“I think my movie, you can like it or dislike it, but it’s a brave movie. I think this [winning the EFA for The Great Beauty] is a suggestion to Italian producers and Italian filmmakers to be brave. Because when you are brave in language and in movies, you can fail, but if you do a good movie you can have a huge success.” –Paolo Sorrentino.
The trick, of course, is making good movies, and I Love Italian Movies director of the year has certainly done that.
Born in Naples in 1970, Paolo Sorrentino started his career in cinema as a screenwriter, and got his big break in 2001 at the Venice Film Festival with his movie, L’Uomo In Più (The Extra Man) with Toni Servillo. The critics noticed him immediately, and his next film, Le Conseguenze dell’Amore (The Consequences of Love), also starring Toni Servillo, went to Cannes. Yet another film starring Servillo, Il Divo, won the Jury prize at Cannes in 2008, and so did the 2011 This Must Be The Place with Sean Penn and this year’s sensation, La Grande Bellezza starring, you guessed it, Toni Servillo.
I’m American, so like all nosy Americans I wanted to know more about Sorrentino’s personal life. Though the word paparazzi is Italian, they really don’t seem to bother Italian filmmakers like they do here in America. Here’s all I know about Paolo Sorrentino:
As a teenager he was a drummer and dreamt of being a rock star, but a tragic event changed his life; his parents were killed in an accident when he was 17.
“The loss of my parents at 17 changed my life in every sense. If it hadn’t happened, I would never have become a director. I was the son of a banker and I would followed in his footsteps. Becoming an orphan gave me the recklessness to try it.”
“For a long time the urgency was to survive. When you have a traumatic event as a teenager, you aren’t thinking about ever being happy again. But I was lucky. I met my wife, I have two children.”
A wife and two children, neither of which I can find much about. They usually blur the faces of children in the Italian media, but I can’t even find any blurred out pictures of Sorrentino’s kid. His wife is the beautiful Daniela D’Antonio.