Paolo Taviani

Active - 1954 - 2017  |   Born - Nov 8, 1931 in San Miniato (Pisa), Toscana, Italia  |   Genres - Drama

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Biography by Sandra Brennan

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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Factsheet

  • Ha iniziato a realizzare documentari socialmente impegnati negli anni '50 con l'amico partigiano Valentino Orsini e con il fratello Vittorio.
  • Il neorealismo di Roberto Rossellini ha fortemente influenzato i loro primi documentari come "San Miniato, luglio '44" (1954).
  • Già il loro primo lungometraggio, Un uomo da bruciare (1962), è stato premiato a Venezia. A consegnare il premio è stato lo stesso Rossellini.
  • Nel 1984 ha fatto parte della giuria al Festival di Venezia insieme al fratello.
  • Commendatore Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana dal 1995 e Grande Ufficiale dal 2001. 
  • Nel 2005 i giornalisti dell'Associazione della Stampa Estera in Italia hanno cosegnato ai due la Grolla d'Oro.
  • Nel 2008 l'Università di Pisa ha conferito loro la laurea honoris causa in Cinema, teatro e produzione multimediale.
  • In occasione del Lucca Film Festival e Europa Cinema del 2019 ha ricevuto il premio alla carriera.