Martone, Mario

(1959-)
   Actor, screenwriter, film and theater director. Martone began acting onstage in 1976. Two years later he founded the experimental theater group Falso movimento (False Movement), with which he staged a series of critically acclaimed theatrical spectacles, the most renowned of which was Tango glaciale (Glacial Tango, 1982).
   While continuing to work in live theater, Martone began experimenting with video art and in 1984 made his first short film, Nella citta barocca (In the Baroque City, 1984), a lyrical documentary on 17th-century Naples. His first full-length feature, Morte di un matematico napolitano (Death of a Neapolitan Mathematician, 1992), recounting the last days of internationally renowned Neapolitan mathematician Renato Caccioppoli before he committed suicide in 1959, was immediately hailed as a brilliant first work, winning the Special Grand Jury Prize at Venice, as well as a Nastro d'argento and a David di Donatello for Best New Director. Following the medium-length Rasoi (Razors, 1993), a series of reflections on Naples, and the documentary Lucio Amelio/Terrae Motus (1993), Martone directed Amore molesto (Nasty Love, 1995), a dark, erotic thriller that was nominated for the Palme d'or at Cannes and which brought him another David di Donatello for Best Director. After Una storia sahawari (A Story of the Sahawari, 1996), a documentary made for television focusing on the plight of children living in a refugee camp, he directed La salita (The Climb), one episode of the compilation film I vesuviani (1997), made in collaboration with four other young Neapolitan directors. A year later, Teatro di guerra (Rehearsals for War, 1998) was built around a theatrical production of Aeschylus's Seven against Thebes but provocatively set against the backdrop of war in Sarajevo. After having been drawn away from cinema by his appointment as director of the Theater of Rome in 1999, Martone returned to the big screen with L'odore del sangue (The Smell of the Blood, 2004), another dark, erotic work adapted from a novel by Goffredo Parise.
   Historical Dictionary of Italian Cinema by Alberto Mira

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

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