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Paolo and Vittorio Taviani (b. November 8, 1931, and September 20, 1929, respectively, both in San Miniato, Tuscany, Italy) are noted Italian film directors and screenwriters. They are brothers, who have always worked together, each directing alternate scenes.

Paolo Taviani's wife Lina Nerli Taviani has been costume designer of many of their films.

At the Cannes Film Festival the Taviani brothers won Palme d'Or and the FIPRESCI prize for Padre padrone in 1977 and Grand Prix du Jury for La notte di San Lorenzo in 1982.



They started their career as journalists. In 1960 they came to the world of cinema directing, with Joris Ivens thedocumentary L'Italia non è un paese povero (Italy is not a poor country), and they went on, directing with Valentino Orsini two films Un uomo da bruciare (1962) and I fuorilegge del matrimonio (1963).
Their first autonomous film was I sovversivi (The Subversive) (1967), with which they anticipated the events of '68. With actor Gian Maria Volonté they rose to fame with Sotto il segno dello scorpione (Under the Sign of Scorpio)(1969) where one can see the echoes of Brecht, Pasolini and Godard. In 1971 they co-signed the media campaign against police officer Calabresi, published in the magazine L'Espresso'
The revolutionary theme is present both in San Michele aveva un gallo (1971), a superb adaptation of Tolstoj's novel The Divine and the Human, a film greatly appreciated by critics, and in the film Allonsanfan (1974), where Mastroianni plays an ex-revolutionary who has served a long term in prison and sees his idealistic youth in a much more realistic light, and nevertheless gets entangled in a new attempt in which he no longers believes. Their next film Padre padrone (1977) (Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival), taken from a novel by Gavino Ledda, speaks of the struggle of a Sardinian shepheard against the cruel rules of his patriarchal society. In Il prato (1979) there are neorealistic echoes, while La notte di San Lorenzo (Saint Lorenzo's night) (1982)narrates, in a fairy-tale tone, a marginal event in the days before the end of World War II, in Tuscany, as seen through the eyes of some village people. The film was awarded the Special Jury Award in Cannes.
Kaos (1984) - again a literary adaptation - is a poignantly beautiful and poetical film in episodes, taken from Luigi Pirandello's Short Stories for a year . In Il sole anche di notte (1990) the Taviani brothers transposed in 18th century Naples the story from Tolstoj's Father Sergei.
From then onwards, the Taviani's inspiration proved faltering. Successes like Le affinità elettive, (1996), from Goethe) and an attempt to woo the international audiences like Good morning Babilonia, {1987), on the pioneers of cinema history, alternate with much inferior films, commercial and critical disasters like Fiorile (1993) and Tu ridi (1996), inspired by the characters and short stories of Pirandello.
In the 2000s, the two directors turned successfully to television films and miniseries. They gave a respectful adaptation of Tolstoj's Resurrection (2001) and Luisa Sanfelice(2004) a sort of romantic-popular ballad from a book by Alexandre Dumas father.
Literary adaptations continue with La masseria delle allodole (2007), presented at the Berlin Film Festival in the section 'Berlinale Special'.



as film directors


  • San Miniato, luglio '44 (1954)
  • L'Italia non è un paese povero (1960, together with Joris Ivens)
  • Un uomo da bruciare (1962, together with Valentino Orsini)
  • I fuorilegge del matrimonio (1963, together with Valentino Orsini)
  • I sovversivi (1967)
  • Sotto il segno dello scorpione (1969)




  • Un altro mondo è possibile (2001)
  • Resurrezione (2001, TV film)
  • Luisa Sanfelice (2004, TV miniseries)
  • La masseria delle allodole (2007)

as screenwriters



  • San Michele aveva un gallo (1972, based on a story by Leo Tolstoy)
  • Allonsanfàn (1973)
  • Padre padrone (1977, based on a book by Gavino Ledda)
  • Il prato (1979, with Gianni Sbarra)
  • La notte di San Lorenzo (1982, with Giuliani G. De Negri and Tonino Guerra)
  • Kaos (1984, based on short stories by Luigi Pirandello)
  • Good Morning, Babylon (1987, with Tonino Guerra)

since 1990s

Soundtrack composers

For their first eight films

In chronological order:

  • Gianfranco Intra: Un uomo da bruciare
  • Giovanni Fusco: I fuorilegge del matrimonio, I sovversivi
  • Vittorio Gelmetti: Sotto il segno dello scorpione
  • Benedetto Ghiglia: San Michele aveva un gallo
  • Ennio Morricone: Allonsanfan
  • Egisto Macchi: Padre padrone
  • Ennio Morricone: Il prato

Nicola Piovani

Nicola Piovani their favourite composer: eight films together, from La notte di San Lorenzo to Luisa Sanfelice; a series only interrupted for Le affinità elettive (music by Carlo Crivelli).

Favourite classical composers

  • Mozart
    • Adagio from the concerto for clarinet K622 in Padre padrone
    • Cavatina L'ho perduta from Nozze di Figaro in Kaos
  • Wagner:
    • Baritone aria O du mein holder Abendstern from the 3rd act of Tannhauser in Notte di San Lorenzo
  • Rossini:
    • Sinfonia from Guglielmo Tell (Good Morning Babilonia)
    • Aria dei gatti (Tu ridi)
  • Chopin and Čajkovskij in Resurrezione


  • 1977: Palme d'or per Padre padrone.
  • 1983: David di Donatello for best film for La notte di San Lorenzo.
  • 1986: Leone d'Oro {Golden Lion) of the Venice Film Festival for the whole of their career
  • 2007: Efebo d'oro for La Masseria delle Allodole.
  • 2008: Laurea Honoris Causa in "Cinema, theatre and multimedia production" by the Faculty of Literature and Philosophy of the Pisa University.

External links


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