DIFF Daily 2010

Bertolucci announces New Project

Dec 19,2010 - 06:38 PM

ROME – Helmer Bernardo Bertolucci is preparing to return behind camera with an intimate coming-of-age drama based on best-selling short novel ‘Io e Te’ by hot Italo author Niccolò Ammaniti, who will co-pen.

Bertolucci, currently being honoured by the Museum of Modern Art with a high-profile retro, has announced the project to Italian media in New York.

Ammaniti, in Rome, has confirmed they will work in tandem on the screenplay.

‘Io e Te,’ which is published by Einaudi in Italy, is largely set in a Rome basement where an introverted adolescent boy hides out, having told his parents he has instead gone on a ski trip. In this hideout the boy gets an unexpected visit by an older half-sister strung out on heroin whom he barely knows but who needs his help.

‘It's a story that weaves dreams and reality, and represents growth and an entry into maturity,’ Bertolucci told Corriere della Sera.

‘It has given me a great desire to get back to work very soon,’ he added.

This new project would mark Bertolucci's next feature after his Paris-set 1968-themed drama ‘The Dreamers,’ released in 2003.

The 70-year-old maestro has been keeping a low profile since then due to back trouble caused by a herniated disc.

Pic, still in early development stages has no producer confirmed to be on board, as yet. Bertolucci's regular producer, Jeremy Thomas, is on holiday and could not be immediately reached.

Bertolucci has confirmed that plans for his previously announced project, a long-gestating costumer centered on the emotionally turbulent life of 16th-century Italo musician and murderer Gesualdo da Venosa, have been shelved.

This new pic would be more modestly budgeted, similar in scale to his Rome-set chamber drama ‘Besieged,’ released in 1998.

Bertolucci's take on Ammaniti's ‘Io e Te’ would mark the fifth big-screen adaptation of a tome by the popular Italian scribe. Previous ones include ‘I'm Not Scared’ and ‘As God Commands,’ both helmed by Gabriele Salvatores.

Diana Lodderhose in London contributed to this report.

By Nick Vivarelli

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