Rosi, Francesco

   Director and screenwriter. After abandoning law studies at university, undertaken only to please his father, and following various unsuccessful attempts at making a living as an illustrator of children's books and a vaudeville actor, Rosi began his film career in earnest as assistant to Luchino Visconti on La terra trema (The Earth Trembles, 1948). A year later, when the film had failed dismally at the box office, in part because the authentic Sicilian dialect spoken by the nonprofessional actors was incomprehensible to general Italian audiences, Rosi was given the task of supervising the dubbing of the original film into standard Italian. Having acquitted himself well in the task, he served a further apprenticeship assisting Raffaele Matarazzo on two of the latter's most successful melodramas and Luciano Emmer on Domenica d'agosto (Sunday in August, 1950) and Parigi e sempre Parigi (Paris Is Always Paris, before returning to work with Visconti again on Bellissima (1951). His reputation as an assistant director now well established, he was called to work with Michelangelo Antonioni on I vinti (The Vanquished, 1952) and to complete Camicie rosse (Anita Garibaldi, after Goffredo Alessandrini had abandoned the project, while at same time writing the story for Luigi Zampa's Processo alla citta (The City Stands Trial, 1952).
   After further work as assistant director, screenwriter, and dubber, and having also produced a number of radio plays, he finally directed his first solo feature, La sfida (The Challenge, 1958). The gritty story of a young tough trying to wrest control of the Neapolitan fruit market from an already-established underworld network, the film was awarded the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Festival and a Nastro d'argento for Best Original Story. While Rosi's next film, I magliari (The Magliari, 1959), the story of a group of Italian immigrant workers in Germany in the immediate postwar period, elicited a less-enthusiastic critical reception, Salvatore Giuliano (1962), a meticulous fictional reconstruction of the death of the famous Sicilian bandit that brought to the surface all the inadequacies of the official version of events, confirmed Rosi as one of the foremost directors of his generation. Stunningly photographed by Gianni Di Venanzo, the film received a host of prizes including the Silver Lion at Berlin. What would become Rosi's characteristic tendency to use cinema to analyze the complex interplay between legal and illegal power networks within social processes again came to the fore in Le mani sulla citta (Hands Over the City, 1963), a brilliant close study of rampant real estate speculation in Naples, which again received a host of tributes, including the Golden Lion at Venice.
   After Il momento della verita (The Moment of Truth, 1965), the portrait of a young man's ill-fated move from the country to the city in search of fame and fortune, set and filmed completely in Spain, and the rather uncharacteristic romantic fable, Cera una volta (More Than a Miracle, 1967), Rosi returned to a cinema of strong social commitment with Uomini contro (Many Wars Ago, 1970), a film that deconstructed all the heroic myths regarding Italian participation in World War I. This was followed by another series of major and highly acclaimed films beginning with Il caso Mattei (The Mattei Affair, 1972), another inquest film, this time into the "accidental" death in the early 1960s of Italian entrepreneur Enrico Mattei; Lucky Luciano (1974), a portrait of the Italian American gangster that highlighted the way in which he was as much a tool of greater powers as a crime boss in his own right; and Cadaveri eccellenti (Illustrious Corpses, 1976), adapted from a speculative novel by Leonardo Sciascia in which a policeman, investigating what on the surface appears to be the revenge killing of a number of judges, comes to find himself enmeshed in a much more complex web of governmental and political machinations. Rosi's next film, originally made as a four-part television miniseries, was a sensitive and effective adaptation of Carlo Levi's land-mark novel about southern Italy, Cristo si e fermato a Eboli (Christ Stopped at Eboli, 1979). This was followed by a perfect blending of the personal and the political in Tre fratelli (Three Brothers, 1981), an elegiac but unsentimental examination of Italian society at the beginning of the 1980s that was acclaimed not only in Italy, where it won three Silver Ribbons and four David di Donatello, but also abroad, where it was nominated for an Oscar and received the Boston Society of Film Critics award for Best Foreign Film. Less directly political perhaps than Rosi's previous films but nevertheless an electrifying adaptation of Bizet's opera, Carmen (1984) was again swamped with prizes and awards, winning no less than seven Davids in Italy, a Cesar in France, and a Golden Globe in the United States. Following a fine adaptation of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's novel, Cronaca di una morte annunciata (Chronicle of a Death Foretold, 1987), Rosi attempted a return to his more socially committed cinema in the early 1990s with Dimenticare Palermo (The Palermo Connection, 1990).
   Although coscripted by Gore Vidal, the film was generally judged to be less successful in laying bare licit and illicit power networks than many of his earlier films. In the wake of his disappointment at the reception of Palermo, he directed only one other major film, a very creditable adaptation of Primo Levi's Holocaust-survivor memoir, La Tregua (The Truce, 1997).

Historical dictionary of Italian cinema. . 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Rosi, Francesco — (1922–)    Born in Naples a month after the March on Rome, Francesco Rosi is a film director whose work has combined a high degree of political commitment with a remarkable capacity to portray the full gamut of personal emotions in the characters …   Historical Dictionary of modern Italy

  • Rosi, Francesco — (1922 )    Director and screenwriter. After abandoning law studies at university, undertaken only to please his father, and following various unsuccessful attempts at making a living as an illustrator of children s books and a vaudeville actor,… …   Guide to cinema

  • Rosi, Francesco — • РО ЗИ (Rosi) Франческо (р. 15.11.1922)    итал. режиссёр. Учился в Неаполитанском ун те. Участвовал в антифаш. борьбе. С 1944 актёр, сценарист, режиссёр и на радио и ТВ. С 1948 ассист. режиссёра, ф. в т. ч. у Л. Висконти (ф. Земля дрожит ). В… …   Кино: Энциклопедический словарь

  • Rosi, Francesco — ► (n. 1922) Realizador cinematográfico italiano. Dio nuevo ímpetu al neorrealismo y al documental. Películas: Salvatore Giuliano (1961), Crónica de una muerte anunciada (1987) y La Tregua (1996), entre otras …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Rosi — Rosi, Francesco …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Francesco Rosi — in den 1990er Jahren bei den Internationalen Filmfestspielen von Cannes Francesco Rosi (* 15. November 1922 in Neapel) ist ein italienischer Filmregisseur und Drehbuchautor. Inhaltsverzeichnis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Francesco Rosi — (born November 15, 1922 in Naples) is an Italian film director. He is the father of the actress Carolina Rosi.BiographyAfter initially studying Law while hoping to study film, Rosi entered the film industry as an assistant to Luchino Visconti on… …   Wikipedia

  • ROSI (F.) — ROSI FRANCESCO (1922 ) Le cinéaste italien Francesco Rosi est né à Naples; après des études de jurisprudence, il s’installe en 1946 à Rome, où il s’adonne au dessin et à la caricature. Après quelques mises en scène théâtrales, il devient… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Rosi — (Francesco) (né en 1922) cinéaste italien: Salvatore Giuliano (1961), l Affaire Mattei (1971), Le Christ s est arrêté à Eboli (1979), la Trêve (1997) …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Rosi — Rosi,   Francesco, italienischer Regisseur, * Neapel 15. 11. 1922; zunächst Assistent bei L. Visconti und M. Antonioni; ab 1958 eigene Filme, die sich überwiegend mit den politischen und sozialen Verhältnissen Italiens kritisch auseinander setzen …   Universal-Lexikon

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.