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:: The Sheltering Sky (2-disc pack)

This is Bernardo Bertolucci’s marvellous adaptation of the best-selling Paul Bowles novel - a faithful re-telling of the classic story of three New Yorkers whose shallow lives are exposed on an arduous tour through North Africa. With wonderful cinematography by veteran Vittorio Storarro and superb production standards under what would have been challenging conditions, Bertolucci creates a sense of time and place in a way with which few films can compare.

The story involves three people (John Malkovich, Debra Winger and Campbell Scott) who arrive in North Africa shortly after WWII in search of the exotic. Rich and bored, they amuse themselves with back-biting and infidelity whilst mixing with the locals and gradually coming apart at the seams. This description is less a reflection of Bowles’s novel than the gulf between the epic scale of Bertolucci’s film and the aimless carryings on of the main characters.

Both Winger and Malkovich are good in the main roles but nothing they do comes close to matching the spectacular indifference of their harsh surrounds and leaving the audience in pretty much the same condition. The haunting score by Ryuichi Sakamoto (winner of the Golden Globe for Best Original Score) - underpins the film's powerful emotional force.

The package comes as a two-disc set, with the special features on a separate disc.

DVD Extras

  • Desert Rose: The Making of Sheltering Sky
  • Audio Commentary by director Bernardo Bertolucci
  • Images du tournage: Behind the scenes
  • Theatrical trailer