December 8, 2016

Steadicam Inventor's Key to Creativity & 'Last Tango' Rape Controversy [PODCAST]

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In this episode of Indie Film Weekly, we hear from one of the greatest influencers of modern cinema, Steadicam inventor Garrett Brown, and give our take on how consent issues might affect your filmmaking.

Co-hosts Jon Fusco, Emily Buder, Charles Haine, and yours truly, Liz Nord also discuss Sundance 2017’s full lineup and the new movie app that has J.J. Abrams, Steven Spielberg, and Tyler Perry on board. As always, the show also brings news you can use about gear, upcoming grant and festival deadlines, this week’s indie film releases, our Ask No Film School segment, and other notable things you might have missed while you were busy making films.

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This episode of Indie Film Weekly was produced and edited by Jon Fusco.

Your Comment


The Last Tango in Paris was made was the during the Wild West era of the Sexual Revolution, where unwanted sexual advances were considered as the unpleasant consequences of new found freedoms. It wasn't until the 1990's that these types of acts were considered not only beyond the pale, but also criminal.

It's very difficult for those born after the influence of Third Wave feminism to understand the way the world was in a previous era. Applying todays values on to behaviors of a prior era, even those of recent history are not an accurate metric. People accepted that a lot of bad stuff came along with sexual liberation (and personal freedom in general) and they were better able to handle those downsides than they are now.

December 8, 2016 at 10:13AM, Edited December 8, 10:13AM

Marc B
Shooter & Editor

“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,” she said. “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.”

“I should have called 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, but at the time, I didn’t know that.”

It doesn't sound to me like she was 'better able to handle those downsides' than someone would now. The lack of public understanding or of public discourse doesn't give victims additional context, quite the opposite it creates a veil of shame. One might attempt the argument that the mores of the time in some way explain the actions of the perpetrator of a crime (you are right of course that our collective views of right and wrong and indeed our laws have shifted over time) but that doesn't help the victims to victims to make sense of their abuse. In this case, I don't think viewing these actions through the lens of the past excuses anything.

The director was quoted as saying "I wanted her to react humiliated.” Presumably he offered this up as evidence of his own brilliance, that he was daring enough to use such bold methods. It was sickening to then, and it's sickening now.

It's hard to know what to do with people we laud for their talent, who do or say, or support horrendous things, the Woody Allens the, Michael Jacksons, the Leni Riefenstahls....the Bernardo Bertoluccis of the world. We love their work, we think they're geniuses and yet, some part of them is deplorable. Some of us can compartmentalize, some of us can't, but one thing we don't have to do is to excuse this behavior. Because this kind of thing continues to this day, and that is inexcusable.

December 8, 2016 at 12:36PM

scott pommier

Well, you can't compare this SIMULATED rape scene from a movie to the things other people in Hollywood have done, like Polanski and Weinstein. We are talking about real rapes here, some of them on minors/children. The rape scene in Bertolucci's film might have been a little rude because it was added ad hoc to the script, but it is absolutely not comparable. There was no rape, no sex, just a realistic depiction of it, played by two adult actors. I think a professional actress should be able to play something like that without letting it get to her personally. If she can't do that, well then maybe she chose the wrong profession.

October 23, 2017 at 5:52AM