Jeanne’s exposed lower body are intercut with shots of her startled face from excruciatingly close range. Paul’s hands are on Jeanne’s head, and his rage is boiling up as she screams hysterically. This is an uncomfortable time.
Maria Schneider Felt Violated During Filming
Schneider told the Daily Mail in 2007 that Brando came up with the idea to use butter as a lubricant during the rape at the last minute. She wanted to vent her frustrations but was too intimidated to challenge the more seasoned directors.
She afterward realized her mistake and said, “I should have phoned my agent or had my lawyer come to the set because you can’t force someone to do something that isn’t in the script.”
Bertolucci and Brando used her youth and inexperience to their advantage, coercing her into acting out a sexually violent scenario on the spot. Schneider continues to describe her awful ordeal:
“Marlon said to me: ‘Maria, don’t worry, it’s just a movie,’ but during the scene, even though what Marlon was doing wasn’t real, I was crying real tears. I felt humiliated and to be honest, I felt a little raped, both by Marlon and by Bertolucci. After the scene, Marlon didn’t console me or apologize. Thankfully, there was just one take.”
Not only was Schneider shocked by the backlash to the film’s controversial material, but she was also taken aback by how many viewers rejected her as a serious actress in favor of seeing her as a sexual object. For this reason, Schneider stopped performing in any more naked scenes. Please tell your friends about this if you think it’s interesting. Go to Newswatchlist.com for the latest updates and news about celebrities.