Giuseppe Piccioni is among the most appreciated Italian directors today. His most recent film, The Life I Want, will be screened at the San Francisco Film Festival later this month, and we have the opportunity to welcome him in Berkeley as well, thanks to the support of the Italian Cultural Institute.
The director will present to the Berkeley audience Light of My Eyes, a story of ordinary characters who are, in his words, castaways, always just about to lose their way, inadequate, losers, afflicted by average unhappiness, travellers through life, visitors to the world. Its intense poignancy and rarefied athmosphere earned it an almost cult-like success with the audience. The film received both Best Actor (Luigi Lo Cascio) and Best Actress (Sandra Ceccarelli) awards at the 2001 Venice Film Festival.
Antonio is a fallen angel, a rootless chauffeur in Rome, who relates only to the lonely heroes in the pulp science fiction novels he grew up with. Only through a chance encounter with Maria, a woman struggling to hold onto her daughter and her business, does he discover a hope thatís been lacking in his detached existence. Antonio is drawn into the suffering of Mariaís world, where she draws her inner strength from her fragile solitude. A haunting score by composer Ludovico Einaudi, poetic atmosphere and award-winning lyrical performances by the two leads evoke the beauty of a precarious existence.
Born in Ascoli Piceno on July 2 1953, he graduated in sociology after attending the Gaumont cinema school in Rome, created and directed by Renzo Rossellini.
In 1985, he was among the co-founders of the production company Vertigo, which produced in 1987 his directorial debut, The Great Blek (Il grande Blek), whcih was praised by critics and received a number of awards, including a Silver Ribbon and the De Sica Prize for young Italian directors.
It was followed by Ask for the Moon (Chiedi la luna), for which the director received the 1993 Golden Grolla, while leading actress Margherita Buy obtained a Golden Sacher award.
There follows Condemned to Wed (Condannato a nozze) in 1993, and Penniless Hearts (Cuori al verde) in 1996. The latter won the International Comedy Festival at Alpe d'Huez (France) and the audience award at the Bastia Festival. In 1997 he realizes Words from the Heart (Le parole del cuore) for the Italian national TV, editing together archival footage from RAI. The subsequent 1998 film, Not of this World (Fuori dal mondo), wins five Donatello awards, 4 Golden Ciak awards, the Golden Grolla for its producer, the Silver Hugo Award at the Chicago International Film Festival, Best Film and Audience awards at the AFI International Film Festival in Los Angeles, and the Jury Grand Prize at the Montreal Film Festival. It is also Italy's official nomination for best foreign film at the 1999 Academy Awards.
His 2001 film Light of My Eyes (Luce dei miei occhi) is screened at the Venice Film Festival gathering the "Coppa Volpi" awards for its two leads, Luigi Lo Cascio and Sandra Ceccarelli, the Pasinetti Award for Best Actor and the Trasatti Award for its director.
In 2002 he founded the production company Bartlebyfilm, producing his short film Sandra, a Confidential Portrait (Sandra, un ritratto confidenziale), screened at the Venice Film Festival, and Alina Marrazzi's Un'ora sola ti vorrei, obtaining a special mention at the 2002 Locarno Film Festival.
After making in 2004 The Life I Want (La vita che vorrei), which reproposes the same acting duo of Lo Cascio-Ceccarelli, in 2005 he founded the Libreria del Cinema in Rome
Organized by IISA (Italian International Student Association) and Italian Cultural Institute.
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Last updated April 1, 2006 by Andrea Trave