Pastrone, Giovanni

(1883-1959)
   Producer and director. Long known as merely the producer and director of Cabiria (1914), Pastrone has continued to grow in stature as more recent research has revealed his major role in, and contribution to, the Italian film industry during its golden silent period.
   A gifted child with a talent for both music and languages, Pastrone was soon forced to abandon music in favor of accounting. It was as a bright junior accountant and factotum that he joined the Turin film company of Carlo Rossi & C. in 1907. Within six months he had risen through the ranks and become a full partner. When Rossi left to work for the Cines in Rome, Pastrone and fellow partner, Carlo Sciamengo, formed Itala Film. Pastrone soon reorganized the company on a firm business basis, introducing stricter management, planning, and accounting practices as well as technical innovations. Recognizing the popularity of comic sketches at the time, he lured Pathe's most successful resident comic, Andre Deed, to come to Turin to work for Itala. Deed's Cretinetti films, turned out for a time at the rate of one a week, were a gold mine for the company and kept it solvent. At the same time Pastrone produced and directed the epic spectacle La caduta di Troia (The Fall of Troy, 1910). Poorly received at home, the film broke box office records in the United States, allowing Pastrone to open up an American subsidiary. It also prompted him to plan the greatest film made to date, Cabiria, a film that would require almost a year and an astronomical budget to make. Taking out a patent on what would become known as the dolly—Hitchcock would later attest that in his early days it was known in the trade as the cabiria—Pastrone also shrewdly recruited the best special effects cinematographer of the day, Segundo De Chomon, to work for Itala. With the film meticulously planned and partly completed, Pastrone conceived the masterstroke of approaching the current greatest literary name in Italy, Gabriele D'Annunzio, and paying him a huge fee to accept paternity of the film, an offer that D'Annunzio gleefully accepted.
   D'Annunzio's name helped to make what was an extraordinary cinematic achievement even more spectacularly successful at the box office and thus allowed Pastrone to proceed to other projects. In the following years, as well as initiating the long line of films featuring Maciste, the musclebound strongman from Cabiria, he also directed (under the pseudonym Piero Fosco) the diva Pina Menichelli in II Fuoco (The Fire, 1915) and Tigre reale (Royal Tigress, 1916) and his own discovery, Itala Almirante Manzini, in a fine adaptation of Ibsen's Hedda Gabbler (1919). Nevertheless, by the end of World War I, with the onset of the crisis that would soon decimate the Italian film industry, Pastrone had lost financial control of Itala. He briefly joined the Unione Cinematografia Italiana (UCI) under duress, but following the trust's refusal to fund a major project he had proposed, he left the industry to carry on scientific and other studies in private for many years. His only real connection with the cinema was the reissue of a version of Cabiria with a coordinated musical track in the early 1930s and his strong support for the setting up of the National Film Museum in Turin. He died in 1959 just as the new golden age of Italian cinema was beginning.
   Historical Dictionary of Italian Cinema by Alberto Mira

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pastrone, Giovanni — ▪ Italian director and producer born Sept. 11, 1883, Montechiaro d Asti, Italy died June 27, 1959, Turin       pioneer Italian motion picture director and producer.       As a teenager Pastrone demonstrated a temperament both practical and… …   Universalium

  • Pastrone, Giovanni — (1883 1959)    Producer and director. Long known as merely the producer and director of Cabiria (1914), Pastrone has continued to grow in stature as more recent research has revealed his major role in, and contribution to, the Italian film… …   Historical dictionary of Italian cinema

  • Pastrone, Giovanni — • ПАСТРО НЕ (Pastrone) Джованни (псевд. Пьеро Фоско, Fosco) (11.9.1883 27.6.1959)    итал. кинорежиссёр. Один из пионеров итал. кинематографии. Инициатор создания к/ф ки в Турине (1905). С 1908 рук. фирмы Итала фильм . Снял ф. Падение Трои (1910) …   Кино: Энциклопедический словарь

  • Pastrone, Giovanni — vero nome di Piero Fosco …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • Pastrone — Giovanni Pastrone, auch bekannt unter seinem Künstlernamen Piero Fosco (* 13. September 1883, Montechiaro d’Asti, Italien; † 27. Juni 1959, Turin, Italien) war ein italienischer Filmregisseur, Drehbuchautor, Schriftsteller, Schauspieler, welcher… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Giovanni Pastrone — Données clés Naissance 13 septembre 1883 Montechiaro d Asti  Italie Nationalité …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Giovanni Pastrone — Giovanni Pastrone, auch bekannt unter seinem Künstlernamen Piero Fosco (* 13. September 1883, Montechiaro d’Asti, Italien; † 27. Juni 1959, Turin, Italien) war ein italienischer Filmregisseur, Drehbuchautor, Schriftsteller, Schauspieler, welcher… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Giovanni Pastrone — Giovanni Pastrone, also known by his artistic name Piero Fosco (13 September 1883 27 June 1959), was an Italian film pioneer, director, screenwriter, actor and technician. Pastrone was born in Montechiaro d Asti. He worked during the era of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Giovanni Verga — Giovanni Carmelo Verga (Catania, 2 de septiembre 1840 – Catania, 27 de enero 1922) fue un escritor italiano, considerado el mayor exponente de la corriente literaria verista. Giovanni Carmelo Verga …   Wikipedia Español

  • Giovanni Pastrone — Cartel de la película Cabiria Giovanni Pastrone, conocido también con el seudónimo de Piero Fosco (Montechiaro d Asti, 13 de septiembre de 1883 Turín el 27 de junio de 1959), fue director, guionista y productor de cine italiano, y desarrolló su… …   Wikipedia Español

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