Bertolucci to lead Venice film festival jury

Bernardo Bertolucci Bertolucci is best known for the films Last Tango in Paris and The Emperor

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Last Tango in Paris director Bernardo Bertolucci is to lead the jury for the 70th Venice Film Festival, organisers have announced.

He previously chaired the jury in 1983 when Jean-Luc Godard's First Name: Carmen was awarded the Golden Lion.

"At the time what I wanted from films was surprise and enjoyment. I haven't changed much since then," Bertolucci said, in a statement.

The 73-year-old's 1987 film The Last Emperor won nine Oscars.

The biopic, starring Peter O'Toole, which followed the life of Pu Yi- the last of the Emperors of China - was the first and only Italian film to win the Academy Award for best director.

"Few directors can bring together, like Bertolucci, a long experience with the fact of living in the present of cinematography," Venice festival director Alberto Barbera said, in a statement.

Bertolucci is also known for his steamy 1972 film Last Tango in Paris, with Marlon Brando.

He has premiered numerous films at Venice, including his debut film The Grim Reaper, in 1962, and more recently, The Dreamers, in 2003.

He said presiding over this year's jury would give him the opportunity to discover "the most mysterious niches of filmmaking in the most mysterious countries of the world".

The line-up for this year's festival, which runs between 28 August and 7 September, will be announced in July.

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