Obituary: Carlo Lizzani
Film critic who became an acclaimed screenwriter and director
Sunday 06 October 2013
Carlo Lizzani, who died on 5 October at the age of 91, was a film critic who became a screenwriter and much-lauded protagonist of Italian Neorealism. He died after falling from the third-floor balcony of his home in Rome and authorities are investigating whether it was suicide.
Born in Rome in April 1922, Lizzani started out as a film critic and then a writer, working on Roberto Rossellini's 1948 Germany Year Zero, the final film in his trilogy about the Second Word War, following on from Rome, Open City and Paisa. Lizzani's first film under his own name was a 1948 documentary about the Italian Communist Party leader Palmiro Togliatti.
He then wrote Giuseppe De Santis' 1950 film Bitter Rice, which earned him an Oscar nomination. The film portrays two small-time criminals, Francesca and Walter, in northern Italy. In an effort to avoid the police, Francesca joins a group of women rice workers, meeting a voluptuous peasant rice worker, and a soon-to-be-discharged soldier. Walter follows her to the rice fields, and the four characters become involved in a complex plot involving robbery, love, and murder.
Other collaborators included the likes of Jean-Luc Godard, Marco Bellocchio, Bernardo Bertolucci and Pier Paolo Pasolini, with all of whom he co-directed the 1969 portmanteau film Amore e rabbia (“Love and Anger”). Lizzani's section, “Apathy”, depicted a New York rape victim whose cries for help fall on deaf ears.
The Academy of Italian Cinema awarded him Best Director for his 1968 film The Violent Four about a manhunt for bank robbers, and best screenwriter for the 1996 film Celluloide about the making of Rome, Open City. He directed the Venice Film Festival from 1979-1982, and was a member of the Berlin Film Festival jury in 1994.
The Italian president Giorgio Napolitano, who knew Lizzani for decades, honoured him for his contributions to “cinema, to culture and to the democratic development of our country”. Paolo Baratta, president of the Venice Biennale, whose components include the Venice Film Festival as well as arts, dance and architecture sections, said, “The Biennale is crying on the day of Carlo Lizzani's death. He knew how to give the festival new energy. He knew how to create a nucleus of young students and experts that would represent in future years the true elite. The world of Italian cinema owes him a lot.”
- 1 East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
- 2 Yorkshire man to win £10,000 off a £1 bet placed six years ago if Dan Jarvis becomes Labour Party leader
- 3 Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
- 4 Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
- 5 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
Ohio Democrat Teresa Fedor speaks out during abortion debate to reveal she has been raped – and is interrupted by laughter from Republicans
Children take eight Isis captives to be beheaded in latest propaganda video
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
£14500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a Sales Ca...
£14560 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers unique pers...
£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...