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Michele Soavi Poster

Biography

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Overview (1)

Date of Birth 3 July 1957Milan, Lombardy, Italy

Mini Bio (1)

Born in Milan, Italy in 1957, Michele Soavi's parents separated when he was little and he lived with his mother who remarried a painter. Interested in his stepfather's interest in painting, Soavi began an interest in creative arts in his school. During his teenage years, he decided that the cinema was his true calling after attending several movie screenings and developing a taste for acting. After graduating from high school, Soavi took acting lessons at Fersen Studios in Milan. His first acting role was an extra in the movie Bambulè (1979) which was directed by Marco Modugno. During production, Modugno, impressed by Soavi's interest in the movies, offered him a job as an assistant director which Soavi accepted and learned more about a director's film making technique. After acting in small roles in Il giorno del Cobra (1980) and City of the Living Dead (1980), Soavi was given another chance as an assistant director by director Aristide Massaccesi (aka: Joe D'Amato). In their first film, Soavi acted in an uncredited part, and was the assistant director. Over four more films with Massaccesi, Soavi served as a bit part actor, screenwriter and personal assistant. Soavi first met writer/director Dario Argento in 1979 where the director took Soavi under his wing after learning of their same tastes with film making. Argento made Soavi the second assistant director for the movie Tenebre (1982) with Lamberto Bava as the first assistant director.

Pleased with his work, Bava hired Soavi as his assistant director for the mystery-thriller La casa con la scala nel buio (1983) with Soavi in a supporting role. Afterwards, Argento brought back Soavi to work as his assistant director in Phenomena (1985) with Soavi acting in a small role.

Argento rewarded Soavi by giving him his first assignment as director of a music video "The Valley" featuring music by Bill Wyman for the movie Phenomena, plus as director for a documentary on Argento's films. Soavi worked again for Lamberto Bava as assistant director in Demons (1985) in which Soavi also appeared. Soavi, wanting to get on his own, turned to his former mentor Aristide Massaccesi to show off his work where the director offered Soavi a chance to direct his first movie, StageFright (1987). Altough a box-office flop in Italy, it was a success abroad. Despite the low budget (equivalent to under $1 million U.S. dollars), low-production values, poor editing involving the soundtrack, Soavi began to look elsewhere for work where he was hired as an assistant director and cameraman for British actor/director Terry Gilliam with The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988). With new skills, Soavi returned to Argento as a supervisor for special effects in Opera (1987) where Argento offered him to direct another film, a horror flick called The Church (1989). With his first big film project, a budget three to four times the budget of Stagefright, with Argento as the producer and filmed on location in Budapest. The international success of The Church inspired Soavi to direct another film, The Devil's Daughter (1991).

Soavi worked on a number of screenplays, and directed the horror-comedy Cemetery Man (1994) which was a huge hit in the USA. Afterwards, Soavi took a break from working to spend time with his wife and family. Recently, he returned to directing with two made-for-Italian-TV dramas. Despite his absence from the entertainment world in recent years, Michele Soavi is remembered to this day as one of the many masters of Italian horror cinema as a director, screenwriter, actor, and assistant director.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: ?

Trade Mark (1)

Motorcycles

Trivia (8)

Protege of Italian director Dario Argento.
First name is pronounced "Meekehleh".
Was offered the opportunity to direct From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), but turned it down. Job went to Robert Rodriguez.
Frequently casts Raoul Bova.
Son of writer Giorgio Soavi.
In early 2008 announced he was set to return to the horror genre with "Catacombs Club", a project written by frequent Terry Gilliam collaborator Charles McKeown. The screenplay was based on a previous script called "The Catacomb Club" which Richard Stanley wrote specifically for Soavi in the early 90s. The plot involved a wealthy Russian married couple building a casino-cum-disco in London's West End. The wife wants to be a headline singer in the club; only problem is, she's completely tone-deaf and can't carry a tune, so her husband hires a singing teacher to help her fulfill her dream ambition. As construction begins on the site, a drunken accident finds the instructor falling into a recently uncovered passageway that leads to a kingdom of strange creatures. They've gone undiscovered since their burial during the Roman invasion 2,000 years before, and the teacher is shocked to learn they know nothing of the surface world. He's even more surprised when he falls in love with a female creature with the most beautiful voice he has ever heard. Alina Nedelea was confirmed as being part of the cast, while Conchita Airoldi was one of the producers on the film. Soavi claimed the film would've been in the spirit of Cemetery Man (1994), but the project didn't take off.
Among his dream projects there is "The Well", an Australian set esoteric horror script with fantasy elements he's been trying to get off the ground from the early 90s. Soavi got the basic idea for the project in 1987, while he was working in Australia as the assistant director to Dario Argento for one Fiat Croma commercial; he imagined a story set among the Aborigines and focused on their fantastical cosmogonical conception: Oruro, "the time of the dream". Oruro stands for Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, the world's largest monolith, from which the Australian tribal cultures think everything that exists on Earth came to be. This script, which was going to be produced by Joe D'Amato at one point, went through about 10 rewrites before becoming "The Well", whose premise is based on a gigantic hole that magically links two different places of the globe, one located in Ireland, the other in the Australian outback. The script also involved Nordic legends and an evil blue rabbit placed to guard the well. Some ideas originally conceived for this project ended up in The Devil's Daughter (1991).
Quentin Tarantino is a big fan of his early work.

Personal Quotes (1)

I don't like to repeat myself. I am always trying to do something new with each film.

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