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The Sheltering Sky (1990)


Price: £22.68 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Debra Winger, John Malkovich, Campbell Scott, Timothy Spall, Philippe Morier-Genoud
  • Directors: Bernardo Bertolucci
  • Format: Import, PAL, Box set, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Umbrella Entertainment
  • Run Time: 186 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004L96H9O
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 268,660 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Australia released, PAL/Region 0 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), WIDESCREEN (1.78:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: 2-DVD Set, Behind the scenes, Commentary, Interactive Menu, Making Of, Scene Access, Trailer(s), SYNOPSIS: Port and Kit Moresby (John Malkovich and Debra Winger) are American artists and self-styled 'travelers' (as opposed to tourists) exploring Saharan Africa. Their 10-year marriage is strained enough to be threatened by the presence of their boorish companion, Tunner (Campbell Scott), who has designs on Kit. The couple's restlessness, along with a kind of fascination with their own estrangement, keeps them moving further away from civilization and from infidelity. Port grows ill, however, and Kit finds herself alone in the desert, cut off from everything she knows. Director Bernardo Bertolucci and director of photography Vittorio Storaro fabulously capture the forbidding beauty of the Saharan locations, as well as Malkovich's brooding self-assurance and Winger's artless sexuality. The color schemes of red and blue serve the story of lovers who live on different emotional planes. Paul Bowles, the expatriate author whose semiautobiographical novel is the basis for the film, comments on the action as a narrator and one-man chorus. He warns Kit, and the viewer, that life is far more finite than one habitually imagines, and that the chance to put things right will not wait forever.
SCREENED/AWARDED AT: BAFTA Awards, Golden Globes,

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Mark Antony on 28 Mar. 2004
Format: DVD
The Sheltering Sky is based on Paul Bowles novel, relating how an American couple attempted to rekindle their marriage by journeying into the heart of the Sahara desert. As if afraid of confronting the tensions between them, Port (John Malkovich) agrees to take along with them the wealthy playboy Tunner, at least for the first part of their journey. And so creating a "menage-a-trois" situation, with Port later realising his true feelings for his wife Kit (Debra Winger)But fate deals them a savage hand, as the harsh, unforgiving terrain of the Sahara makes it's own impact on their destiny.
The film owes much to the superb music score, a haunting passionate love theme, played in an austere way, like two people in love, yet both afraid to commit, hinting not only at their concealed passion, but also inner loneliness. With many attractive Arabic themes also.
If you prefer action films, don't think about buying this one. Some may find it long, introspective, and at times, ambiguous, with the narrative often giving way to somethig akin to a national geographic documentary. The remaining leading character spoke only a handful of words for the last three quarters of an hour..But a beautiful, lush, almost hypnotic journey which lovers of Africa will not want to miss.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Almont on 24 Mar. 2004
Format: VHS Tape
I found this movie stunning. Visually compelling and emotionally harrowing. The director Bertolucci was nominated for a Golden Globe for this movie, and I can see why.
The film manages to capture what it is actually like travelling in Africa. I've been on a similar journey, and I found it quite scary, although somewhat cathartic to watch from the comfort of my own sofa, the gradual loss of identity and alienation we Westerners can feel surrounded by a landscape with such a strong presence and a culture that is so different.
This movie must have been very hard work to make. Shots such as Debra Winger going for a walk along a sand dune in perfect synchronisation with a train of camels in the background don't come easy, and yet look utterly natural.
I found Malkovitch's performance irritating, but compelling, and Debra Winger convincing too. The minor characters - which include the woman who plays the manager in Dinner Ladies - were a bit over-the-top, but provide a kind of grotesque comic relief - leering and unnerving.
The Africans, with their strong faces, haunting vocalising and monotonous music are the leit motif of the film. No sentimental, easy score here to accompany the desert. Just the real thing.
Although I haven't read the Paul Bowles' book, I am sure Bertolucci made a respectful and serious attempt to convey its meaning. He should have won the Golden Globe!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By ex nihilo on 25 Feb. 2003
Format: DVD
this film has a haunting quality which makes it almost frightening. Although the young American couple, who are protagonists of this film, travel deeper and deeper into the North African desert in search of a self-revelation that will help them save their relation, they only find self-destruction. In the midst of the frightening nothingness of the inmense landscapes, and the still more frightening nothingness of the increasingly evident impossibility of communication (and not only with the natives), each of them feels compelled to confront what they really are, to look inside themselves. What they see there finally destroys them in a shattering moment (superbly performed) of true, if unbearable, revelation. A very good film, although it doesn't follow many of the aspects of the novel that would help the audience to understand better this story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By doctor oz MB,MRCP on 8 Jan. 2009
Format: DVD
SAHARA GIVES SHELTER TO S SAVAGED SOUL IN BERTOLUCCIS MASTERPIECE---

A SURREAL ROMANTIC ESCAPADE FROM THE RIGORS OF MODERNISM TO THE LAND OF TRANQUILITY -a couple are in quest for them selves and their souls .

bertolucci explores the modern relatonship OF THE human discontent with satiety of wealth and lust which leaves an emotional void in the soul itself with the discontented affluence of machination and his protagonists are all restless and febrile who cannot come to terms with themselves in spite of their affluent exteriors and every material comfort .

this is where nature intervenes as omnipresemt and it endeavours to help but humanity is on a quest for self destruction in the form of port who is undertaling a journey to redeem and release himself wilfully destroying his physical presence .

the subsaharan ambience and poverty with desert camps ,barking dods and buzzing flies all indicate anarchy and chaos rampant in a dissatisfied human existence where patience is a luxury itself .

the visual and acoustic artistry dazzles and the saharan vistas are divine like a painting from the neo classical juxtaposed on the surreal ,almost like delacroix .

the performane by malkovich is his best as the confused but eccentric husband but debra winger as the woman who will break free of anyone and does not want to belong is a revelation here .
she is cheating for her sheer bored life is a misery yet her love for this man who is a genius but a lunatic is expressed in a paradigm of emotion seldom seen on screen .

bertolucci is a genius and from leopard to dreamers he has never misssed a mark and here he gives modern satire and surrealism a new meaning and a lurid feel which is both intellectual and very satisfying .
Read more ›
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