My favourite Italian directors

by Koyaanisqatsi4 | created - 25 Jan 2014 | updated - 20 Apr 2015 | Public

1. Pier Paolo Pasolini

Writer | Il Decameron

Pier Paolo Pasolini achieved fame and notoriety long before he entered the film industry. A published poet at 19, he had already written numerous novels and essays before his first screenplay in 1954. His first film Accattone (1961) was based on his own novel and its violent depiction of the life ...

2. Federico Fellini

Writer |

The women who both attracted and frightened him and an Italy dominated in his youth by Mussolini and Pope Pius XII - inspired the dreams that Fellini started recording in notebooks in the 1960s. Life and dreams were raw material for his films. His native Rimini and characters like Saraghina (the ...

3. Luchino Visconti

Writer | Rocco e i suoi fratelli

Luchino Visconti was born on November 2, 1906 in Milan, Lombardy, Italy as Luchino Visconti di Modrone. He was a writer and director, known for Rocco and His Brothers (1960), Death in Venice (1971) and Le Notti Bianche (1957). He died on March 17, 1976 in Rome, Lazio, Italy.

4. Michelangelo Antonioni

Writer | Blowup

Michelangelo Antonioni was born in 1912 into a middle-class family and grew up in bourgeois surroundings of the Italian province. In Bologna he studied economics and commerce while he painted and also wrote criticism for a local newspaper. In 1939 he went to Rome and worked for the journal "Cinema"...

5. Roberto Rossellini

Writer | Paisà

The master filmmaker Roberto Rossellini, as one of the creators of neo-realism, is one of the most influential directors of all time. His neo-realist films influenced France's nouvelle vague movement in the 1950s and '60s that changed the face of international cinema. He also influenced American ...

6. Vittorio De Sica

Director | Ladri di biciclette

Vittorio De Sica grew up in Naples, and started out as an office clerk in order to raise money to support his poor family. He was increasingly drawn towards acting, and made his screen debut while still in his teens, joining a stage company in 1923. By the late 1920s he was a successful matinee ...

7. Bernardo Bertolucci

Writer | Ultimo tango a Parigi

Bernardo Bertolucci, the Italian director whose films were known for their colorful visual style, was born in Parma, Italy. He attended Rome University and became famous as a poet. He served as assistant director for Pier Paolo Pasolini in the film Accattone (1961) and directed The Grim Reaper (...

8. Ettore Scola

Writer | Una giornata particolare

Ettore Scola was born on May 10, 1931 in Trevico, Campania, Italy. He was a writer and director, known for A Special Day (1977), The Family (1987) and Passion of Love (1981). He was married to Gigliola. He died on January 19, 2016 in Rome, Lazio, Italy.

9. Paolo Taviani

Director | La notte di San Lorenzo

Paolo Taviani studied liberal arts at the University of Pisa, becoming interested in the cinema after seeing Roberto Rossellini's Paisan (1946). After writing and directing short films and plays with his brother Vittorio, he made his first feature in 1962. The brothers have continued to work ...

10. Vittorio Taviani

Director | La notte di San Lorenzo

Vittorio Taviani studied law at the University of Pisa, becoming interested in the cinema after seeing Roberto Rossellini's Paisan (1946). After writing and directing short films and plays with his brother Paolo, he made his first feature in 1962. The brothers have continued to work together ever ...

11. Sergio Leone

Writer | Once Upon a Time in America

Sergio Leone was virtually born into the cinema - he was the son of Roberto Roberti (A.K.A. Vincenzo Leone), one of Italy's cinema pioneers, and actress Bice Valerian. Leone entered films in his late teens, working as an assistant director to both Italian directors and U.S. directors working in ...

12. Enzo Staiola

Actor | Ladri di biciclette

Enzo Staiola was born on November 15, 1939 in Rome, Lazio, Italy. He is an actor, known for Bicycle Thieves (1948), The Barefoot Contessa (1954) and A Tale of Five Women (1951).

13. Gianni Puccini

Writer | Io uccido, tu uccidi

Son of writer Mario Puccini, brother of director Massimo Mida.

14. Cesare Zavattini

Writer | Ladri di biciclette

Cesare Zavattini was born on September 29, 1902 in Luzzara, Emilia-Romagna, Italy. He was a writer and director, known for Bicycle Thieves (1948), Umberto D. (1952) and It's Forever Springtime (1950). He died on October 13, 1989 in Rome, Lazio, Italy.

15. Giuseppe De Santis

Writer | Caccia tragica

Giuseppe De Santis was born on February 11, 1917 in Fondi, Lazio, Italy. He was a writer and director, known for Tragic Hunt (1947), Days of Love (1954) and Bitter Rice (1949). He was married to Gordana Miletic. He died on May 16, 1997 in Rome, Lazio.

16. Mario Monicelli

Writer | I compagni

Mario Monicelli was born on May 16, 1915 in Rome, Lazio, Italy. He was a writer and director, known for The Organizer (1963), Speriamo che sia femmina (1986) and The Great War (1959). He was married to Antonella Salerni and Chiara Rapaccini. He died on November 29, 2010 in Rome.

17. Tonino Guerra

Writer | Amarcord

Legendary Italian screenwriter was born Antonio Guerra on the 16th of March 1920 in Sant'Arcangelo, Italy, south of Ravenna. He wrote several short stories, poetry and novels and in 1956 his first screenplay "Man and Wolves" (co-written by Elio Petri) was directed by Giuseppe De Santis. Three years...

18. Mario Bava

Cinematographer | Ecologia del delitto

Italian director Mario Bava was born on July 31, 1914 in the coastal northern Italian town of San Remo. His father, Eugenio Bava (1886-1966), was a cinematographer in the early days of the Italian film industry. Bava was trained as a painter, and when he eventually followed his father into film ...

19. Pietro Ingrao

Self | La forza della democrazia

Pietro Ingrao was born on March 30, 1915 in Lenola, Lazio, Italy. He died on September 27, 2015 in Rome, Lazio.

20. Alessandro Blasetti

Director | Prima comunione

Alessandro Blasetti was born on July 3, 1900 in Rome, Lazio, Italy. He was a director and writer, known for Father's Dilemma (1950), La corona di ferro (1941) and Me, Me, Me... and the Others (1966). He was married to Maria Laura Brofferio. He died on February 1, 1987 in Rome.

21. Alberto Lattuada

Writer | Guendalina

Alberto Lattuada was born on November 13, 1914 in Milan, Lombardy, Italy. He was a writer and director, known for Guendalina (1957), Flesh Will Surrender (1947) and Bambina (1974). He was married to Carla Del Poggio. He died on July 3, 2005 in Rome, Lazio, Italy.

22. Giovanni Pastrone

Director | Cabiria

Giovanni Pastrone was born on September 13, 1883 in Montechiaro d'Asti, Piedmont, Italy. He was a director and writer, known for Cabiria (1914), The Warrior (1916) and The Fire (1916). He died on June 27, 1959 in Turin, Piedmont.

23. Marco Ferreri

Writer | Storie di ordinaria follia

Marco Ferreri was born on May 11, 1928 in Milan, Lombardy, Italy. He was a writer and director, known for Tales of Ordinary Madness (1981), L'udienza (1972) and The House of Smiles (1991). He was married to Jacqueline Ferreri. He died on May 9, 1997 in Paris, France.

24. Elio Petri

Writer | Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto

Elio Petri was born on January 29, 1929 in Rome, Lazio, Italy as Eraclio Petri. He was a writer and director, known for Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (1970), We Still Kill the Old Way (1967) and Lulu the Tool (1971). He was married to Paola Pegoraro. He died on November 10, 1982 in ...

25. Mauro Bolognini

Director | Mosca addio

Mauro Bolognini was born on February 28, 1922 in Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy. He was a director and writer, known for Farewell Moscow (1987), Madamigella di Maupin (1966) and Careless (1962). He died on May 14, 2001 in Rome, Lazio, Italy.

26. Gillo Pontecorvo

Director | La battaglia di Algeri

Gillo Pontecorvo was an Italian filmmaker. He is best known for his 1966 masterpiece, The Battle of Algiers, widely viewed as one of the finest films of its genre: realistic though fictionalized documentary. Its portrayal of the Algerian resistance during the Algerian War uses the neorealist style ...

27. Marco Bellocchio

Writer | Buongiorno, notte

Marco Bellocchio was born on November 9, 1939 in Piacenza, Emilia-Romagna, Italy. He is a writer and director, known for Good Morning, Night (2003), The Wedding Director (2006) and Fists in the Pocket (1965).

28. Luigi Comencini

Writer | Voltati Eugenio

Luigi Comencini was born on June 8, 1916 in Salò, Lombardy, Italy. He was a writer and director, known for Eugenio (1980), Everybody Go Home! (1960) and Bread, Love and Dreams (1953). He was married to Giulia Grifeo. He died on April 6, 2007 in Rome, Lazio, Italy.

29. Damiano Damiani

Writer | Il giorno della civetta

Damiano Damiani was born on July 23, 1922 in Pasiano di Pordenone, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy. He was a writer and director, known for Mafia (1968), The Reunion (1963) and Confessions of a Police Captain (1971). He died on March 7, 2013 in Rome, Lazio, Italy.

30. Valerio Zurlini

Writer | Cronaca familiare

Valerio Zurlini was born on March 19, 1926. During his law studies in Rome, he started working in the theatre. In 1943, he joined the Italian resistance. Zurlini became a member of the Italian Communist Party. He filmed short documentaries in the immediate post-war period and in 1954 directed his ...

31. Francesco Rosi

Writer | Cadaveri eccellenti

Francesco Rosi was born on November 15, 1922 in Naples, Campania, Italy. He was a writer and director, known for Illustrious Corpses (1976), La sfida (1958) and Salvatore Giuliano (1962). He was married to Giancarla Mandelli. He died on January 10, 2015 in Rome, Lazio, Italy.

32. Roberto Benigni

Actor | La vita è bella

Roberto Benigni was born on October 27, 1952 in Manciano La Misericordia, Castiglion Fiorentino, Tuscany, Italy as Roberto Remigio Benigni. He is an actor and writer, known for Life Is Beautiful (1997), The Tiger and the Snow (2005) and Down by Law (1986). He has been married to Nicoletta Braschi ...

33. Liliana Cavani

Director | Dove siete? Io sono qui

Liliana Cavani was born on January 12, 1933 in Carpi, Emilia-Romagna, Italy. She is a director and writer, known for Dove siete? Io sono qui (1993), The Night Porter (1974) and The Guest (1971).

34. Giuseppe Tornatore

Writer | La leggenda del pianista sull'oceano

Giuseppe Tornatore was born on May 27, 1956 in Bagheria, Sicily, Italy. He is a writer and director, known for The Legend of 1900 (1998), The Best Offer (2013) and Cinema Paradiso (1988).

35. Gabriele Salvatores

Director | Nirvana

Gabriele Salvatores was born on July 30, 1950 in Naples, Campania, Italy. He is a director and writer, known for Nirvana (1997), I'm Not Scared (2003) and The Invisible Boy (2014).

36. Matteo Garrone

Director | Il racconto dei racconti - Tale of Tales

Matteo Garrone was born in Rome in 1968. He is the son of a theatre critic, Nico Garrone, and a photographer. In 1996 he won the Sacher d'Oro, an award sponsored by Nanni Moretti, with the short film Silhouette (1996), that became one of the three episodes of his first feature film Land in Between ...

37. Dario Argento

Writer | Profondo rosso

Dario Argento was born on September 7, 1940, in Rome, Italy, the first-born son of famed Italian producer Salvatore Argento and Brazilian fashion model Elda Luxardo. Argento recalls getting his ideas for filmmaking from his close-knit family from Italian folk tales told by his parents and other ...

38. Fernando Di Leo

Writer | Milano calibro 9

Fernando Di Leo was born on January 11, 1932 in San Ferdinando di Puglia, Puglia, Italy. He was a writer and director, known for Caliber 9 (1972), Madness (1980) and To Be Twenty (1978). He was married to Maria Pia Conte. He died on December 1, 2003 in Rome, Lazio, Italy.



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