Wednesday, September 8, 2010

RIP Piero Vivarelli

The director and screenwriter Piero Vivarelli died last night in Rome at the age of 83 years. The announcement of his death was given by his wife, but he had long been suffering from heart problems.

Born in Siena, February 26, 1927, Vivarelli had signed many of his films using the pseudonym of Donald Murray. Among his films were ‘Io bacio… tu baci” (1960), ”Sanremo, la grande sfida” (1960), ”Oggi a Berlino” (1962), ”Rita, la figlia americana” (1965), with Toto’ and Rita Pavone, ”Mister X” (1967), ”Satanik” (1968), ”Il vuoto” (1969), ”Il dio serpente” (1970), with Nadia Cassini, ”Il Decamerone nero” (1972), ”Codice d’amore orientale” (1974) and ”Nella misura in cui” (1979). His last film was the comedy ”La rumbera”(1998), the story of a Cuban dancer.

In 1960 he created the radio program ‘La coppa del Jazz’, and he was also known as a lyricist (among his lyrics are Adriano Celentano’s ’24.000 baci’ and ”Il tuo bacio e’ come un rock”). For five years he has chaired the selection committee of the music of the Sanremo Festival.

Vivarelli was just seventeen when he entered the “X-Mas”, the infamous squadron of Italian commando frogmen commanded by famed submarine commander Junio Valerio Borghese.

A former militant, he was arrested in 1946, before joining the communist party from 1949 to 1990, after which he joined the Cuban Communist Party in order to support a ‘party that justly claims to be communist’. He was also one of the directors of ”L’addio a Enrico Berlinguer (1984)”, a documentary on the collective funeral of the historic Italian Communist party secretary.

Vivarelli started his career working on Lucio Fulci films about young singers of the time (”I ragazzi del juke-box” (59) and ”Urlatori alla sbarra” (60))and his first films as director continued in a similar musical vein.

Piero Vivarelli was a co-writer on the screenplay for 1965's "Django" starring Franco Nero.

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