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Bernardo Bertolucci Breaks Down Some of His Greatest Scenes

Bernardo Bertolucci Breaks Down Some of His Greatest Scenes (photo)

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On the eve of a career retrospective at MoMA, director Bernardo Bertolucci spoke with Vulture, breaking down ten terrific scenes from his films. It’s a terrific read, made even better by the fact that it includes YouTube clips of many of the scenes so you can follow along with Bertolucci’s comments. One scene that isn’t present in YouTube clip form (for obvious reasons) is the infamous “butter scene” from “Last Tango in Paris.” Here’s Bertolucci on how that moment came about:

“It wasn’t in the script, but we were often having little breakfast meetings with Marlon in this flat in Paris. We were both thinking that we needed to go further than the erotic scenes we’d done so far. There was a baguette, and we cut it, and there was a piece of butter to put on the baguette. Then Marlon and I looked at each other. That was how the idea came. And it was very hard to tell Maria. So we did something very naughty. I didn’t tell Maria what was going on. We were shooting the scene, and Marlon started to pull down her jeans — which, by the way, only in a movie can you pull down jeans, because they are so tight — and she couldn’t understand, so she started to react, saying, ‘No, no!’ And so he puts his hand in the butter. To somebody who doesn’t know what’s happening, what’s going on is very violent… I don’t think the scene could have been shot differently. I think if I had told her, it would have been very difficult to get that kind of violence out of the scene.”

So let that be a lesson, prospective directors: don’t tell your actresses when you’re about to simulate sodomizing them on screen. As Jon Lovitz would say, “Acting!” Make sure you read the entire piece at Vulture, it’s great.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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