4 items from 2010
Italian movie tycoon whose list of credits featured as many disasters as hits
The Italian-born film producer Dino De Laurentiis, who has died aged 91, will perhaps go down in movie history as the last "transatlantic" tycoon. Over a career spanning more than 60 years, producing films on both sides of the ocean, he had as many flops as hits. But De Laurentiis almost always succeeded in staying afloat.
In Rome, he produced Federico Fellini's Oscar-winning La Strada (1954) and the grandiose spectacular War and Peace (1956), but also made The Bible: In the Beginning (1966) and Waterloo (1970), which never recovered their costs. Relocating to the Us, he enjoyed success with Serpico (1973), Death Wish (1974), Three Days of the Condor (1975) and Conan the Barbarian (1982), but had financial disasters including Year of the Dragon (1985) and a failed food emporium, which he opened in New York. De Laurentiis was also a starmaker, both in Italy, where »
- John Francis Lane
Dino De Laurentiis, the Italian producer of nearly 150 films, including the likes of Barbarella, Flash Gordon and 1976's King Kong, has died.To say that the man was a legend in his own lifetime is almost unfair bearing in mind his startling body of work. He worked on an incredible array of projects, straddling virtually every conceivable genre, from 1976's Deathwish to 1992's Red Dragon, taking in Waterloo, Army Of Darkness, Serpico and U-571 along the way.The son of an Italian pastamaker, Dino worked his way up from humble propman to box-office producer of American smashes such as 2001's Hannibal at the age of 83.He worked with a huge number of industry legends, from Fellini (in La Strada) to David Lynch (Dune), over the course of his working career, eventually winning lifetime achievement awards at the Venice Film Festival in 2003, as well as the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award »
He is Britain's newest national treasure: but he presumably won't be accepting a TV viewers' award from Ant and Dec any time soon, or making libertarian interventions in the smoking debate, or writing an annual Christmas Diary for the London Review of Books or posing alongside his mum with his Cbe outside Buckingham Palace in his grey topper and chimp mask. Perhaps his mum would have to wear a chimp mask as well. Street artist, situationist and public-space japester Banksy is famed for his snogging coppers, simpering apes and for debunking Israel's new West Bank barrier with graffiti. Now he takes his career of radical cheek into the cinema with a wacky new "documentary", being shown this week in the director's own pop-up cinema in an underpass in London's Waterloo before moving on to more conventional locations. »
- Peter Bradshaw
A talented Irish actor on stage and in films for Ford and Huston
For an actor who worked with two of the greatest movie directors of the last century and appeared in the world premieres of plays by Brian Friel, Ireland's leading contemporary dramatist, Donal Donnelly, who has died after a long illness, aged 78, was curiously unrecognised. Like so many prominent Irish actors in the diasporas of Hollywood, British television, the West End and Broadway – all areas he conquered – Donnelly was a great talent and a private citizen, happily married for many years, and always seemed youthful.
There was something mischievous, something larkish, about him, too. He twinkled. And he had a big nose. He had long lived in New York, although he died in Chicago, and had started out in Dublin, although born in England.
- Michael Coveney
4 items from 2010
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