Italian film director, born in Carpi (Modena, Italy), on January 12, 1936.
After graduating in letters from the University of Bologna, he entered the Centro Sperimentale di Roma cinematography where she studied direction. His first steps given in television, where he showed a special interest, always with objectivity, toward political issues and complaints. These two features are that have marked his career, with a committed style that does not use cinema as an art or entertainment, but as a means of communication of ideas. From this period are his works for RAI, a series of reports in which resumed some historical characters, such as Marshal Pétain or Stalin.
His first long work of some importance was Francisco de Asís (1966); filmed in black-and-white, it offers insight into the life of the Saint under the perspective of the radical politics of the 1960s. This was supposed to cling to the ideological bases that had led up to then work on television and also put revealed his interest in certain iconic characters. Twenty-three years later he would return to the theme, this time located in its corresponding time, but turning the narrative into a "docudrama" in which the companions of Francisco and Chiara, the woman who followed him and founded the female version of the order, speak it and how he became a hero two years before his death.
The film of Liliana Cavani is a mixture of images and ideas that bets on very specific topics, and which like controversy, by provocative images, either by the meaning of his characters. Galileo (1968) reaffirms its stance before the ecclesiastical intransigence. The following year with the cannibals delves into a tale of mythological resonance, placing the viewer in a terrible picture. The streets filled with bodies that can not be buried by express prohibition by the authorities; and a message: once someone transgresses the rules is much easier to keep him the rest.
Success and also the controversy came in 1973 with night Porter. Censored, praised and maligned, it shocked with the story of a survivor of the concentration camps that, thirteen years after the end of World War II, returns to find the nazi officer who tortured her and her lover. He is now the Porter of a hotel in Vienna, where will return your old sadomasochistic relationship. Charlotte Rampling and Dirk Bogarde left in the film memory images of leathers and naked. More surprising than the relationship itself was the extreme thinness of Rampling really reminding of the malnutrition of the concentration camps.
Having tasted the sweetness of the provocation, Cavani was recreated once more in sexuality, this time by Claudia Cardinale, that skin (1980) starring alongside Burt Lancaster. But the real prize of criticism came with interior Berlin (1986), a British production based on the novel by J. Tanikazi, The Buddhist Cross, which is situated at the end of the 1930s in Berlin to uncover the torrid relationship between the wife of a diplomat and the daughter of the Japanese Ambassador, who suffer a blackmail. The beauty of his images earned him the bear of gold of the Berlin Festival, as best film.
Cavani last title to date is a production for television: seven Dove? IO sono qui (1993). Again a very particular character is the center of attention. Faust, name with clearly reminiscent of offending, is a deaf and dumb boy. Her mother cannot accept the disease and refuses to give him a special education. But the boy's aunt will open the road to a shot, wrapped by their peers and by a girl that falls in love. Thanks to her, Faust may "hear" for the first time that surrounds him.
The career of Liliana Cavani, irregular, provocative, almost eccentric, share love with theatre and opera, genres where made raids also as Director. His film subjects have no more thread than the of own interests political, social, and even philosophical. Thus faces sexual taboos, religion, myths and even lashes out against the great thinkers, as it did to the ridicule to Nietzsche in his film beyond good and evil (1977), based on the life of Lou Andrea-salome, lover of the own Nietzsche and the intellectual Paul Ree.
Without the bondage of commercial cinema, with a cadence of increasingly spaced creation, Liliana Cavani is a Director who does not hurry to tell stories. Just film when you have something to say.
Short films: 1961: Il notturno control. 1962: L' event.
Feature films: 1968: Galileo (and screenplay). 1969: cannibals (and screenplay). 1972: Milarepa (and screenplay). 1973: goalkeeper's night (and screenplay). 1977: beyond good and evil. 1980: The skin. 1982: Behind the door. 1986: Berlin interior. 1989: Francesco.2002: the game's Ripley.
Works for television: 1962: history of the Third Reich. 1963: La donna della resistenza; L' Età di Stalin. 1964: Philippe Pétain, Vichy; process The House in Italy. 1965: Gesù mio fratello; Il giorno della pace. 1966: Francisco de Asís (and screenplay). 1971: guest. 1993: seven Dove? IO sono qui (and screenplay).