Bertolucci discovers Paul Bowles when he is in China. In the pages of The Sheltering Sky he finds the solitude and privacy that the emperor's life prevents him from experiencing. He decides that his next film is to be the story of two characters in a desert context, looking inwards. Bertolucci exposes feelings through the faces of Debra Winger and John Malkovich. They are the story: they are also the film.
Bernardo Bertolucci, Mark Peploe
Debra Winger, John Malkovich, Campbell Scott, Jill Bennett