Savage, grotesque, funny, original, disturbing. All can be used to describe the social satires of Italian filmmaker Marco Ferreri. After having assisted on numerous Italian productions in the '50s, Ferreri began directing and co-scripting films in Spain in 1958. In Italy he made a reputation for offbeat and acidic satires of contemporary life, with such early-'60s films as L'Ape Regina/The Conjugal Bed and La Donna Scimmia/The Ape Woman (1963). After the tour-de-force of Dillinger E Morto/Dillinger is Dead in 1969, his work turned even more savage, most notably his '70s films La Grande Bouffe (1973), a Swiftian account of four men eating themselves to death; La Derniere Femme/The Last Woman (1976), a shocking exploration of changing sexual roles starring Gerard Depardieu; and Tales of Ordinary Madness (1981), a bizarre adaptation of the memoirs of Charles Bukowski. In 1992, Ferreri's La Casa del Sorriso/House of Smiles, a tale of romance and sexual liaisons in an old folks home, won the Golden Bear for best picture at the 1991 Berlin Film Festival. Throughout his career, Ferreri believed that the cinema was the one place where people from all of life's walk could be equal and so made movies for the masses. Near the end of his life, Ferreri was deeply troubled by the death of the grand old movie houses and by the trend to make artier films for more elite audiences. He expressed his views in his final film, Nitrato D'Argento (1996), a retrospective of cinema that made compelling arguments for his case. Ferreri died of heart failure in a Paris hospital on May 9, 1997. He was 69.