VenueWalter Reade Theater
Alec Baldwin and James Toback in person!
Back when movies still had the power to shock, Last Tango in Paris was an instant cause célèbre. Many denounced it as merely a dirty movie masquerading as art, while In The New Yorker, Pauline Kael called it “a breakthrough,” and thought that the night Bertolucci’s film closed the 10th New York Film Festival “should become a landmark in movie history comparable to…the night Le sacre du printemps was first performed…. There was no riot, and no one threw anything at the screen but Tango has the same kind of hypnotic excitement as the Sacre, the same primitive force, and the same thrusting, jabbing eroticism.” In his tour-de-force, Oscar-nominated performance, Marlon Brando perfectly incarnates a man in his mid-40s, still grieving over his wife’s recent suicide, who seduces and is seduced by a young girl (Maria Schneider) he meets in an empty apartment. In their illusory Eden, the couple plays at insulated, wholly physical and anonymous romance. Meanwhile, Schneider’s filmmaker fiancé Jean-Pierre Léaud tries to penetrate his girl's mysteries by casting her in a cinéma-vérité movie. Last Tango's take on the dynamic of death, love and sex is alternately moving, funny, embarrassing, perhaps even transcendent.