11 March 2013 5:06 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Italian director whose 1966 film A Bullet for the General, set in revolutionary Mexico, began a wave of 'tortilla westerns'

Damiano Damiani, who has died aged 90, was a director of Italian popular films and television. He was best known for La Piovra (The Octopus, 1984), an internationally successful TV series about the mafia, and made several mafia-themed films and TV movies, but his range was much wider.

Born in Pordenone, north-east Italy, he began his career in the 1940s, working in the art department and directing documentaries. As popular Italian cinema boomed in the 1960s, he began to make personal pictures, westerns, comedies, political thrillers and horror films. If you have only seen Amityville II: The Possession (1982), his one American movie, you have seen Damiani at his least inspired. In that film, the camera followed potential victims around a haunted house in a style made tedious four years earlier by John Carpenter's Halloween. »

- Alex Cox

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