Lina Wertmuller, first woman nominated for best director, dies at 93

The world has lost a pioneer of cinema. Lina Wertmüller, the first woman to earn a nomination for Best Director at the Oscars, died on December 9. She was living in Italy at the time. The Italian press first reported her death, declaring that she was “surrounded by her daughter and her relatives”.

Wertmüller was born in Rome in 1928. Her father was a lawyer of Swiss origin and her mother was born in Rome. Wertmüller described her childhood as adventurous, she was kicked out of 15 different Catholic high schools and was fascinated by comics. She will later describe the Flash Gordon comics as “pretty cinematic, more cinematic than most movies.” His love of comics quickly sparked an interest in film and theater. VIDEO OF THE DAY

A graduate of the Accademia Nazionale di Arte Drammatica Silvio D’Amico in 1951, Wertmüller began her career in the troupe of puppeteer Maria Signorelli. In the early 1960s, Wertmüller quickly turned to cinema. Thanks to a friend, she was introduced to director and screenwriter Federico Fellini, who would become her mentor. She was also introduced to Giancarlo Giannini, who would later collaborate with her.

Wertmüller’s directorial debut dates back to 1963 I basil (also known as the basilisks), which was well received by the public and won its first prize for best achievement at the Locarno Festival. She will make four more films (Let’s talk about men, Rita the mosquito, don’t bite the mosquito, and Belle Starr’s story) throughout the sixties. His 1972 film, Mimi’s seduction, first brought Wertmüller to the Cannes Film Festival. Geoffrey nowell smith Companion of Italian cinema The film marked the start of “Wertmüller’s Golden Age”. His next film, Love and anarchy, who also played Giannini, brought her back to Cannes with a nomination for the Palme d’Or.

Lina Wertmüller’s fame has grown steadily as her work has gained more and more recognition. His 1974 film Carried away … by an unusual fate in the blue sea of ​​August (or shortened to Swept) received rave reviews. The film, which centers on a wealthy woman stranded on an island with one of her yacht crewmates stranded on a desert island, received four stars from Roger Ebert, her highest rating. It was also nominated for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay by the New York Film Critics Circle. In 2002, there was a remake starring Madonna and directed by then-husband Guy Ritchie, which was not very well received.

It was Wertmüller’s next film, 1975 seven beauties, which ultimately earned him a nomination for Best Director at the Oscars. The film stars Giannini, who plays an ordinary man who deserts the army during World War II and is captured and sent to a German prison camp. Through flashbacks, we learn about her life up to this point. Including his seven sisters, his involvement in the murder of a sister’s lover and his imprisonment in a lunatic asylum. The film will then receive four Oscar nominations, including Best Director, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Screenplay (Original Screenplay) and Best Foreign Language Film. The New York Times had this to say about the film when it was released.

Seven Beauties is the work of a filmmaker at the peak of her energies, so full of ideas and images that she can afford to spoil moments that other less talented directors would show off with boredom.

While she lost the award for best director to John G. Avildsen for Rocky, the appointment of Wertmüller has gone down in history. She paved the way for winners later in the years such as Kathryn Bigelow, who won in 2010 for The Hurt Locker, and Chloe Zhao, who won in 2021 for Nomadic country.

In a 2019 interview with Variety, Wertmüller shared what it was like to be the first woman nominated for Best Director. She replied that it was the media reaction that made her realize the impact of it all.

“I was inundated with requests for interviews from TV stations and newspapers. Someone told me that the reports trumpeted the appointment as if it was a historic event. In fact, in hindsight it was, especially for women around the world.

It would not be the end of Wertmüller’s story. She would continue to direct throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s. Although none of her later works received as much critical acclaim as her “golden age”, that did not stop her. to pursue what she loved. One of these films, internationally known as Full moon night Where ” Crystal or Ash, Fire or Wind, as long as it is Love “; followed an American journalist who claims to be infected with the AIDS virus.

Her last feature film as a director was from 2004 Too much romance … It’s time for stuffed peppers. The film followed a married couple (both in their seventies) whose relationship is in crisis. The couple work through their differences in order to reunite their two sons and the families of a daughter in time for Grandma Assunta’s birthday. Wertmüller would continue to receive thank you letters from female directors who say they were inspired by her, until her death.

One of Wertmüller’s calling cards was the comically long titles she would give her films. The original title of his 1973 film Love and anarchy has been ” Love film and anarchia, ovvero ‘stamattina alle 10 in via dei Fiori nella nota casa di tolleranza…”. His 1979 film known internationally as bloody quarrel Where Revenge is listed in the Guinness Book of Records for the longest film title. Its original title being ” Un fatto di sangue nel comune di Siculiana fra due uomini per causa di una vedova. Si sospettano moventi politici. Amore-Morte-Shimmy. Belle of Lugano. Tarantella. Tarallucci e vino ”.

In 2008, the Harvard Film Archive in Cambridge, Mass., Organized a Wertmüller retrospective. As stated in the introductory material:

“During the 1970s, Lina Wertmüller enshrined her name in the pantheon of Italian cinema with a series of intensely controversial, deeply controversial and wonderfully entertaining films. Among the most politically outspoken and iconoclastic members of the second generation of post-war directors – the direct heirs of the neo-realists – Wertmüller was also one of the first female directors to be recognized and acclaimed internationally.

The archives would go on to show how Wertmüller mixed politics with Italian comedy:

“Armed with deeply satirical and Rabelaisian humor,” the Harvard archives said, she “reinvented the narrative forms and character types of Italian comedy to create one of the rare examples of radical and politically galvanized which managed to achieve widespread popularity. Indeed, the fierce invectives against social, cultural and historical inequalities at the heart of Wertmüller’s mid-1970s masterpieces “Love and Anarchy”, “Seven Beauties” and “Swept Away” only seemed help films find a appreciative audience, particularly in the United States. “

The archives have also made sure to spotlight his lesser-known pieces, such as All fucked up and Mimi’s seduction. In her 2019 interview with Variety, she was quoted as saying this about her art.

“Really, there are two strands – two souls – that coexist in my work: the lighter associated with musicals and the more socially conscious. They are both deeply part of my nature. “

Rest in peace, Lina Wertmüller. This news comes to us from Variety.

John Goodman celebrated by fans on Father's Day and his 69th birthday

John Goodman celebrated by fans on Father’s Day and his 69th birthday

Fans celebrate beloved TV dad John Goodman in honor of Father’s Day and his 69th birthday.

Read more

About the Author

45seconds is a new medium, do not hesitate to share our article on social networks to give us a solid boost. 🙂

We would like to say thanks to the writer of this write-up for this outstanding content

Lina Wertmuller, first woman nominated for best director, dies at 93