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Sunday, 15 April 2018

Vale Vittorio Taviani - One of the famous brother film-makers has died

Just a couple of days after the death of Milos Forman comes news that Vittorio Taviani, one of two brothers who made films together for more than forty years, has died. 


Vittorio (l) and Paolo Taviani
Cannes, 2015
In the way of these things, Reuters reports that the Italian President has mourned Vittorio's death:
“Vittorio Taviani’s death is a terrible loss for Italian cinema and culture,” President Sergio Mattarella said in a statement, praising the “unforgettable masterpieces” that he made with his younger brother. You can read the whole quite good report if you click here

...true. The brothers made a dozen or more of the greatest Italian films over the last part of the twentieth century and in into the twenty first. You have to be in awe that a film-maker warrants a notice by a nation's President. But they were remarkable artists

The first of their films I saw was the ravishing Allonsanfan with Marcello Mastroianni as a befuddled revolutionary in Garibaldi's time. The one that caused them to hit the art house circuit big time was Padre Padrone a film of quite extraordinary simplicity which told the tale first recounted in Gavino Ledda's book about the oppressed Sardinian hinterland. I don't think I'll ever forget the images of the sheep shitting in the pail of milk and of the men who smoked with the cigarette inside their mouth to avoid the light becoming a target for snipers. 

The brothers were art house staples for some time though here at least they were never household names even amongst the cinephiliacs.  I particularly loved the adaptation of Pirandello, Kaos  and the very creepy Tu Ridi  which followed it.

Apparently brother Paolo has continued to make films since their last collaboration, which was an adaptation of Boccaccio stories Wondrous Boccaccio made in 2015. That one doesn't appear to have been sighted here but maybe it was in an Italian film festival.

Vittorio was 88 when he died and had been making films with Paolo since 1962. Not a bad innings and producing a legacy of any number of major Italian films that will be watched through the ages. Major retrospective needed please.

1 comment:

  1. 35mm print of ALLONSANFAN is in the NFSA Collection (with no rights attached), donated when Ronin's rights expired. Just waiting for an entrepreneurial programmer ... with a budget to pay screening and print access fees.

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