Italian director Lina Wertmüller died on December 9 at the age of 93. She entered the history of cinema as the first woman nominated for the Oscar for Best Director.
First an institute, Lina Wertmüller approached the cinema by being hired as third assistant director on Eight and a Half by Federico Fellini in 1963. The same year, she shot her first feature film as a director: I basilischi. Led by the music of Ennio Morricone, this portrait of a youth from the Italian countryside attracts the eye of critics.
During the 60s, she tried her hand at popular genres, from the musical (Rita la zanzara) to the spaghetti western (Beautiful Starr Story), but it was the following decade that brought him recognition at all levels. Initially influenced by neo-realism, she switched to satire, first with Mimi metallo wounded in her honor (1971), then Film of love and anarchy (1973) and Towards an unusual destiny on the blue waves of summer (1974). The latter will be remake in 2002 by Guy Ritchie.
In 1977, she was named to the Oscar for Best Director – a first in the history of the institution – for Pasqualino, the story of an opportunistic little Neapolitan mobster, who is still coming out of the worst periods of the year. 20th century Italian history thanks to its lack of scruples.
Following the evolution of society, she then confronts an Italian Communist (Giancarlo Giannini, her favorite actor) and an American capitalist (Candice Bergen) in The end of the world in our marital bed, then directed Nastassja Kinski and Rutger Hauer in On a Moonlit Night, one of the first films to address the issue of AIDS.
She will shoot for the cinema until 2004, and will sign two telefilms in 2009 and 2010, but most of these feature films will unfortunately not cross the Italian borders.