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Ettore Scola

Ettore Scola

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: May 10, 1931 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Italy Profession: director, screenwriter, journalist

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A director and screenwriter, working in the traditions of postwar Italian comedy, Ettore Scola made films marked by psychological insight and political awareness. A member of the Italian Communist Party, he celebrated the underdog without taking his eyes off the wider social landscape.Scola grew up in Rome, the son of a doctor, living in a house with a large extended family much like the one he would later portray in "The Family" (1987). His interest in humorous writing began at an early age; by 21 he had already contributed jokes, illustrations and articles to satirical magazines, written for radio and worked as an uncredited collaborator on some 50 comedy screenplays, including vehicles for Italian comedians Alberto Sordi and Toto. Although he studied at the University of Jurisprudence in Rome, he never seriously considered practicing law. Scola received his first screen credit in 1954 and went on to collaborate on several dozen comedic scripts with such writers as Ruggero Maccari, Agenore Incrocci, Furio Scarpelli and Rodolfo Sonego, for directors that included Dino Risi and Antonio Pietrangeli.Scola's directorial debut came with the episodic comedy "Let's Talk About Women" (1964), in which...

A director and screenwriter, working in the traditions of postwar Italian comedy, Ettore Scola made films marked by psychological insight and political awareness. A member of the Italian Communist Party, he celebrated the underdog without taking his eyes off the wider social landscape.

Scola grew up in Rome, the son of a doctor, living in a house with a large extended family much like the one he would later portray in "The Family" (1987). His interest in humorous writing began at an early age; by 21 he had already contributed jokes, illustrations and articles to satirical magazines, written for radio and worked as an uncredited collaborator on some 50 comedy screenplays, including vehicles for Italian comedians Alberto Sordi and Toto. Although he studied at the University of Jurisprudence in Rome, he never seriously considered practicing law. Scola received his first screen credit in 1954 and went on to collaborate on several dozen comedic scripts with such writers as Ruggero Maccari, Agenore Incrocci, Furio Scarpelli and Rodolfo Sonego, for directors that included Dino Risi and Antonio Pietrangeli.

Scola's directorial debut came with the episodic comedy "Let's Talk About Women" (1964), in which Vittorio Gassman encounters nine females of various types. In 1969, "Inspector Pepe" marked a shift in the director's interests toward more substantial topics. The popular dark comedy, "The Pizza Triangle" (1970), had Monica Vitti choosing between Marcello Mastroianni and Giancarlo Giannini. The bittersweet epic, "We All Loved Each Other So Much" (1974), about three very different men who become friends during the Resistance and later go their separate ways, examines a generation's disillusionment--summed up in the line, "We thought we could change the world, but the world has changed us."

The late 1970s and early 80s found Scola working on a variety of successful films, including "Down and Dirty" (1976), about lowlifes in Rome's shanty towns; "A Special Day" (1977), set in 1938 Rome, about a lonely housewife (Sophia Loren) and an anti-Fascist homosexual (Marcello Mastroianni); and "The Terrace" (1980), where a group of intellectuals regularly meet and discuss their disappointments in life and work. His most ambitious film to date was "La Nuit de Varennes" (1982), a historical fable that examines politics and romance during the French Revolution; it fancifully brings together such figures as Casanova and Thomas Paine.

The stylish "Le Bal" (1983), wholly set in a Parisian dance hall, depicts changes in the establishment and its customers through eight key moments in French history between 1936 and 1983--without one line of dialogue. Changing styles of dress and uniform, music, dance and modes of behavior tell all. Scola suffered a heart attack during production of the film, but production was only briefly delayed while he made a speedy recovery.

"The Family", Scola's most autobiographical film, warmly depicts the life of an extended family living in a large house through five generations. It chronicles 70 years of European history, starting with WWI, without ever leaving the confines of the house. The tremors of family life reflect the changes in society throughout the years; by the end, the family has changed but is still intact.

Having directed some 25 feature films, Scola continues to explore his fascination with history and with the relationship between society and the individual. He prefers to work with a familiar group of associates, including actors Marcello Mastroianni and Vittorio Gassman, screenwriter Ruggero Maccari, production designer Luciano Ricceri, composer Armando Trovaioli and his daughter Paola as assistant director.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

2.
  Unfair Competition (2001) Director
3.
4.
  Dinner, The (1999) Director
5.
6.
  Mario, Maria e Mario (1993) Director
8.
  What Time Is It? (1989) Director
9.
  Splendor (1988) Director
10.
  Famiglia, La (1987) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Voi Siete Qui (2011)
3.
4.
 Fellini (2001) Himself
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Milestones close milestones

:
Began contributing illustrations and articles to satirical magazines at age 16
1948:
Began writing gags for radio
1952:
First screenwriting credit on "Canzoni de Mezzo Secola"
1964:
Directorial debut, "Let's Talk About Women"
1970:
Helmed "The Pizza Triangle"
1975:
Garnered international attention with "C'Eravamo Tanto Amati/We All Loved One Another So Much"
1977:
Wrote and directed the Oscar-nominated Best Foreign-Language Film "A Special Day/Una Giornata particolare"
1981:
Helmed and scripted the period romance "Passione d'Amore"
1982:
Directed and wrote the speculative historical drama "La Nuit de Varennes"
1984:
"Le Bal", a historical drama told without dialogue, screened at Berlin Film Festival where it won the Best Director prize
1987:
Second Academy Award nominated Best Foreign-Language Film, "The Family"
1991:
Directed "Captain Fracassa's Journey"
1993:
Wrote and directed the triangular romance "Mario, Maria and Mario"
1996:
Was screenwriter and director on "The Dinner"
2001:
Helmed and scripted the historical drama "Unfair Competition"
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Education

University of Jurisprudence: -

Family close complete family listing

daughter:
Paola Scola. Assistant director.

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