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Pupi Avati

Pupi Avati

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Also Known As: Giuseppe Avati Died:
Born: November 3, 1938 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Bologna, IT Profession: Writer ... director producer screenwriter clarinetist
RATE AND COMMENT

BIOGRAPHY

Bologna-born Giuseppe 'Pupi' Avati gave up veterinary studies to join a jazz band as a clarinetist in the mid-1950s and later left a job in the frozen food industry to enter films in 1964. Forming the A.M.A. production company with his brother Antonio and Gianni Minervini, Avati went on to direct several award-winning films in his native Italy ("Bordella" 1975, the made-for-TV "Jazz Band" 1978). He also collaborated on the screenplay of Pasolini's last film, the highly controversial "Salo o le 120 Giornate di Sodoma/The 120 Days of Sodom" (1975).

Avati moved into production with Lamberto Bava's horror film "Macabro/Macabre" (1980) and several years later he and Antonio formed another company, Duea Films. For most of the 80s, he concentrated on such enjoyable entertainment as the comedies "Impiegati/Employees" (1984) and "Festa di Laurea/Graduation Party" (1985) and the sports drama "Ultimo Momento/The Last Minute" (1987). Avati did not receive widespread attention in America, though, until he filmed the semi-autobiographical chronicle of his parents' courtship, "Storia di Ragazzi e de Ragazze/The Story of Boys and Girls" (1989).

In the 90s, Avati made his first English-language, American-shot film, "Bix" (1991), an intriguing examination of the meteoric rise and rapid descent into alcoholism, oblivion and death at age 28 of jazz legend Bix Beiderbecke. He followed with work of varying quality including "Magnificat" (1993), a beautifully filmed historical drama about faith and manners that echoed aspects of Pasolini's work. While he had success with "Bix", partly because of his own love of jazz, Avati stumbled with his second English-language film, "The Childhood Friend" (1994), a rambling and improbable tale about a journalist affected by the death of a buddy. The director was back on surer ground with the horror-themed "The Arcane Enchanter" (1996) and 1997's acclaimed "The Best Man", selected as Italy's entry in the annual Oscar sweepstakes. While it failed to secure a spot in the final five chosen by the Academy, the lush film, about a wedding set during the waning days of the 19th Century, won critical kudos.

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