Sunday, May 1, 2016

RIP Franco Di Giacomo

Farewell to Franco Di Giacomo.

By Ivan Zingariello

The great director of photography Franco Di Giacomo died yesterday, aged 83. More than 120 films to his credit, has worked with some of the greatest Italian directors, from Bertolucci to Ettore Scola, Taviani by Nanni Moretti. He was also president of A.I.C., The association of the authors of photography.

Originally as an amateur, he began his career as an assistant to Aldo Tonti, then became a  fireman and eventually to a machine operator. Until 1970 he participated in various B-movies, but also in film that will remembered in the history of cinema. And 'in fact he was one of the operators of the epic "Cleopatra" with Liz Taylor, and also of "Marriage Italian Style" by Vittorio De Sica, as well as two films by Pasolini, "Uccellacci e uccellini" and "Porcile". However, he will be best remembered as a camera operator in the cult films of Sergio Leone, "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" and "Once Upon a Time in the West", both under the orders of the master Tonino Delli Colli.

After years of playing he is called in 1969 by Salvatore Samperi who "promotes" him to the role of director of photography in his ill-fated "Uccidete il vitello grasso e arrostitelo". In the early alternate genre films like "Chi l’ha vista morire?" By Aldo Lado, "... and so scared "by Paolo Cavara and "When Women Had Tails" by Pasquale Festa Campanile in art films as "Trategia del ragno"  by Bernardo Bertolucci, or "Nel nome del padre" by Marco Bellocchio, with whom he will also run "Marcia trionfale".

He also works with Dario Argento in "4 Flies on Grey Velvet", and continued with "La Tosca" by Luigi Magni, "Stardust" by Alberto Sordi, "Libera, amore mio!" the love of Mauro Bolognini, "L’anatra all’arancia" by Luciano Salce and "La stanza del vescovo" by Dino Risi. In the late 70s there is the boom of the films with Bud Spencer headed by former assistant Leone, Michele Lupo. Giacomo will "light up" four of them, from "They Called Him Bulldozer" to "Uno sceriffo extraterrestre… poco extra e molto terrestre!"

With the Taviani brothers the movies are even 5, including "The Night of the Shooting Stars" in 1983 that allowed him to win the David di Donatello, for which will receive four nominations for the next twenty years (and three silver ribbons). Always in the 80’s he carefully photographs Nanni Moretti's film "Sweet Dreams" and "The Mass is Ended",  Damiano Damiani’s "Amityville Possession" and "The investigation", also that of "OIC Ciornie "Nikita Mikhalkov.

In the 1990s other collaborations, such as "The House of Smiles" by Marco Ferreri, "Marcellino" by Luigi Comencini and "Relatives Snakes" by Mario Monicelli. One of the most important films of the Di Giacomo's career, however, "The Postman" by Massimo Troisi and Michael Radford, who will win the Oscar for best foreign film. With "Romance of a Poor Young Man" which also began in 1995 a collaboration with Ettore Scola, then continued with "Dinner", "Unfair Competition" and "People of Rome." In 2000 he won the Flaiano Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2004 and ended his career as a cinematographer with the miniseries "Luisa Sanfelice" by the Taviani brothers, which followed four years after the last film, the little-known "Appointment in Unusual Hour" by Stefano Coletta.

In recent years he was also a professor of photography at the Academy ACT Multimedia Cinecittà.

Di GIACOMO, Franco
Born: 9/18/1932, Amatrice, Umbria, Italy
Died: 4/30/2016, Rome, Lazio, Italy

Franco Di Giacomo’s westerns – cinematographer, cameraman:
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – 1966 [cameraman]
Once Upon a Time in the West – 1968 [cameraman]
Buddy Goes West – 1981 [cinematographer]
The Postman – 1994 [cinematographer]

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