Bernardo Bertolucci, along with co-scenarist Gianni Amico, used Dostoievski's 1846, pre-imprisonment novella The Double: A Petersburg Poem, which they moved to Italy and updated to the pro-Vietcong student-protest present,
The American artist couple Port and Kit Moresby travels aimless through Africa, searching for new experiences that could give new sense to their relationship. But the flight to distant regions leads both only deeper into despair.Written by
Thomas Manhardt <Thomas.Manhardt@wu-wien.ac.at>
The movie's source novel of the same name by Paul Bowles is ranked at the No. #97 spot at The Modern Library's Top "100 Best of the Century" list. See more »
The crew is reflected in the mirror when Kit gets out of bed alone. See more »
Well, terra firma.
We're probably the first tourists they've had since the war.
Tunner, we're not tourists. We're travelers.
Oh. What's the difference?
A tourist is someone who thinks about going home the moment they arrive, Tunner.
Whereas a traveler might not come back at all.
You mean *I'm* a tourist.
Yes, Tunner. And I'm half and half.
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An unequivocally beautiful movie that shouldn't be faulted for not quite living up to the novel, but I can't help it
The Sheltering Sky is frankly a psychological masterpiece and one of the densest books I've ever read, but it has a fairly simple plot. The film adequately reenacts the plot. but can't really convey what it is that makes the novel so exquisite.
That's not to say Bertolucci and his contributors, especially cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, don't deserve a lot of credit for their work. This should probably be accepted as the industry standard for filming the scenery of North Africa. The title alone should tell you you're in for rich cinematography and in my opinion this is absolutely necessary to the telling of the story, but the scenery does tend to overwhelm the story at times.
Malkovich and Winger both give credible performances, but they seemed like strangers to me compared to the characters in the novel. Likewise the casting of the Lyles was excellent, but their role seemed abbreviated. I found Paul Bowles himself to be a captivating screen presence, though he's only on screen briefly as the narrator.
Ultimately the film is worth watching but constantly reminded me of the discrepancy between the two media, which isn't exactly an endearing quality.
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