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Taviani Brothers
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Taviani Brothers biography

Taviani Brothers (Vittorio, born 1929 and Paolo, born 1931 both in San Miniato-Pisa, Italy) are two Italian filmmakers who combines the social concerns and documentary effects of Neorealism with modernist concerns for outstanding, often poetic, visual and aural effects. Both graduatesat the University of Pisa. They gain experience for their filmmaking work by writing and staging plays with Valentino Orsini. Inspired by Roberto Rossellini's Neorealist film "Paisà" (1946), they begin to study and work in cinema. Their first efforts, often undertaken in collaboration with Orsini, are a series of documentaries on a variety of subjects.

They have contributed to the creation of "Italy is not a poor country" (“L'Italia non è un paese povero”, 1960) by Joris Ivens.

With Valentino Orsini they also sign “I fuorilegge del matrimonio" (Outlaws Love, 1963), and collaborates for "A Man for the Burning" (“Un uomo da bruciare”, 1962), their first feature film: a portrait of a murdered trade union leader and its long tracking shots become a Taviani trademark. They make one more film with Orsini before striking out on their own in the mid-1960s: "The Subversives" (“I sovversivi”, 1967) with which they anticipated the events of 1968.

With actor Gian Maria Volonté they gain attention with. "Under the Sign of Scorpio" (“Sotto il segno dello scorpione”, 1968).

The theme of revolution is then also present in "Saint Michael had a rooster" (“San Michele aveva un gallo”, 1971), an adaptation of Tolstoy's novel "The divine and the human”,followed by "Allonsanfan" (1974), in which Marcello Mastroianni has a role as an ex-revolutionary who has served a long term in prison and now views his idealistic youth in a much more realistic light, and nevertheless gets entangled in a new attempt in which he no longer believes.

Their first major success, “Father Master” (“Padre Padrone”, 1977), based on the life of an Italian linguist who in his youth was an illiterate shepherd, wins the Palme d'Or at Cannes, “In the Meadow" (“Il prato”, 1979) there are nonrealistic echoes, while in the later "Night of the Shooting Stars" (“La notte di San Lorenzo”, 1982), awarded with the Special Jury Award in Cannes, is narrated, in a fairy-tale tone, the eve of Liberation, in Tuscany.

Then a suggestive episodic film, "Kaos" (1984) an excerpt from "Novelle per un anno" by Pirandello, isawarded with a David and a Silver ribbon, followedin 1987 by "Good Morning, Babylon".

In 90s they direct "The Sun Also Shines at Night" (“Il sole anche di notte”, 1990), "Elective Affiities" (“Affinità Elettive”, 1986), transposition of the novel by Goethe, and the film adaptation of the novel of Pirandello "You Laugh" (“Tu ridi”, 1998).

For television the Taviani brothers sign in 2002 "Resurrection" re-reading of the novel by Tolstoy. In 2004"Luisa Sanfelice", a sort of romantic-popular ballad, for television as well. In 2007, they return to the cinema with "The Lark Farm" (“La Fattoria delle allodole”, 2007), which tells the story of an Armenian family in Anatolia during the genocide of 1915.

In 2012 with the documentary"Caesar must die", (“Cesare deve morire”) in whichRoman Rebibbia inmates recite Shakespeare's play, the Taviani brothers win the Berlin Festival and David of Donatello for best film and best director.

They receive the title of Grand Officers of Merit of the Italian Republic, and in San Miniato, their hometown,they are titled the center of film culture.

Taviani Brothers - biography
The Neorealism: we were not just bicycle thieves
Triworld Cinema