Taviani, Paolo

(1931-) and Vittorio Taviani (1929-)
   Directors and screenwriters. In one of the most remarkable partnerships in the history of Italian cinema, brothers Paolo and Vittorio Taviani have always written and directed their films in harmonious collaboration, with no distinction ever made between what each has contributed.
   According to their own account, the brothers were inspired to become filmmakers during their student days at the University of Pisa when they first saw Roberto Rossellini's Paisa (Paisan, 1946). They were thus drawn from the very beginning to a socially committed and political cinema. Their first film, made in 1954 with the help of Cesare Zavattini and Valentino Orsini, was San Miniato, luglio '44 (San Miniato, July 1944), a documentary that attempted to reconstruct a massacre carried out by the Germans in the church of their native town, San Miniato, during World War II. The film was awarded second prize at the Documentary Festival of Pisa and encouraged the brothers, always in partnership with Orsini, to continue making documentaries for the next five years. The experience culminated in a collaboration with Dutch documentarist Joris Ivens on L'ltalia non e unpaesepovero (Italy Is Not a Poor Country, 1960), a wide-ranging documentary produced for Italian television. Two years later, together with Orsini, they directed their first feature, Un uomo da bruciare (A Man for Burning, 1962), a stark and dramatic recounting of the last days of Sicilian union organizer and social activist Salvatore Carnevale before he was brutally murdered by the Mafia. The following year, again with Orsini, the brothers made I fuorilegge del matrimonio (The Marriage Outlaws, 1963), a film that attempted to dramatize in six separate episodes many of the issues relating to the absence of divorce in Italy at that time. In spite of the film's reasonable box office success, the brothers were unable to finance another project until 1967 when, in a climate of growing social unrest, they made I sovversivi (The Subversives, 1967). Shot in cinema verite style, the film explored the profound effect of the death of Italian Communist Party leader Palmiro Togliatti on the personal lives of a number of party members. The dark and violent utopian allegory in the Tavianis' next film, Sotto il segno dello scorpione (Under the Sign of Scorpio, 1969), made in direct response to the explosion of political protest of 1968, confounded the critics when it was first shown at the Venice Festival but confirmed the Tavianis' status as committed political filmmakers. The brothers continued to explore the tension between aspirations to a political utopia and its unachievability in the two films that followed, San Michele aveva un gallo (Saint Michael Had a Rooster, 1971) and Allonsanfan (1973), both set in the context of failed revolutionary movements of the 19th century. However, it would be the more contemporary and personal struggle for freedom recounted in Padre padrone (My Father My Master, 1977) that would finally bring the brothers international recognition. Financed by RAI state television and originally shot on 16 mm film, the story of an illiterate Sardinian shepherd struggling to liberate himself from the tyranny of his father proved to be an over-whelming success at Cannes, where it was championed by no less than Rossellini himself and awarded both the Palme d'or and the International Federation of Film Critics prize. At home the film received both a Nastro d'argento and a special David di Donatello, but a cooler reception greeted their next film, Il prato (The Meadow, 1979).
   The brothers returned to form, however, and to the grand operatic style of their earlier work, in what remains perhaps their most accomplished and acclaimed film, La notte di San Lorenzo (Night of the Shooting Stars, 1982). Structured as a bedtime story told by a mother to her infant child, the film revisits the history of the massacre at San Miniato, which had been the subject of the Tavianis' first documentary, but this time in the style of an epic and poetic fable. A work of stunning visual beauty, complemented by a stirring musical score by Nicola Piovani, the film was awarded six Davids and two Nastri d'argento at home and both the Ecumenical and the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes, where it was also nominated for the Palme d'or. This tour de force of filmmaking was followed by the equally impressive Kaos (Chaos, 1984), a masterful retelling of four stories by Luigi Pirandello in the Tavianis' now characteristic poetic style. Three years later, Good morning Babilonia (Good Morning, Babylon, 1987), the invented story of two Italian brothers trained as art restorators called to work on the set of D. W. Griffith's Intolerance (1916), was essentially the Taviani brothers' own hymn to the art of cinema.
   While not excluding political themes altogether, from the early 1990s the brothers largely concentrated their efforts on literary adaptations, providing elegant transcriptions of novels by Leo Tolstoy in Il sole anche di notte (Night Sun, 1990), Anna Karenina (2000), and Resurrezione (Resurrection, 2002), and by Johann Wolfgang Goethe in Le affinita elettive (The Elective Affinities, 1996).
   Historical Dictionary of Italian Cinema by Alberto Mira

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

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  • Taviani, Paolo — (1931 ) and Vittorio Taviani (1929 )    Directors and screenwriters. In one of the most remarkable partnerships in the history of Italian cinema, brothers Paolo and Vittorio Taviani have always written and directed their films in harmonious… …   Historical dictionary of Italian cinema

  • Taviani — Taviani,   Paolo, italienischer Filmregisseur, * San Miniato 8. 11. 1931; begann zusammen mit seinem Bruder Vittorio (* San Miniato 20. 9. 1929) mit der Arbeit an Spielfilmen (Drehbuch und Regie); Vertreter einer realistischen Filmkunst.   Filme …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Taviani, Vittorio —    See Taviani, Paolo    Historical Dictionary of Italian Cinema by Alberto Mira …   Guide to cinema

  • Taviani, Vittorio —    See Taviani, Paolo …   Historical dictionary of Italian cinema

  • Paolo Emilio Taviani — (né le 6 novembre 1912 à Gênes mort le 18 juin 2001 à Rome) est un universitaire (économiste et historien) et un homme politique italien de la seconde moitié du XXe siècle. Sommaire 1 Biographie 2 L enseignant …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Paolo Taviani — (li.) gemeinsam mit dem Kameramann Vittorio Storaro auf dem Internationalen Filmfestival von Guadalajara Paolo Taviani (* 9. November 1931 in San Miniato, Italien) ist ein italienischer Filmregisseur. Leben Pa …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Paolo and Vittorio Taviani — (b. November 81931, and September 201929, respectively, both in San Miniato, Tuscany, Italy) are noted Italian film directors and screenwriters. They are brothers, who have always worked together, each directing alternate scenes.Paolo Taviani s… …   Wikipedia

  • TAVIANI (V. et P.) — TAVIANI VITTORIO (1929 ) & PAOLO (1931 ) Ils sont deux frères. Vittorio et Paolo, nés à San Miniato di Pisa. Deux frères cinéastes, jusqu’ici inséparables. «Faire un film, dit Vittorio, c’est comme respirer: tant que nos poumons, mystérieusement …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Taviani — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Paolo Taviani (* 1931), italienischer Filmregisseur Paolo Emilio Taviani (1912–2001), italienischer Politiker Vittorio Taviani (* 1929), italienischer Filmregisseur Diese Seite i …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Paolo Emilio Taviani — (* 6. November 1912 in Genua; † 18. Juni 2001 in Rom) war ein italienischer Politiker. Karriere Taviani war einer der Gründer der Democrazia Cristiana. Von 1953 bis 1958 war er Verteidigungsminister. 1961 bis 1968 und von 1972 bis 1974 leitete er …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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