The 20 best Italian Film Directors

View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
Michelangelo Antonioni
Writer, Blow-Up
Michelangelo Antonioni was born in 1912 into a middle-class family and grew up in bourgeois surroundings of the Italian province. In Bologna he studied economics and commerce while he painted and also wrote criticism for a local newspaper. In 1939 he went to Rome and worked for the journal "Cinema" studying directorship at the School of Cinema...
 
2.
Bernardo Bertolucci
Bernardo Bertolucci, the Italian director whose films are known for their colorful visual style, was born in Parma, Italy, in 1940. He attended Rome University and became famous as a poet. He served as assistant director for Pier Paolo Pasolini in the film Accattone and directed The Grim Reaper. His second film...
 
3.
 
6.
Eduardo De Filippo
De Filippo was born in Naples to playwright Eduardo Scarpetta and theatre seamstress and costumier Luisa De Filippo. He began acting at the age of five and in 1932 formed a theater company with his brother Peppino and sister Titina, called "Compagnia del Teatro Umoristico I De Filippo". Peppino left the troupe in 1944 and Titina departed by the early 1950s...
 
7.
Vittorio De Sica
Director, Bicycle Thieves
Vittorio De Sica grew up in Naples, and started out as an office clerk in order to raise money to support his poor family. He was increasingly drawn towards acting, and made his screen debut while still in his teens, joining a stage company in 1923. By the late 1920s he was a successful matinee idol of the Italian theatre...
 
10.
Pier Paolo Pasolini
Writer, Accattone
Pier Paolo Pasolini achieved fame and notoriety long before he entered the film industry. A published poet at 19, he had already written numerous novels and essays before his first screenplay in 1954. His first film Accattone was based on his own novel and its violent depiction of the life of a pimp in the slums of Rome caused a sensation...
 
12.
Dino Risi
Dino Risi became a movie director by chance. In 1940 he met Alberto Lattuada at a friend's boutique. Lattuada told him they needed an assistant director for the movie Piccolo mondo antico. Risi accepted just for fun, not for work. Later, he became a psychiatrist and wrote some articles for a local newspaper in his spare time...
 
14.
Roberto Rossellini
The master filmmaker Roberto Rossellini, as one of the creators of neo-realism, is one of the most influential directors of all time. His neo-realist films influenced France's nouvelle vague movement in the 1950s and '60s that changed the face of international cinema. He also influenced American directors, including Martin Scorsese...
 
16.
Vittorio Taviani
Vittorio Taviani studied law at the University of Pisa, becoming interested in the cinema after seeing Roberto Rossellini's Paisan. After writing and directing short films and plays with his brother Paolo, he made his first feature in 1962. The brothers have continued to work together ever since, with each directing alternate scenes with the other watching but never interfering.
 
19.
Federico Fellini
Writer,
The women who both attracted and frightened him and an Italy dominated in his youth by Mussolini and Pope Pius XII - inspired the dreams that Fellini started recording in notebooks in the 1960s. Life and dreams were raw material for his films. His native Rimini and characters like Saraghina (the devil herself said the priests who ran his school)...