10 Famous Italian Directors
These are just a handful of famous Italian directors who have contributed to Italian and international cinema.
There is no denying that Italian art has contributed tremendously to Western culture. It may have started in the days of sculptures and painting, but continues today in the art of film. In order to have a successful movie, one needs a talented director.
10Pier Paolo Pasolini
Pasolini is best known for his extreme and often controversial movies. His works have often been described as picaresque neo-realism, showing a bleak but realistic sense of reality.
Pasolini’s greatest movie is perhaps “Mamma Roma”, an amazing postneorealist film. His last movie, Salo (The 120 Days of Sodom) is perhaps his most controversial and shocking.
The youngest director on this list, and perhaps the best known to the modern audience.
He directed the wildly successful La Vita è Bella (Life is Beautiful) that won the Academy Award for best actor (which Benigni won himself) and best Foreign Film. It was nominated for no less than seven Academy Awards.
There is no denying that Sergio Leone is best known for his spaghetti westerns.
With his mother an actress and his father considered a pioneer in cinema, it is true that Leone was born into movies.
Though the movies may have been released to mixed reviews initially, today Sergio Leone is widely recognized as a master filmmaker.
When he directed Romeo and Juliet in 1968, it was enough to shoot him directly to international fame.
Zeffirelli is not only known as a director of cinema, but also directed operas in some of the most famous opera houses in the world.
The fact that Luchino Visconti was born into a wealthy family allowed him to meet and discuss with some of the most influential people in the art community at the time.
His movie ‘The Damned’, released in 1969 was nominated for an Academy Award and instantly made him famous the world over.
The father of Isabella Rossellini and married to Swedish superstar Ingrid Bergman, Rossellini is often considered the father of Italian neorealist cinema. Perhaps his most famous movie is set in Rome during Nazi Occupation in World War II, named Roma Città Aperta.
4Vittorio De Sica
Known as a neorealist director, De Sica had quite a different rise to fame than Luchino Visconti. De Sica was born into poverty yet eventually managed to become an actor.
Perhaps his most famous movie of all time features Sophia Loren – ‘Two Women’ (La Ciociara).
Though Antonioni’s own work may have been very good, it was his legacy as a director that made him renowned. His work is considered particularly influential on subsequent art films.
Shot in a modernist style, critics and fellow filmmakers have stated that Antonioni’s style encouraged an open-ended narrative.
Bertolucci has a track record of success when it comes to releasing movies.
Perhaps his two most famous releases are The Last Tango in Paris and The Last Emperor. He in fact won an Academy Award for The Last Emperor as best director.
Federico Fellini is one of the most widely revered and most influential filmmakers of the 20th century.
He has won multiple awards, including the grand prize at the Moscow International Film Festival, a Palme d’Or, two Silver Lions, and four Academy Awards.