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la Biennale di Venezia
Main Visual Sezione STORIA EN


70 Directors for Venice 70

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Born in Ascoli Satriano, Foggia, in 1946, he is one of the most popular and acclaimed protagonists of Italian cinema today, in his twin role as actor and director. After studying at the Accademia d’Arte Drammatica, he made his theatre debut in 1970 with Luca Ronconi in Orlando Furioso. He worked on the stage with Patroni Griffi and Strehler, among others. In 1973, he made his film debut in Teresa la ladra (Teresa the Thief) by Carlo Di Palma, but achieved full recognition in Romanzo Popolare (Come Home and Meet My Wife, 1974) directed by Mario Monicelli, in the role of a young policeman in love with Ornella Muti. Marco Bellocchio was the director who established him as a dramatic actor in Marcia trionfale (Victory March, 1976) for which he won a special David award, and later in Salto nel vuoto (A Leap in the Dark, 1980). He also acted in films by Comencini, Ferreri, Lizzani, Squitieri, Samperi (in Ernesto, 1979, for which he won the Best Actor Award in Berlin) and Rosi (in Tre fratelli (Three Brothers), 1981), Marco Risi (in Mery per sempre (Forever Mary), 1989). A fundamental moment in his career was his role as Commissario Cattani in the hit TV series La piovra (1984) by Damiano Damiani. In 1990 he made his debut as a director with Pummarò (Tomato), on the theme of immigrants. His later films as a director would be distinguished by their civil commitment, and their psychological investigation: from Le amiche del cuore  (Close Friends, 1992), on the theme of incest in the lives of three girls from the working-class suburbs, to Un eroe Borghese (Ordinary Hero, 1995, winner of the Special David di Donatello Award), about the murder of the lawyer Ambrosoli, to Del perduto amore (1998), an intense portrait of an elementary-school teacher in a southern town, and Romanzo criminale (Kings of Crime, 2005), inspired by the best-seller by Di Cataldo, which was a box-office hit and won eight David di Donatello awards and five Silver Ribbon awards. Concurrently he pursued his varied and intense career as an actor, with memorable performances in Lamerica (1994) by Amelio, Padre e figlio (Father and Son, 1994) by Pozzessere, Il caimano (The Caiman, 2006) by Moretti, La sconosciuta (The Unknown Woman, 2008) and Baarìa (2009) by Tornatore. As an author he has been invited to the Venice Film Festival many times: in 1998 he presented Del perduto amore Out of Competition, in 2002 he competed for the Golden Lion with Un viaggio chiamato amore (A Journey Called Love, Coppa Volpi for Best Actor to Stefano Accorsi). He returned in 2004 with Ovunque sei and in 2009 with Il grande sogno (The Big Dream), the portrait of three young Italians in 1968 (Marcello Mastroianni award to Jasmine Trinca). In 2010 he came back to the Venice Film Festival Out of Competition with Vallanzasca. Gli angeli del male (Angel of Evil), the daring life story of Renato Vallanzasca and his criminal gang in Milan in the 1970’s. His latest film as a director is Il cecchino (The Lookout, 2012), filmed in France, and starring Daniel Auteuil and Mathieu Kassovitz.
1998 – Del perduto amore – Out of Competition (subject, screenplay, director)
1999 – Un uomo perbene – Special Events (actor)
2002 – Un viaggio chiamato amore (A Journey Called Love) – In Competition (subject, screenplay, director)
2004 – Ovunque sei – In Competition (screenplay, director)
2009 – Il grande sogno (The Big Dream) – In Competition (screenplay, director)
2010 – Vallanzasca. Gli angeli del male (Angel of Evil) – Out of Competition (screenplay, director)
2009 – Negli occhi – Controcampo italiano (actor)

2002 – Un viaggio chiamato amore (A Journey Called Love) – Coppa Volpi for Best Actor to Stefano Accorsi
2009 – Il grande sogno (The Big Dream) – Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Emerging Actress to Jasmine Trinca

2006 - Venezia 63


70 Directors for Venice 70