Lattuada, Alberto

   Photographer, writer, director, screenwriter. A director of extraordinary versatility often characterized as merely eclectic, Lattuada was born into a cultured Milanese family and was exposed to all the arts from a very young age. His father, a composer and musician who often took his son to the opera at La Scala, also scored a number of films for Alessandro Blasetti and Mario Camerini. While still in high school, Lattuada began writing and editing literary magazines and later, as an architecture student at the Politecnico of Milan, he also contributed art criticism and film reviews to several cultural journals.
   He began his career in the film industry in 1933 as a set decorator and designer. In 1938, together with fellow enthusiasts Luigi Comencini and Mario Ferrari, he founded the Cineteca (Film Library) of Milan while at the same time publishing a book of arresting photographs of the poorer quarters of the city titled Occhio quadrato (Square Eye). After working as screenwriter and assistant director to Mario Soldati on Piccolo mondo antico (Old-Fashioned World, 1941) and Ferdinando Maria Poggioli's Sissignora (Yes, Madam, 1942), he made his directorial debut with Giacomo l'idealista (Giacomo the Idealist, 1943), a stylish adaption of Emilio De Marchi's 19th-century novel. The film's elegant formal composition and visual beauty immediately located him within the camp of the so-called calligraphers.
   Displaying a versatility that would become his trademark, in the immediate postwar period he made a number of films in the neorealist mold: Il bandito (The Bandit, 1946), the story of a returned soldier that was clearly influenced by American gangster films; Il delitto di Giovanni Episcopo (Flesh Will Surrender, 1947), which earned him his first Nastro d'argento; Senza pieta (Without Pity, 1948); and Il mulino del Po (The Mill on the Po, 1949), a lyrical story of peasant struggles set in the 19th century. In 1950 he joined forces with a young Federico Fellini in producing and directing Luci del varieta (Variety Lights, 1950), which was received with positive critical interest but proved a financial disaster for both of them. The situation for Lattuada was redeemed by the international box office success of Anna (1951), an erotic melodrama starring Silvana Mangano as a nightclub singer who becomes a nun to atone for her previous self-ishness, and then Il cappotto (The Overcoat, 1952), the adaptation of a tragicomic short story by Nikolai Gogol. A year later Lattuada made Gli italiani si voltano (Italians Turn to Look) for Cesare Zavattini's compilation film L'amore in citta (Love in the City, 1953). By this time he had already directed La lupa (She Wolf, 1952), adapted from a novel by Giovanni Verga. A refined eroticism, already present in his earlier work, now came to characterize his films, and he began to become almost as famous for his discovery of a number of beautiful young actresses as for the films in which he showcased their talents.
   Nevertheless, many of his films also continued to carry out a mild social critique as in the highlighting of middle-class hypocrisies in La spiaggia (Riviera, 1954) or in the many social satires that he produced in parallel to the commedia all'italiana, such as Il Mafioso (Mafioso, 1962) and Don Giovanni in Sicilia (Don Juan in Sicily, 1967). He also received high praise for his adaptation of Machiavelli's 16th-century comedy La mandragola (The Mandrake, 1965), in which he employed the comic actor Toto to play the key role of Fra' Timoteo. Ever eclectic, he then produced an amusing parody of the then popular spy film in Matchless (1967), which he followed with the epic antiwar film Fraulein Doktor (1969). In the 1970s he became increasingly identified with films with an explicit erotic content, such as Le faro da padre (Bambina, 1974), Oh Serafina! (1976), and La cicala (The Cricket, 1980), the last one impounded by the censors on charges of obscenity, although it was eventually released.
   In the 1980s Lattuada largely abandoned the big screen in favor of television, for which he directed, among others, a four-part minis-eries on Christopher Columbus (Cristoforo Colombo, 1985) and another miniseries, Due fratelli (Brothers, 1988). Having occasionally acted in small roles in his own films, he also made a final cameo appearance in Carlo Mazzacurati's Il toro (The Bull, 1996).
   One of Italy's most popular and critically respected directors, in 1994 Lattuada was recognized at the David di Donatello Awards with the Franco Cristaldi prize for career achievement.

Historical dictionary of Italian cinema. . 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Lattuada, Alberto — (1914 2005)    Photographer, writer, director, screenwriter. A director of extraordinary versatility often characterized as merely eclectic, Lattuada was born into a cultured Milanese family and was exposed to all the arts from a very young age.… …   Guide to cinema

  • Lattuada, Alberto — • ЛАТТУА ДА (Lattuada) Альберто (р. 13.11.1914)    итал. режиссёр, кинокритик. Учился архитектуре, выступал с критич. статьями по изобразит. иск ву и кино. В 1938 участвовал в создании ж. Corrente . Первый ф. Джакомо идеалист (по Э. Де Марки,… …   Кино: Энциклопедический словарь

  • Alberto Lattuada — Données clés Naissance 13 novembre 1914 Milan (Lombardie) Italie Nationalité Italienne Décès …   Wikipédia en Français

  • LATTUADA (A.) — LATTUADA ALBERTO (1914 ) Né à Milan, Lattuada fait partie de ce petit groupe de cinéastes originaires des provinces du Nord, c’est à dire de la bourgeoisie laïque, anticléricale, voire athée (ainsi de Risi) et même exceptionnellement protestante… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Lattuada — Lattuada,   Alberto, italienischer Filmregisseur, * Mailand 13. 11. 1914; ab 1942 Literaturverfilmungen; Vertreter des neorealistischen Films; spätere Werke sind leichtgewichtiger, hinterlassen aber starke Bildeindrücke; auch zum Sexfilm… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Alberto Lattuada — (* 13. November 1914 in Mailand; † 3. Juli 2005 in Orvieto) war ein italienischer Filmregisseur. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben und Wirken 2 Filmografie 2.1 Drehbuch …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alberto Lattuada — Nacimiento 13 de noviembre de 1914 Milán (Italia) Fallecimiento 3 de julio de 2005 Roma (Italia) Ficha en IMDb …   Wikipedia Español

  • Lattuada — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Alberto Lattuada (1914–2005), italienischer Filmregisseur Felice Lattuada (1882–1962), italienischer Komponist Francesca Lattuada (* 1961), italienische Tänzerin und Choreografin Giovanni Lattuada… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alberto Moravia — (1980) Alberto Moravia (* 28. November 1907 in Rom; † 26. September 1990 ebenda; eigentlich Alberto Pincherle) war ein italienischer Schriftsteller. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alberto Sordi — dans le film Sous le soleil de Rome (1948) de Renato Castellani Do …   Wikipédia en Français

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