Biography of Valerio Zurlini (1926-1982)

Italian film director, born in Bologna (Italy) on March 19, 1926 and died in Verona (Italy) on October 27, 1982.


Belonging to a generation of filmmakers that emerged after the outbreak of neorealism, and among them Pier Paolo Pasolini or Michelangelo Antonioni, Valerio Zurlini stands soon as one of the most sensitive directors of Italian cinema. Ruthless analyst of human feelings, and always looking single drama, got a brilliant early success although his later career would span different stages.

Boomers came of the University or the theater and came to the movies looking for a means of communication that would give all their concerns. Zurlini graduated in law and later worked for a time in the University Theatre. In this intellectual atmosphere meet different cinema scriptwriters, who encouraged him to cooperate with them. In 1948 he/she began to make documentaries, as well as numerous short films, but it was not until years later when conceived larger projects. That is precisely one of the traits that characterized his career: the interval of years elapsed between the completion of a film and the next, as if Zurlini needs time to mature stories wanted to narrate.

Great adapter of classics of Italian literature, his filmography is composed of numerous translations to the novels of Vasco Pratolini celluloid (the ragazze di San Frediano; Family Chronicle), Giacomo Leopardi(first night) or Dino Buzzatti (the desert of the Tartars). Cinema where reigns the melancholy and sadness, but that disdains not formal investigations into the musical accompaniment, the use of color or the drama of the story.

His debut is produced with the ragazze di San Frediano, describing the adventures of a young Florentine. Violent summer, his second film, tells the story of love in the summer of 1943 between a woman of the bourgeoisie and a boy not just economic resources. This film Garners him a radical reputation that does not correspond to his left-wing ideology, more leisurely and thoughtful.

Family Chronicle marks a turning point in his career, since it gets the León de Oro at the Venice Festival and is raised to the category of the great masters of cinema. Starring Marcello Mastroianni and Jacques Perrin, usual in feature films by Zurlini, recounts how a journalist and leftist writer located in affection to his younger brother, sick of phthisis, the reason to go on living. Interestingly, the success of this film Zurlini leads to ostracism, and for years survives accepting orders as colonialist Sedutto drama to the sua destra, based on the life of the Congolese Patrick Lumumba, or ending films by other directors.

With the first night you will return to the intimacy of his best works. But the desert of the Tartars closed his career with a resounding failure of public, despite being among his best works. The ten years invested in the implementation of this project and the final economic result they persuade Zurlini, who leaves his job as director, except for sporadic work for television. In 1982 perish from an intestinal condition, into complete oblivion.


Cortometrajes.1949: Sorrida prego; Storia di a quartiere; The capello.1950 lamp: Pugilatori; Miniature.1951: Il blues della domenica. 1952: Serenata da a soldo; Soldati in Città; The station; Il mercato delle facce; Ventotto tornellate.

Largometrajes.1954: Le ragazze di San Frediano. 1959: Violent summer. 1960: The girl in the suitcase. 1962: Family Chronicle. 1964: Le soldatesse. 1968: Seduto SUA destra. 1972: The first night of the stillness. 1977: The desert of the Tartars.