Soldini, Silvio

Soldini, Silvio
   Screenwriter and director. One of the most impressive of the younger filmmakers to emerge in the mid-1980s, Soldini was born in Milan but studied film and television at New York University. It was there that he produced his first prize-winning short, Drimage (1982). After returning to Italy he worked as a translator and assistant director before making the evocative Paesaggio con figure (Figures in a Landscape, 1983) and Giulia in ottobre (Giulia in October, 1984), the latter winning the Jury Prize at the Annecy Italian Film Festival. In 1984 he founded his own production company, Monogatari, and began making documentaries. Voci celate (Hidden Voices, 1986), a one-hour video filmed in a psychiatric day hospital, won the Salsomaggiore Festival competition. He made several more shorts before directing his first full-length commercial feature, L'aria serena dell'ovest (The Peaceful Air of the West, 1990). A sharply observed portrait of tangentially touching lives in contemporary Milan, the film was nominated for the Golden Leopard at the Festival of Locarno. After several more shorts and documentaries he directed his second feature, Un'anima divisa in due (A Soul Split in Two, 1993). Presented in competition at the Venice Festival, the film earned Fabrizio Bentivoglio the Volpi Cup for his performance as the young Milanese who falls in love with a gypsy girl. Soldini's third feature, Le acrobate (The Thread, 1997), another social drama about lives that touch each other by chance, won first prize at the Paris Rencontres Internationales de Cinema. Soldini would score his greatest commercial and critical triumph, however, with Pane e tulipani (Bread and Tulips, 2001), which achieved record worldwide sales and received nine David di Donatello awards, five Nastri d'Argento, the Flaiano Prize, and three European Academy Awards nominations. After Brucio nel vento (Burning in the Wind, 2002), a brooding study of broken lives and an impossible love, Soldini returned to brighter themes with the sparkling comedy Agata e la tempesta (Agatha and the Storm, 2004), nominated for eight David di Donatello awards.

Historical dictionary of Italian cinema. . 2010.

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