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 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign
Ellen DeGeneres leads Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow and Paul Bettany in revealing game of Never Have I Ever
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...
Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...
£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...