Paolo Taviani

Active - 1954 - 2017  |   Born - Nov 8, 1931 in San Miniato, Pisa, Italy  |   Genres - Drama

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Italian filmmaker Paolo Taviani and his brother Vittorio, known for their politically charged re-workings of historical events, began their long, fruitful collaboration while still in school. Their earliest films were documentaries, and their liberal political tendencies are already apparent in their first finished short San Miniato, July 1944 (1954), a chronicle of a Nazi massacre in their hometown done in collaboration with Cesare Zavattini. The notorious resistance fighter Valentino Orsini was a friend and also had a tremendous effect on their work. The brothers gained notoriety in 1967 with the groundbreaking Subversives, a film that combined actual footage of a Communist leader's funeral with the story of four people for whom the death marks a major turning point in their political futures. With their feature films, the brothers Taviani share every aspect of filmmaking from writing and design, to directing. When they began in features, they adopted conventions of Neo-Realism by using non-pro actors, natural lighting, location shoots, natural sound, and working class scenarios. Later, they branched off in search of their own style of blurring the lines between traditional documentary and fictional features by presenting subjective views of actual facts to create a metaphorical look at history. A good example of their vision and style can be seen in La notte di San Lorenzo (1984), a remake of their first film. The film reflects the Taviani's commitment to retelling history in a manner apropos to contemporary needs in order to prevent a repetition of its tragedies.

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