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Gillo Pontecorvo

Gillo Pontecorvo

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Kapo: Essential Art House... How far would you go to save yourself? Italian director Gillo Pontecorvo takes... more info $19.95was $19.95 Buy Now

Also Known As: Gilberto Pontecorvo Died: October 12, 2006
Born: November 19, 1919 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Pisa, IT Profession: director, composer, screenwriter, assistant director, journalist

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A leftist filmmaker, Gillo Pontecorvo worked as a foreign correspondent in Paris, as an assistant to Yves Allegret, and a documentarian before gaining attention with the Academy Award nominated, grim concentration camp melodrama "Kapo" (1960).His most evocative and perhaps best-known film remains "The Battle of Algiers" (1966), a gripping account of the 1954 Algerian rebellion against French rule. A landmark political drama, "The Battle of Algiers" was shot in a grainy, neo-documentary style and featured non-professional actors, and won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival as well as receiving a Best Foreign-Language Oscar nomination. When it was widely released in the USA in 1969, Pontecorvo netted dual Academy Award nods for his direction and as co-author of its original screenplay. Over time, though, and through its championing by director Jonathan Demme, Pontecorvo's first fictional work, "The Wide Blue Road/La Grande Strada Azzurra" (1957) has undergone re-evaluation and is now considered a forerunner of the New Wave, especially in its social and political themes. That film received its belated US premiere in 2001.Pontecorvo's only subsequent feature of note was "Burn!/Queimada!" (1969),...

A leftist filmmaker, Gillo Pontecorvo worked as a foreign correspondent in Paris, as an assistant to Yves Allegret, and a documentarian before gaining attention with the Academy Award nominated, grim concentration camp melodrama "Kapo" (1960).

His most evocative and perhaps best-known film remains "The Battle of Algiers" (1966), a gripping account of the 1954 Algerian rebellion against French rule. A landmark political drama, "The Battle of Algiers" was shot in a grainy, neo-documentary style and featured non-professional actors, and won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival as well as receiving a Best Foreign-Language Oscar nomination. When it was widely released in the USA in 1969, Pontecorvo netted dual Academy Award nods for his direction and as co-author of its original screenplay. Over time, though, and through its championing by director Jonathan Demme, Pontecorvo's first fictional work, "The Wide Blue Road/La Grande Strada Azzurra" (1957) has undergone re-evaluation and is now considered a forerunner of the New Wave, especially in its social and political themes. That film received its belated US premiere in 2001.

Pontecorvo's only subsequent feature of note was "Burn!/Queimada!" (1969), another critique of colonialism set in 19th-century Antilles. Perhaps because of its upscale production values and star cast--which included Marlon Brando--the film lacked the edge of Pontecorvo's earlier work. He made a one-shot return to features a decade later with "Ogro/Operation Ogre" (1979) and continued to create shorts into the 1990s.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
2.
  Ogro (1979) Director
3.
  Burn! (1970) Director
4.
  The Battle of Algiers (1967) Director
5.
  Kapo (1964) Director
6.
  The Wide Blue Road (1956) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Stupids, The (1996) Talk Show Guest No 1
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Milestones close milestones

:
Born and raised in Pisa, Italy
:
In the 1930s, fled the anti-Semitism of his homeland and settled in France
:
Worked as a journalist
:
After WWII, returned to Italy
1953:
Directed first documentary, "Missione Timiriazev"
1957:
Wrote and directed first fictional film, "La Grande Stada Azzura/The Wide Blue Road", featuring Yves Montand; film released theatrically in USA for first time in 2001
1960:
Garnered international attention for the concentration camp drama "Kapo"
1966:
Helmed best-known film, "The Battle of Algiers", which depicted the 1954 Algerian uprising; earned a Best Foreign Language Academy Award nomination in 1967; two years later received Best Director and Best Original Screenplay Oscar nominations
1969:
Directed "Burn!", starring Marlon Brando ; last feature for a decade
1979:
Made one-shot return to feature films with "Ogro/Operation Ogre"
1992:
Replaced Guglielmo Biraghi as head of the Venice Film Festival
1997:
Directed two short films
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Notes

On his first fictional film, "The Wide Blue Road/La Grande Strada Azzura" (released for the first time in the USA in 2001), Pontecorvo was quoted by The New York Times (June 3, 2001): "I was so sad that it didn't turn out the way I wanted. I wanted to shoot it in black and white, and I felt Alida [Valli] was too exquisite to play the wife of a fisherman, and I felt it had too much melodrama. But [Roberto] Rossellini told me: 'Don't be stupid! This is only your first film. It's not that bad. There will be more.'"

Family close complete family listing

brother:
Bruno Pontecorvo. Scientist.

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