Italian Directors

by triploon | created - 09 Jan 2015 | updated - 21 Jan 2016 | Public

1. Federico Fellini

Writer | Amarcord

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 ...

2. 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"...

3. 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 ...

4. 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 ...

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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 ...

8. 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.

9. Pier Paolo Pasolini

Writer | Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma

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 ...

10. 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 (...

11. Franco Zeffirelli

Director | Romeo and Juliet

Franco Zeffirelli was born on February 12, 1923 in Florence, Tuscany, Italy as Gian Franco Corsi Zeffirelli. He is known for his work on Romeo and Juliet (1968), The Taming of the Shrew (1967) and La traviata (1982). He died on June 15, 2019 in Rome, Lazio, Italy.

12. 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 ...

13. Florestano Vancini

Director | La lunga notte del '43

Florestano Vancini was born on August 24, 1926 in Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna, Italy. He was a director and writer, known for It Happened in '43 (1960), Il delitto Matteotti (1973) and Seasons of Our Love (1966). He was married to Liliana Ferrari. He died on September 18, 2008 in Rome, Lazio, Italy.

14. 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), The Great War (1959) and Speriamo che sia femmina (1986). He was married to Antonella Salerni and Chiara Rapaccini. He died on November 29, 2010 in Rome.

15. Marco Ferreri

Writer | Dillinger è morto

Marco Ferreri was born on May 11, 1928 in Milan, Lombardy, Italy. He was a writer and director, known for Dillinger Is Dead (1969), Tales of Ordinary Madness (1981) and L'udienza (1972). He was married to Jacqueline Ferreri. He died on May 9, 1997 in Paris, France.

16. 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 ...

17. Dino Risi

Director | Il sorpasso

Dino Risi became a movie director by chance. In 1940 he met Alberto Lattuada at a friend's boutique. Lattuada told him they needed an assistant director for the movie Piccolo mondo antico (1941). Risi accepted just for fun, not for work. Later, he became a psychiatrist and wrote some articles for a...

18. 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.

19. 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), Cinema Paradiso (1988) and The Best Offer (2013).

20. 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).

21. Ermanno Olmi

Director | L'albero degli zoccoli

Ermanno Olmi was born on July 24, 1931 in Bergamo, Lombardy, Italy. He was a director and writer, known for The Tree of Wooden Clogs (1978), The Legend of the Holy Drinker (1988) and The Profession of Arms (2001). He was married to Loredana Detto. He died on May 5, 2018 in Asiago, Veneto, Italy.

22. Nanni Moretti

Producer | La stanza del figlio

Nanni Moretti was born on the 19th of August, 1953. He lives in Rome, where since he was a kid he devotes himself to his two passions: cinema and water-polo. In 1970 he also played in water-polo first division in Italy, and in the junior National team. In those years he was also very committed in ...

23. 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).

24. Gianni Amelio

Director | Le chiavi di casa

Gianni Amelio was born on January 20, 1945 in Magisano, Calabria, Italy. He is a director and writer, known for The Keys to the House (2004), The Stolen Children (1992) and Open Doors (1990).

25. 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 ...

26. Paolo Sorrentino

Writer | Youth

Paolo Sorrentino was born on May 31, 1970 in Naples, Campania, Italy. He is a writer and director, known for Youth (2015), The Great Beauty (2013) and This Must Be the Place (2011). He is married to Daniela D'Antonio. They have two children.



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