Criterion Year Week 43: The Last Emperor

The Criterion Collection, the last vestige of truly collectible DVD and Blu-Ray movies in existence. These are well produced, fancy pants editions of important and interesting films for the discerning film lover.

We continue our journey through Jim's collection of movies with...

The Last Emperor

Spine Number: 422

Director: Bernardo Bertolucci

Genre: Drama

Sorry for the late post. I'm out of town and doing this on my laptop.

For most people in the west, China is a complete mystery. I mean, during 12 years of formal education, your average American gets about 1 year of "World History" education. That's including college. Mind you, not the history of a specific country or continent, but the history of the WORLD generally gets less attention than the foreign language you all but completely forgot as soon as the class ended.

That mystery is what makes Bertolucci's "The Last Emperor" both fascinating and frustrating. It's fascinating because it's a look into a part of history that most of us have no knowledge of, and it's frustrating because it's a look into a part of history that most of us have no knowledge of. There is no background, no context, no nothing except for what we see on the screen. Is this moment important? Not sure. If it is, we have no idea why.

With that said, this is a fascinating and gorgeous movie.


Legendary filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci won his only two Academy Awards for this film and it is understandable why. The story is fascinating, the performances are fantastic, the direction is pitch perfect, the production design is beyond beautiful, and... well, it's just a fantastic film.

So, join us as we talk about this amazing movie and how the story of a child who becomes an emperor and an emperor who becomes an ordinary citizen fits in with the current nightmare of the American political landscape.


Next Week:

Spine number 428: Blast of Silence

Also, check this out.

The Life Masters is now it's own show with its own site and own dedicated feed. That's right, we have two completely different shows!

Right now check it out at

You can also drink in our brilliance on Youtube for both The Film Thugs and The Life Masters.

Looks like Summer Movie League has officially become Fantasy Movie League.

It looks quite fun. Here's how it works.

You have an 8 screen theater.

Every week you pick movies and have a budget/salary cap you have to stay under.

Then you compete against other theaters in your league.

It's fantasy football for movie people.

Our league is Film Thugs 2015 and the password is Porterhouse.

And remember, you can be a part of the show any time you wild like. How's that? All you have to do is call or e-mail us. If you live in the US, or any place that makes calling the US easy, just dial 512-666-RANT and leave us a voicemail. We will read the Google Voice transcript and play your message. It's both funny AND informative.

If you live outside the US you can call us on Skype at The_Film_Thugs. You can leave a message, or someone might actually answer.

E-mail us at and we will read/play whatever you send us, or you can e-mail to be part of  an upcoming "Ask the Film Thugs" show, where we answer questions on any subject without having heard them first.

Also, we are on twitter @thefilmthugs and on Facebook and Vine.

Also, be sure to check back often for our new endeavor The Life Masters, where we answer questions to other advice columnists.

Thanks for listening, and until next week...

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