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Bertolucci followed up his draining experience on 1900 with the somewhat tone-deaf Luna, about an opera singer (the late Jill Clayburgh) who attempts a sexual relationship with her young junkie son (Matthew Barry). Like Francis Ford Coppola's Tetro, a similar study of an Art Family in crisis, it never finds its footing. A better option at MoMA's retro is the excellent The Spider's Stratagem, a transitional project commissioned by Italian television made just prior to The Conformist. Based on a Borges story, it follows a man who returns to a Italian village where his anti-fascist hero father was killed under mysterious circumstances. Giulio Brogi plays both the son and, in flashbacks, the father (both named Athos Magnani). Genuinely chilling, it's the closest Bertolucci has come to making a horror movie, with its blue floodlit streets scattered with old men standing around like ghosts or statues, muttering "we're all friends here… all friends…"
Also in the series is Oil, Bertolucci's rare documentary on the oil industry, commissioned by an oil company and made during the period between Before the Revolution and Partner when the director was still figuring out what he had to say and why. There's 1993's Little Buddha, starring a spray-oranged Keanu Reeves as Siddhartha. Philip Lopate correctly called it "profoundly silly," and as a title card hints ("inspired by the true life stories of several children and their extraordinary voyage of discovery"), it's mostly kids stuff. 2003's The Dreamers offers two kinds of pornography for cinephiles. In its fevered nostalgia for the French cultural revolts of 1968 (of which Bertolucci was a participant) and cyclone of movie quotations, it unguardedly celebrates a passion for film that borders on insanity. Among the filmmakers it fails to namecheck is Bertolucci himself. Had it been made by anyone else, the omission would seem criminally unnatural.