Lina Wertmüller, the great protagonist of Italian cinema, died: she was 93 –

from Maurizio Porro

Director of many films that have gone down in history, from «Metallurgical Mimì wounded in honor», to «Pasqualino Settebellezze», without forgetting «Overwhelmed by an unusual destiny …». He had received the Lifetime Achievement Oscar in 2020 at the age of 91

She died in Rome Lina Wertmuller, born on 14 August 1928 to a Swiss family of noble origins, widow of the great set designer Enrico Job, leaves a daughter. Over time he has attended the world of entertainment globally and at the highest levels. Director, screenwriter (for Zeffirelli and Salerno), theater author, collaborator of Fellini, Garinei and Giovannini in the world of musicals, as well as being the first woman to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director in 1972 for Pasqualino seven beauties, while in 2020 he will receive the career honorary one.

If the beginnings are The basilisks, a film about the bourgeois of Southern Italy, and two films with Rita Pavone “mosquito” signed with a false name (but then with the singer he will have a resounding success on TV with the Gian Gale), his career will have a turning point when he launches the young couple Melato-Giannini. With Metallurgical Mimì wounded in honor, Movies of love and anarchy (award in Cannes for Giannini) e Overwhelmed by an unusual fate…, Wertmuller is confirmed class comedian capable of investigating the folds of Italian society, with an ironic vision of social classes, pushing on the grotesque touch. Another international success was Pasqualino seven beauties, nominated for three Oscars, where the director builds a character of depth and not too eccentric.

Mèmore of historical lessons – he was assistant director of Fellini in the Sweet life e 8 and a half – Lina then directs films also tailored to the accomplices, one of them all Sophia Loren, Made of blood between two men … and a TV version of Eduardo’s famous comedy Saturday, Sunday and Monday. She was the first not only to collect international awards but also to direct films that liked and had a commercial response, like the aforementioned Gianburrasca which was a cult in 1960s TV.

Difficulty because she was a woman? “I didn’t give a damn, I went straight on my way,” she replied. Among other titles, Twist of fate lurking around the corner, I hope I manage with Paolo Villaggio, Metalworker and hairdresser … and the elegant Ferdinando and Carolina. In theater wrote and directed plays such as Two plus two no longer equals four with Giannini and Guarnieri, he set up one Carmen in Naples, one Bohemian in Athens.

Character who has experienced every corner of the entertainment world, investigating the beautiful country from North to South, had the Neapolitan honorary citizenship and was in the national assembly of the PSI of Craxi, but always added to his work a touch of ironic cynicism that dictates the motivation for the Oscar: «For his provocative disruption of social and political rules with courage through the camera’s favorite weapon».


December 9, 2021 (change December 9, 2021 | 13:02)


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