Bernardo Bertolucci, whose erotic Venice Film Festival title TheDreamers is to be releasedin Italy this weekend, looks set to finally start shooting his long-awaitedpicture about 16th century Italian composer Gesualdo da Venosa.

Although he first announced plans to make a movie aboutGesualdo way back in 1997, the Oscar-winning director said he is still currentlywriting the screenplay and now expects to start shooting the film in Naples in2004.

EntitledInferno e Paradiso (Hell AndParadise), the picture will focus ona trip by Russian musician Igor Stravinsky and his wife to Naples in 1951.

There, Stravinsky re-discovers the innovative music of Carlo deGesualdo, a Neapolitan prince who was forced to flee his native city afterkilling his wife, Maria d'Avalos, and her lover.

Bertolucci announced his new film during a press conference inRome, where he presented The Dreamers.

Top Italian distributor Medusa will release the sexually-chargeddrama on 350 screens nationwide this coming Friday.

Under the Catholic country's ratings system, which frequentlycomes under fire for being too lax, the film will be banned to children underthe age of 14.

However, in the US, the film - about two French twins and anAmerican student who are holed up in a Parisian apartment in 1968 - hasreceived a prohibitive NC-17 rating.

"None of the studios distribute films with a NC-17 rating inthe US, and neither will Fox Searchlight Pictures," Bertolucci said of thepicture's North American distributor.

"So I will have to make cuts. I've tried to trim itdelicately, but it's a film that is full of innocence, and any cuts risk makingit look a bit obscene," he added.