Last Tango in Paris (Bertolucci, 1972)

Aimer, souffrir, crier, pleurer… je veux rien. Je sourie quand je suis contente, je pleure quand je suis triste. La jeunesse, c’est facile! Ou Presque. J’essaie encore, mais vous êtes si grand et je ne peux pas résister. Parle, s’il vous plait. Je vous écoute, mais vous ne m’écouté pas. Je ne comprends pas le français.

I’m not as beautiful as I’d like to be, and as hard as I try, as hard as I work, I’ll never have the face I need. Stripping away all that holds me back, I’m left a shell, but I’m also more real than I was before. Can you see me? Am I here?

I remember the last tango; it was beautiful, as beautiful as I wanted to be. I remember the lights overheard, they were white and glowing. I jumped your back, and you jumped on me. We ruined everything, but it made us happy. I want you to smell me, can you smell me?

I had a dream of what marriage could be, and it was you and me and I was safe. There was nothing to worry about, nothing to fear. It didn’t matter that we didn’t love each other before, now we were one and we always would be. You’d hold me in your arms and know everything about me. Words mean nothing, or they shouldn’t. Why are you still talking? I forgot, words were like air back then, how I remember.

We’re spinning now.

We’re still spinning, and it’s starting to hurt. I like the way you hurt me, I don’t need to know why or how, but do it to me please. We ran through Africa and Asia and Indonesia… we found each other or more… I lost you. I was wrong before, I thought I needed to know but it was better that way. It was better when we were just faces, everything seemed more real, more free. Love and knowledge only brought us suffering. We should be like children again. It was easier; we didn’t even need to touch. Wait, are we French again? I can’t remember.

2 responses to “Last Tango in Paris (Bertolucci, 1972)

  1. this was good, I think. Saw it too long ago to really remember, though. Does Brando talk about shitting on Maria Schneider at one point or something along those lines, or is my memory of this movie blurrier than I thought? 😕

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