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Gillo Pontecorvo
Gillo Pontecorvo
(Italian: [ˈdʒillo ponteˈkɔrvo]; 19 November 1919 – 12 October 2006) was an Italian filmmaker. He worked as a film director for more than a decade before his best known film La battaglia di Algeri (The Battle of Algiers, 1966) was released. It won the Golden Lion
Golden Lion
at the Venice Film Festival
Venice Film Festival
in 1966. His other films include Kapò
Kapò
(1960), which takes place in a World War II concentration camp, and Burn! (Queimada, 1969), starring Marlon Brando and loosely based on the failed slave revolution in Guadeloupe. In 2000, he received the Pietro Bianchi Award at the Venice Film Festival. He was also a screenwriter and composer of film scores, and a close friend of the Italian President Giorgio Napolitano.

Contents

1 Early life 2 Film career

2.1 Early Films 2.2 The Battle of Algiers 2.3 Late career

3 Motivations 4 Selected bibliography 5 Filmography as director 6 References 7 External links

Early life[edit] Pontecorvo, born in Pisa, was the son of a wealthy non-observant Italian Jewish family. His father was a businessman. Gillo was the brother of Bruno Pontecorvo, an internationally acclaimed physicist and one of the so-called Via Panisperna boys; Guido Pontecorvo, a geneticist; Polì [Paul] Pontecorvo, an engineer who worked on radar after World War II; Giuliana (m. Talbet); Laura (m. Coppa); Anna (m. Newton); and David Maraoni. Gillo Pontecorvo
Gillo Pontecorvo
studied chemistry at the University of Pisa, but dropped out after passing just two exams. It was there that he first became aware of opposing political forces, coming into contact with leftist students and professors for the first time. In 1938, faced with growing anti-Semitism, he followed his elder brother Bruno to Paris, where he was able to find work in journalism and as a tennis instructor. Film career[edit] Early Films[edit] In Paris he involved himself in the film world, where he made a few short documentaries. He became an assistant to Joris Ivens, the Dutch documentary filmmaker and a well known Marxist, whose films include Regen and The Bridge. He also assisted Yves Allégret, a French director known for his work in the film noir genre whose films include Une Si Jolie Petite Plage and Les Orgueilleux. In addition to these influences, Pontecorvo began meeting people who broadened his perspectives, among them Pablo Picasso, Igor Stravinsky
Igor Stravinsky
and Jean-Paul Sartre. It was during this time that Pontecorvo truly developed his political ideals. He was particularly affected when many of his friends in Paris packed up to go and fight in the Spanish Civil War. Pontecorvo joined the Italian Communist Party
Italian Communist Party
in 1941. He traveled to northern Italy to help organize anti-Fascist partisans and going by the pseudonym Barnaba, becoming a leader of the Resistance in Milan from 1943 until 1945. Pontecorvo broke ties with the party in 1956 after the Soviet intervention in Hungary. He didn't, however, renounce his dedication to Marxism
Marxism
and in a 1983 interview with the UK’s Guardian newspaper, said, "I am not an out-and-out revolutionary. I am merely a man of the Left, like a lot of Italian Jews."[1] After World War II and his return to Italy, Pontecorvo made the decision to leave journalism for filmmaking, a move that seems to have been in the making for some time, but was set in motion after he saw Roberto Rossellini's Paisà
Paisà
(1946). He bought a 16mm camera and shot several documentaries, mostly self-funded, beginning with Missione Timiriazev in 1953. He then directed Giovanna, which was one episode of La rosa dei venti (1956), a film made with several directors. In 1957 he directed his first full-length film, La grande strada azzurra (The Wide Blue Road), which foreshadowed his mature style of later films. It deals with a fisherman and his family on the small island off the Dalmatian coast of Italy. Because of the scarcity of fish in nearby waters, the fisherman, Squarciò, is forced to sail out to the open sea to fish illegally with bombs. The film won a prize at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Pontecorvo spent months, and sometimes years, researching the material for his films in order to accurately represent the actual social situations he commented on. In the next two years, Pontecorvo directed Kapò
Kapò
(1960), a drama set in a Nazi death camp. The plot of the film is about an escape attempt from a concentration camp by a young Jewish girl. In 1961 the film was nominated by the Academy Awards
Academy Awards
for an Oscar for Best Foreign-Language Film.[2] Also in this same year the film won two awards: the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists awarded Didi Perego
Didi Perego
a Silver Ribbon for best supporting actress, and the Mar del Plata Film Festival awarded Susan Strasberg
Susan Strasberg
for best actress. The Battle of Algiers[edit] Main article: The Battle of Algiers
The Battle of Algiers
(film) Pontecorvo 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
Algerian War
uses the neorealist style pioneered by fellow Italian film directors de Santis and Rossellini, employing newsreel-style footage and non-professional actors, and focusing primarily on a disenfranchised population that seldom receives attention from the general media. Though very much Italian neorealist in style, Pontecorvo co-produced with an Algerian film company. The script was written with intention that actual Front de Libération Nationale (FLN) leaders would act it. (For example, the character Djafar was played by an FLN leader, Yacef Saadi.) Pontecorvo's theme was clear and anti-imperalist; he later called the film a "hymn ... in homage to the people who must struggle for their independence, not only in Algeria, but everywhere in the third world" and "the birth of a nation happens with pain on both sides, although one side has cause and the other not." The Battle of Algiers
The Battle of Algiers
achieved great success and influence. It was widely screened in the United States, where Pontecorvo received a number of awards. He was also nominated for two Academy Awards
Academy Awards
for direction and screenplay (a collaboration). The film has been used as a training video by government strategists as well as revolutionary groups. It has been and remains extremely popular in Algeria, providing a popular memory of the struggle for independence from France. The semi-documentary style and use of an almost entirely non-professional cast (only one trained actor appears in the film) was a great influence on a number of future filmmakers and films. This can be found in things as diverse as the few surviving works of West German filmmaker Teod Richter made from the late 1960s up to his disappearance, and presumed death, in 1986 through to more recent commercial films such as the Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity and many others. Late career[edit] Pontecorvo's next major work, Queimada! (Burn!, 1969), is also anti-colonial, this time set in the Antilles. This film (starring Marlon Brando) depicts an attempted revolution of the oppressed. Pontecorvo continued his series of highly political films with Ogro (1979), which addresses the occurrence of terrorism at the end of Francisco Franco's dwindling regime in Spain. He continued making short films into the early 1990s and directed a follow-up documentary to The Battle of Algiers
The Battle of Algiers
entitled Ritorno ad Algeri (Return to Algiers, 1992). In 1992, Pontecorvo replaced Guglielmo Biraghi as the director of the Venice Film Festival
Venice Film Festival
and was responsible for the festivals of 1992, 1993 and 1994. In 1991, he was a member of the jury at the 41st Berlin International Film Festival.[3] Motivations[edit] Gillo Pontecorvo
Gillo Pontecorvo
directed films with an eight or nine years gap in between. In an interview that Pontecorvo gave in 1991, when asked why he had only directed so few movies, his response was that he could only make a movie with which he is totally in love. He also stated that he had rejected many other movies. Pontecorvo was a director who only directed movies in which he was going to be able to give it his all. In 2006, he died from congestive heart failure in Rome at age 86.[4] Selected bibliography[edit]

Bignardi, Irene (1999). Memorie estorte a uno smemorato. Vita di Gillo Pontecorvo. Feltrinelli.  Celli, Carlo (2005). Gillo Pontecorvo: From Resistance to Terrorism. Lanham: Scarecrow Press.  Fanon, Frantz (2001). Pour la revolution africaine: Essais politiques. Paris: La Decouverte.  Mellen, Joan; Pontecorvo, Gillo (Autumn 1972). "An Interview with Gillo Pontecorvo". Film Quarterly. 26 (1): 2–10. doi:10.1525/fq.1972.26.1.04a00030.  Mellen, Joan (1973). Filmguide to The Battle of Algiers'. Indiana University Publications.  Said, Edward W. (2000). "The Quest for Gillo Pontecorvo". Reflections on Exile and Other Essays. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. pp. 282–292.  Solinas, Franco (1973). Gillo Pontecorvo’s The Battle of Algiers'. New York: Scribner’s. 

Filmography as director[edit]

Missione Timiriazev (1953, documentary)[5] Porta Portese
Porta Portese
(1954, documentary) Festa a Castelluccio (1954, documentary) Uomini del marmo (1955, documentary) Giovanna (1955, short) Cani dietro le sbarre (1955, documentary) Die Windrose (1957, segment "Giovanna") La grande strada azzurra
La grande strada azzurra
(The Wide Blue Road, 1957) Pane e zolfo (1959, documentary) Kapò
Kapò
(1959) Gli uomini del lago (1959, documentary) Paras (1963, documentary) La Battaglia di Algeri (The Battle of Algiers, 1966) Queimada (Burn!, 1969) Operación Ogro
Ogro
(Operation Ogre, 1979) Addio a Enrico Berliguer (1984, documentary) 12 registi per 12 città (1989, segment "Udine") Gillo Pontecorvo's Return to Algiers (1992, documentary) Danza della fata confetto (1996, short) Nostalgia di protezione (1997, short, also featured in I corti italiani) Un altro mondo è possibile (2001, documentary) Firenze, il nostro domani (2003, documentary)

References[edit]

^ quoted by Rethinking Nordic Colonialism: A Postcolonial Exhibition Project in Five Acts, (24 March - 25 November 2006), curated by Kuratorisk Aktion for NIFCA, Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art. ^ "The 33rd Academy Awards
Academy Awards
(1961) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-10-29.  ^ "Berlinale: 1991 Juries". berlinale.de. Retrieved 2011-03-21.  ^ Peary, Gerald. "Talking with Gillo Pontecorvo".  ^ Thompson, Bordwell, Kristin, David (2010). Film History: An Introduction, Third Edition. New York, NY: McGraw Hill. 

External links[edit]

Gillo Pontecorvo
Gillo Pontecorvo
on IMDb Interview with Gillo Pontecorvo
Gillo Pontecorvo
at the World Socialist Web Site (in French) Edition de « De l'abjection » (1961) par Jacques Rivette, critique du film Kapo (1959) de Pontecorvo, sur le site d'analyse L'oBservatoire (simple appareil). (in French) Présentation de La Bataille d'Alger de Gillo Pontecorvo, sur le site d'analyse L'oBservatoire (simple appareil).

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Films directed by Gillo Pontecorvo

The Wide Blue Road
The Wide Blue Road
(1957) Kapo (1960) The Battle of Algiers
The Battle of Algiers
(1966) Burn! (1969) Ogro
Ogro
(1979)

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David di Donatello
David di Donatello
Award for Best Director

1956–1980

Gianni Franciolini
Gianni Franciolini
(1956) Federico Fellini
Federico Fellini
(1957) Alberto Lattuada
Alberto Lattuada
(1959) Federico Fellini
Federico Fellini
(1960) Michelangelo Antonioni
Michelangelo Antonioni
(1961) Ermanno Olmi
Ermanno Olmi
(1962) Vittorio De Sica
Vittorio De Sica
(1963) Pietro Germi (1964) Francesco Rosi
Francesco Rosi
/ Vittorio De Sica
Vittorio De Sica
(1965) Alessandro Blasetti / Pietro Germi (1966) Luigi Comencini
Luigi Comencini
(1967) Carlo Lizzani
Carlo Lizzani
(1968) Franco Zeffirelli
Franco Zeffirelli
(1969) Gillo Pontecorvo
Gillo Pontecorvo
(1970) Luchino Visconti
Luchino Visconti
(1971) Franco Zeffirelli
Franco Zeffirelli
/ Sergio Leone
Sergio Leone
(1972) Luchino Visconti
Luchino Visconti
(1973) Federico Fellini
Federico Fellini
(1974) Dino Risi
Dino Risi
(1975) Mario Monicelli
Mario Monicelli
/ Francesco Rosi
Francesco Rosi
(1976) Valerio Zurlini / Mario Monicelli
Mario Monicelli
(1977) Ettore Scola
Ettore Scola
(1978) Francesco Rosi
Francesco Rosi
(1979) Gillo Pontecorvo
Gillo Pontecorvo
/ Marco Bellocchio
Marco Bellocchio
(1980)

1981–2000

Francesco Rosi
Francesco Rosi
(1981) Marco Ferreri
Marco Ferreri
(1982) Paolo and Vittorio Taviani
Paolo and Vittorio Taviani
(1983) Ettore Scola
Ettore Scola
(1984) Francesco Rosi
Francesco Rosi
(1985) Mario Monicelli
Mario Monicelli
(1986) Ettore Scola
Ettore Scola
(1987) Bernardo Bertolucci
Bernardo Bertolucci
(1988) Ermanno Olmi
Ermanno Olmi
(1989) Mario Monicelli
Mario Monicelli
(1990) Marco Risi
Marco Risi
/ Ricky Tognazzi
Ricky Tognazzi
(1991) Gianni Amelio
Gianni Amelio
(1992) Roberto Faenza
Roberto Faenza
/ Ricky Tognazzi
Ricky Tognazzi
(1993) Carlo Verdone
Carlo Verdone
(1994) Mario Martone
Mario Martone
(1995) Giuseppe Tornatore
Giuseppe Tornatore
(1996) Francesco Rosi
Francesco Rosi
(1997) Roberto Benigni
Roberto Benigni
(1998) Giuseppe Tornatore
Giuseppe Tornatore
(1999) Silvio Soldini (2000)

2001–present

Gabriele Muccino (2001) Ermanno Olmi
Ermanno Olmi
(2002) Pupi Avati
Pupi Avati
(2003) Marco Tullio Giordana (2004) Paolo Sorrentino
Paolo Sorrentino
(2005) Nanni Moretti
Nanni Moretti
(2006) Giuseppe Tornatore
Giuseppe Tornatore
(2007) Andrea Molaioli (2008) Matteo Garrone
Matteo Garrone
(2009) Marco Bellocchio
Marco Bellocchio
(2010) Daniele Luchetti (2011) Paolo and Vittorio Taviani
Paolo and Vittorio Taviani
(2012) Giuseppe Tornatore
Giuseppe Tornatore
(2013) Paolo Sorrentino
Paolo Sorrentino
(2014) Francesco Munzi (2015) Matteo Garrone
Matteo Garrone
(2016)

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Nastro d'Argento Award for Best Director

Alessandro Blasetti / Vittorio De Sica
Vittorio De Sica
(1946) Roberto Rossellini
Roberto Rossellini
(1947) Alberto Lattuada
Alberto Lattuada
/ Giuseppe De Santis (1948) Vittorio De Sica
Vittorio De Sica
(1949) Augusto Genina
Augusto Genina
(1950) Alessandro Blasetti (1951) Renato Castellani
Renato Castellani
(1952) Luigi Zampa
Luigi Zampa
(1953) Federico Fellini
Federico Fellini
(1954) Federico Fellini
Federico Fellini
(1955) Michelangelo Antonioni
Michelangelo Antonioni
(1956) Pietro Germi (1957) Federico Fellini
Federico Fellini
(1958) Pietro Germi (1959) Roberto Rossellini
Roberto Rossellini
(1960) Luchino Visconti
Luchino Visconti
(1961) Michelangelo Antonioni
Michelangelo Antonioni
(1962) Nanni Loy
Nanni Loy
/ Francesco Rosi
Francesco Rosi
(1963) Federico Fellini
Federico Fellini
(1964) Pier Paolo Pasolini
Pier Paolo Pasolini
(1965) Antonio Pietrangeli
Antonio Pietrangeli
(1966) Gillo Pontecorvo
Gillo Pontecorvo
(1967) Elio Petri (1968) Franco Zeffirelli
Franco Zeffirelli
(1969) Luchino Visconti
Luchino Visconti
(1970) Elio Petri (1971) Luchino Visconti
Luchino Visconti
(1972) Bernardo Bertolucci
Bernardo Bertolucci
(1973) Federico Fellini
Federico Fellini
(1974) Luchino Visconti
Luchino Visconti
(1975) Michelangelo Antonioni
Michelangelo Antonioni
(1976) Valerio Zurlini (1977) Paolo and Vittorio Taviani
Paolo and Vittorio Taviani
(1978) Ermanno Olmi
Ermanno Olmi
(1979) Federico Fellini
Federico Fellini
(1980) Francesco Rosi
Francesco Rosi
(1981) Marco Ferreri
Marco Ferreri
(1982) Paolo and Vittorio Taviani
Paolo and Vittorio Taviani
(1983) Pupi Avati
Pupi Avati
/ Federico Fellini
Federico Fellini
(1984) Sergio Leone
Sergio Leone
(1985) Mario Monicelli
Mario Monicelli
(1986) Ettore Scola
Ettore Scola
(1987) Bernardo Bertolucci
Bernardo Bertolucci
(1988) Ermanno Olmi
Ermanno Olmi
(1989) Pupi Avati
Pupi Avati
(1990) Gianni Amelio
Gianni Amelio
(1991) Gabriele Salvatores
Gabriele Salvatores
(1992) Gianni Amelio
Gianni Amelio
(1993) Nanni Moretti
Nanni Moretti
(1994) Gianni Amelio
Gianni Amelio
(1995) Giuseppe Tornatore
Giuseppe Tornatore
(1996) Maurizio Nichetti (1997) Roberto Benigni
Roberto Benigni
(1998) Giuseppe Tornatore
Giuseppe Tornatore
(1999) Silvio Soldini (2000) Nanni Moretti
Nanni Moretti
(2001) Marco Bellocchio
Marco Bellocchio
(2002) Gabriele Salvatores
Gabriele Salvatores
(2003) Marco Tullio Giordana (2004) Gianni Amelio
Gianni Amelio
(2005) Michele Placido
Michele Placido
(2006) Giuseppe Tornatore
Giuseppe Tornatore
(2007) Paolo Virzì
Paolo Virzì
(2008) Paolo Sorrentino
Paolo Sorrentino
(2009) Paolo Virzì
Paolo Virzì
(2010) Nanni Moretti
Nanni Moretti
(2011) Paolo Sorrentino
Paolo Sorrentino
(2012) Giuseppe Tornatore
Giuseppe Tornatore
(2013) Paolo Virzì
Paolo Virzì
(2014) Paolo Sorrentino
Paolo Sorrentino
(2015) Paolo Virzì
Paolo Virzì
(2016)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 12496893 LCCN: n79135133 ISNI: 0000 0001 1596 891X GND: 119404508 SUDOC: 057511586 BNF: cb13948477k (data) ICCU: ITICCURAVV54821 BNE: XX4578543 SN


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