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Bernardo Bertolucci To Film Life Of China's Last Emperor

January 03, 1986| From Reuters

PEKING — Italian movie director Bernardo Bertolucci plans to film the life of China's last emperor in a $20-million production using more than 10,000 costumes, a Peking film official said.

Xu Chunqing, a deputy manager of the China Film Co-production Corp., said the 18-week filming of "The Last Emperor" would start at former imperial residences in Peking and Changchun next April.

The film is based on an autobiography by Henry Pu Yi, who became emperor in 1908 at age 2 and was overthrown in 1911 when the Chinese republic was founded.

In 1934, he became "emperor" of a puppet state in northeast China set up by invading Japanese forces, was later tried as a war criminal in Tokyo and jailed in China for nine years until 1959. He died in 1967.

Chinese-American actor John Lone, who starred in "The Year of the Dragon," will play the young and middle-age Pu Yi.

Wu said the script by Bertolucci and two associates had been corrected and approved by China's culture ministry.

The film is a joint production of Xu's corporation, Bertolucci's firm and a British film company.

Rafaella De Laurentiis, producer of a $25-million film, "Taipan," now filming in south China, said earlier this month she would not have started if she had known the bureaucratic problems involved.

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