Filmmaker Paolo Taviani dies at 92 | Culture


Director Paolo Taviani poses during the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival on February 15, 2022 in Berlin, Germany.Stephane Cardinale – Corbis (Corbis via Getty Images)

The Italian film director Paolo Taviani died this Thursday in a clinic in Rome at the age of 92 after a brief illness, six years after his brother and former collaborator Vittorio, with whom he made a series of critically acclaimed films. They dealt with the suffocating atmosphere of prison, the eternal disenchantment of the left, the harshness of the rural world, paternal oppression or the collusion between gangsters and landowners, in a film that garnered great recognition. Taviani died accompanied by his wife Lina Nerli and his children Ermanno and Valentina, according to the family.

The Taviani brothers, a highly politicized couple and heir to the cinematographic legacy of Roberto Rossellini (they decided to dedicate themselves to cinema after watching Paisáby the aforementioned director), achieved their greatest success with Father Padrone in 1977, with which they won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes festival. It is the story of a brutal rural father, who educates his son to succeed him as a sheep herder, depriving her of the most basic studies at school.

At the same festival they won the Grand Jury Prize for The note of San Lorenzo (The night of shooting stars) in 1982, a film that narrates the Nazi occupation of Italy in a tragicomic tone, which caused critics to begin using the label “magical realism” for his work. In 2012 they won the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival with Caesar Must Diein which the prisoners of a high-security prison prepare a representation of the Julius Caesar of Shakespeare.

The Giraldillo of Honor at the Seville European Film Festival came to him in 2017, when Paolo gave an interview to this newspaper, where he talked about teamwork with his brother. They saw each other almost every morning, looked for stories in the press or books, wrote the scripts and chose the actors, all together. They took turns directing: “Every time he directs one, and the team and the actors know that when he directs one, they can only talk to him. The other one doesn’t count. But when one rolls he knows that the other is behind. A look is usually enough. We have a relationship that I would say is telepathic,” the director recalled. Working as a team didn’t seem so strange to him: after all, the creators of cinema were also brothers. The Lumiere brothers. In fact, the Tavianis began making films when the Lumières were still alive. Vittorio did not travel to Seville that year due to health problems; he would die the following year.

In addition to their admired Rossellini, they recognized another plethora of influences: Picasso, Tolstoy, Shakespeare… “Originality is a big lie. “When you say you want to be original, it’s stupid,” Paolo said. His fifteen feature films are already an essential part of the history of the seventh art.

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