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Marco Bellocchio

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Marco Bellocchio
Bellocchio in 2010
Born (1939-11-09) 9 November 1939 (age 84)
Bobbio, Italy
Occupation(s)Film director, screenwriter, actor
Years active1962–present

Marco Bellocchio (Italian pronunciation: [ˈmarkobelˈlɔkkjo]; born 9 November 1939) is an Italian film director, screenwriter, and actor.

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Life and career

Born in Bobbio, near Piacenza, Marco Bellocchio had a strict Catholic upbringing – his father was a lawyer, his mother a schoolteacher.[1] He began studying philosophy in Milan but then decided to enter film school, first at the Dramatic Art Academy of Milan, then the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome,[2] and later at the Slade School of Fine Art in London. His first film, Fists in the Pocket (I pugni in tasca, winner of the Silver Sail at the 1965 Festival del film Locarno), was funded by family members and shot on family property in 1965.


Bellocchio's films include China Is Near (1967), Sbatti il mostro in prima pagina (Slap the Monster on Page One) (1972), Nel Nome del Padre (In the name of the Father – a satire on a Catholic boarding school that shares affinities with Lindsay Anderson's If....) (1972), Victory March (1976), A Leap in the Dark (1980), Henry IV (1984), Devil in the Flesh (1986), and My Mother's Smile (2002), which told the story of a wealthy Italian artist, a 'default-Marxist and atheist', who suddenly discovers that the Vatican is proposing to make his detested mother a saint.

In 1991 he won the Silver Bear – Special Jury Prize at the 41st Berlin International Film Festival for his film The Conviction.[3]

In 1995 he directed a documentary about the Red Brigades and the kidnapping and murder of Aldo Moro, titled Broken Dreams. In 2003, he directed a feature film on the same theme, Good Morning, Night. In 2006 his film The Wedding Director was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.[4] In 1999, he was awarded with an Honorable Prize for the contribution to cinema at the 21st Moscow International Film Festival.[5]

In 2009 he directed Vincere, which was in the main competition at the Cannes Film Festival. He finished Sorelle Mai, an experimental film that was shot over ten years with the students of six separate workshops playing themselves. He was awarded with the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 68th Venice International Film Festival in September 2011.[6]

His 2012 film Dormant Beauty was selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the 69th Venice International Film Festival.[7] On 6 September 2012, Bellocchio condemned the Catholic Church's interference in politics after the premiere of his controversial film about a high-profile euthanasia case. The film approaches the topic of euthanasia and the difficulty with legislation on end of life in Italy, which has Vatican City within its borders. The subject is inspired by Eluana Englaro's case. Following the decision of the jury of the Venice Film Festival, which excluded the film from the Golden Lion, Bellocchio has expressed strong criticism against President Michael Mann.[8]

Political activity

Bellocchio made a big impact on radical Italian cinema in the mid-1960s, and was a friend of Pasolini. In 1968, he joined the Union of Italian Communists (Marxist-Leninist), a Maoist group, and began to make politically militant cinema. However, in a 2002 interview, he talked about divided state of the Italian left, politics' lacking from the aim of radical change, and how such a radical change not being appealing for him anymore:[9]

"I can talk about my personal ideas but Marxism has little to do with it now. Today politics means administration, either a good or a bad administration, and nobody is talking any more in terms of changing things. The left in Italy is now very divided, as if it doesn't have the strength to form an opposition. No party is now proposing a radical change of anything, and radical change is no longer very interesting to me as an artist."

In another interview conducted in London Film Festival of 2006, he insisted still being a leftist, but argued for a need to reinvent the term:[10]

In Italy politics is pretty mediocre and depressing. It is not the same situation as in the 60s when you had the idea to change the society through politics that doesn't exist anymore. It is not necessarily to make Italy into socialist republic but in any case to change a few things radically. Because in Italy like the rest of Europe politics now is more based on running a public administration and so there is not a big difference between left and right. [...] I am still on the left but socialism and the left should be reinvented. It is difficult. Basically old values are invalid anymore and we have to find new ones."

He was candidate for Italian Parliament in 2006, with Rose in the Fist list, a political cartel made by socialists and Italian Radicals (a liberal, social liberal and libertarian party).

He is an atheist.[11]

Personal Life

He is the third son in his family along with his twin brother Carlo, who committed suicide in 1969 leaving an lasting impact on Bellocchio's life. He has three children - a son Pier Giorgio Bellocchio with actress Gisella Burinato and a daughter Elena with his current partner Francesca Calvelli who is also the editor for his films.





Awards and nominations

Awards and nominations received by Marco Bellocchio
Award Year Work Category Result
Cannes Film Festival[12] 2021 Honorary Palme d'Or Won
Berlin International Film Festival[13] 1991 The Conviction Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize Won
Venice Film Festival[14] 2011 Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement Won
David di Donatello[15] 1980 A Leap in the Dark Best Director Won
2003 My Mother's Smile Nominated
2004 Good Morning, Night Nominated
2007 The Wedding Director Nominated
2010 Vincere Won
2011 Sorelle Mai Nominated
2017 Sweet Dreams Nominated
2020 The Traitor Won
2023 Exterior Night Won
2003 My Mother's Smile Best Screenplay Nominated
2004 Good Morning, Night Nominated
2010 Vincere Nominated
2017 Sweet Dreams Nominated
2020 The Traitor Won
2023 Exterior Night Nominated
2014 Lifetime Achievement Award Won
Nastro d'Argento[16]
1966 Fists in the Pocket Best Director Nominated
2003 My Mother's Smile Won
2004 Good Morning, Night Nominated
2007 The Wedding Director Nominated
2009 Vincere Nominated
2011 Sorelle mai Nominated
2013 Dormant Beauty Nominated
2017 Sweet Dreams Nominated
2019 The Traitor Won
2023 Kidnapped Won
1966 Fists in the Pocket Best Story Won
1968 China Is Near Won
1976 Victory March Nominated
2002 My Mother's Smile Won
2007 The Wedding Director Won
1966 Fists in the Pocket Best Screenplay Nominated
1968 China Is Near Nominated
1998 The Prince of Homburg Nominated
2002 My Mother's Smile Nominated
2004 Good Morning, Night Nominated
2013 Dormant Beauty Nominated
2019 The Traitor Won
2023 Kidnapped Won


  1. ^ The Independent Review, p. 14, 15 November 2002
  2. ^ "Marco Bellocchio". Festival de Cannes. Retrieved 20 December 2023.
  3. ^ "Berlinale: 1991 Prize Winners". Retrieved 22 March 2011.
  4. ^ "Festival de Cannes: The Wedding Director". Retrieved 15 December 2009.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "21st Moscow International Film Festival (1999)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 22 March 2013. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
  6. ^ "Cannes Film Festival to honour jailed Iranian directors". BBC News. 11 May 2011. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
  7. ^ "Venezia 69". labiennale. Archived from the original on 28 July 2012. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
  8. ^ "Anger Bellocchio on Venice jury".
  9. ^ Clarke, Roger (15 November 2002). "Marco Bellocchio: Mother love?". The Independent. Retrieved 13 February 2023.
  10. ^ Jahed, Parviz (5 July 2022). "Socialism and the Left Should Be Reinvented, Interview with Marco Bellocchio". Universal Cinema. Retrieved 13 February 2023.
  11. ^ "Interview to Studiocinema". Archived from the original on 26 March 2012.
  12. ^ "Palma d'Oro d'Onore a Marco Bellocchio" (in Italian).
  13. ^ "Marco Bellocchio" (in Italian).
  14. ^ "Leone d'oro alla carriera a Marco Bellocchio" (in Italian).
  15. ^ "Personaggi - Marco Bellocchio" (in Italian).
  16. ^ "Personaggi - Marco Bellocchio" (in Italian).

External links

This page was last edited on 7 June 2024, at 18:33
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