Mauro Bolognini (28 June 1922 – 14 May 2001) was an Italian film director of literate sensibility, known for masterful handling of period subject matter.
Mauro Bolognini was born in Pistoia, Tuscany.
A former architectural student, Bolognini began his film career as an assistant to director Luigi Zampa in Italy, and directors Yves Allegret and Jean Delannoy in France. He began directing his own feature films in the mid 1950s, and had his first international success with Gli innamorati (“Wild Love”).
His other notable films of the 1950s and early 1960s include Giovani mariti (“Young Husbands”), La notte brava, La giornata balorda (“From a Roman Balcony”), and the Marcello Mastroianni-Claudia Cardinale starrer Il bell’Antonio (arguably his masterpiece), all written by Pier Paolo Pasolini.
Parting professionally with Pasolini in 1961, Bolognini went on to direct two sensual love stories starring Cardinale, La Viaccia and Senilità, before turning his talents… read more
Few European film-makers combined artistic ambitions with a genuine populist spirit in the manner of Vittorio De Sica. In his prolific career, the actor-director made many films on social subjects which nonetheless engaged a mass audience. A Neapolitan by birth, De Sica came from humble roots, working as a theatre actor in the early 1920s. His stage success led De Sica to films where he proved to be a popular actor, mounting more than thirty film credits before his directorial debut with Rosa Scarlatte (which he co-directed with Giuseppe Amato). Even after his success as a director, De Sica was a much sought after performer; appearing in such classics as Max Ophüls’ Madame de… and Roberto Rossellini’s Il Generale della Rovere.
De Sica’s fourth outing as a director was his first collaboration with screenwriter and film theorist Cesare Zavattini. The Children Are Watching Us anticipated neorealism in its detached focus on a young boy’s growing isolation from his mother. De Sica’s… read more
Born in Bologna in 1922, Pier Paolo Pasolini left behind a searing legacy that haunts contemporary Italy more than thirty years after his death. More than anyone, Pasolini gazed deeply into Italy’s role in the spread of Fascism and, more controversially, the continuing influence of its ideas in post-war Europe. For him, this was a matter of great personal significance; his father was a soldier in the Fascist Army (he had once protected Mussolini from an assassination attempt) while his brother joined the resistance only to be murdered in an ambush. This personal trauma coincided with a period of intellectual development as Pasolini engaged with Marxist philosophy; especially the works of Antonio Gramsci, the founder of Italy’s Communist Party (PCI). His relationship with the PCI, however, was tense. As a poet and intellectual, Pasolini scrutinized his fellow Communists as critically as he did bourgeois society. His enemies retaliated by targeting his personal life; the first instance… read more
Franco Rossi, the Italian director who worked with Pasolini, and whose films in the 1950s won him attention as a promising addition to the neo-realist second generation, has died aged 81. Despite his early cinematic success, he earned more lasting fame with Italian audiences as the maker of high-class television mini-series adapted from Homer and Virgil.
Rossi was born in Florence, where he took part in anti-fascist resistance. After obtaining a master’s degree in philosophy, he worked for the city’s radio station. In 1948, he moved to Rome, where he was one of the founders of a radio programme dedicated to poetry, The Nightingale Theatre. His early cinema work was in the dubbing studios, and as an assistant to Mario Camerini and Renato Castellani.
In 1952, Rossi got his first chance to direct. I falsari was a crime thriller about a band of forgers, and he made several other potboilers before, in 1954, directing Il seduttore. Starring Alberto Sordi, and based on a play… read more
As Martin Scorsese notes in My Voyage to Italy, no 20th Century film-maker can lay claim to the unique disposition of Count Don Luchino Visconti di Modrone, the final heir to one of Europe’s oldest aristocratic families. For much of his youth, Visconti exulted in the privileges of his lifestyle. His house was a frequent retreat for the likes of Arturo Toscanini, Gabrielle d’Annunzio and Giacomo Puccini. His lifelong engagement in theatre and opera was imbibed from an early age along with brief passions such as raising horses and maintaining stables. It wasn’t long before Visconti began questioning the limitations of his lifestyle. Inspired by his intellectual yearnings, Visconti wandered away from his comfortable shelter and visited Paris. This would be a turning point in his life. Through his friendship with Coco Chanel, Visconti met French director Jean Renoir. He served as assistant director on some of Renoir’s best films from the 30s, including Toni, Partie de campagne and The Lower… read more
This collection of film études I'd grade... Visconti's piece - boring and derivative. Bolognini's piece - short, but nice and sharp. Pasolini's piece - superb, top quality stuff. De Sica's piece - short, focused, insightful. Rossi's piece - not too bad, pushing over the edge in a way. Aaah and there's Clint Eastwood starring in the last piece :)