Bolognini, Mauro

(1922-2001)
   Screenwriter and director. A filmmaker whose work is characterized by a propensity for visual elegance and literary themes, Bolognini studied architecture and design in Florence before moving to Rome, where he spent a year at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia. After a short period in France working with Jean Delannoy and Yves Allegret, he returned to Italy and served as assistant to Luigi Zampa before making his directorial debut with the musical melodrama Ci troviamo in galleria (Let's Meet at the Gallery, 1953), a film that provided Sophia Loren with one of her first significant roles. This was followed by Gli innamorati (WildLove, 1955), a tangle of love stories set in the lower-class quarters of Rome, and several social comedies, among them I giovani mariti (Young Husbands, 1957) and Arrangiatevi (You're on Your Own, 1959), one of the many films starring the popular comic actor Toto.
   By this time Bolognini had also initiated a close collaboration with Pier Paolo Pasolini, who would help to write the screenplays of five of Bolognini's subsequent films, including La notte brava (On Any Street, 1959), La giornata balorda (From a Roman Balcony, 1960), and Il Bell'Antonio (Bell'Antonio, 1960), the first of what would become a long series of fine literary adaptations and Bolognini's first real critical and box office success. With Pasolini leaving to direct his own films in 1961, Bolognini turned to other writers for inspiration and adapted Vasco Pratolini's turn-of-the-century novel, La viaccia (The Lovemakers, 1961), which was nominated for the Palme d'or at Cannes.
   Many of the feature films that followed, in between shorter sketches produced for compilation films such as La donna e una cosa meravigliosa (Woman Is a Wonderful Thing, 1964), I tre volti (The Three Faces, 1965), Le fate (The Queens, 1966), Le Streghe (The Witches, 1967), and Capriccio all'italiana (Caprice Italian Style, 1968), were also literary adaptions: Senilita (Careless, 1962), Agostino (1962), Madamigella di Maupin (1965), and Un bellissimo novembre (That Splendid November, 1968), with Bolognini turning to Vasco Pratolini again in 1969 for what became his most critically acclaimed film, Metello (1969). The story of a young, handsome working-class hero set in a meticulously recreated late-19th-century Florence, the film was showered with awards, among them three David di Donatello, two Nastri d'argento, and two nominations for the Palme d'or.
   Bolognini's production during the 1970s was marked by a greater variety and included Imputazione di omicidio per uno studente (A Student Charged with Murder, 1972), a film that attempted to reflect the social and political chaos in Italy at the time, and an unusual foray into the horror film genre with the macabre Gran bollito (Black Journal, 1977). He returned to literary adaptations in the 1980s with an explicitly erotic version of Alexandre Dumas' novel in La storia vera della signora delle camelie (The True Story of Camille, 1980) and a similarly erotically charged adaptation of the anonymous 16th-century comedy La Venexiana (The Venetian Woman, 1986). Having at times received a greater appreciation abroad than in Italy itself, Bolognini's body of work was officially recognized in 1999 when he was awarded a David di Donatello for his whole career.
   Historical Dictionary of Italian Cinema by Alberto Mira

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

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