Taviani Brothers celebrated with two month film season

The first-ever retrospective in the UK of the work of Paolo and Vittorio Taviani will launch at BFI Southbank in February.

Entitled ‘Magical Realism – The Film Fables of the Taviani Brothers’, the season will cover over 50 years of film-making, with surviving brother, 92-year-old Paolo Taviani, joining season curator Adrian Wootton for an In Conversation.

Vittorio Taviani died in 2018.

The season, which has been curated by Adrian Wootton and is presented at BFI Southbank in partnership with Cinecittà, runs from 1 February to 12 March, and includes PADRE PADRONE (Cannes Palme D’Or, 1977), which launched the brothers’ international careers, and their multi-award-winning masterpiece THE NIGHT OF THE SHOOTING STARS. Selected films in the season will also be available to watch UK-wide on BFI Player.

Nicola Maccanico, Cinecittà CEO, said: “Paolo and Vittorio Taviani are among the most outstanding Italian film directors, having earned plenty of awards and accolades in Cannes, Berlin, and worldwide. The retrospective organized by an institution as prestigious as the BFI, in collaboration with Cinecittà, is not only an acknowledgment of the Taviani brothers’ work but also a gift for the spectators, who are given the chance to enjoy movies that cover the span of film history, from Neorealism to socially engaged cinema, from realism to fairy tale.”

Says Wootton: “I am honoured and delighted to curate this first ever UK retrospective for the BFI and Cinecittà of The Tavianis. Their work demonstrated remarkable ambition in the subject matter they tackled and the cinematic invention they deployed (including masterful interweaving of multiple narratives).  They give us ultra-contemporary satire, powerful allegorical period drama, haunting war stories and playful, wickedly humorous, literary adaptations of (amongst others) Pirandello, Tolstoy and Shakespeare.”

Justin Johnson, BFI Southbank Lead Programmer added: “The BFI are delighted to be working once again with our long-term partners Cinecittà to recognise and offer a platform for the work of the Taviani Brothers, who despite winning numerous prizes at prestigious Film Festivals worldwide, remain unsung heroes outside of Italy – their incredible body of work is waiting to be discovered by our audiences at BFI Southbank and on BFI Player.”

Wootton will also host an introductory talk, giving an overview of the Tavianis’ career and amplifying the four themes of the retrospective, illustrated with clips and slides, including excerpts from material rarely seen and not included elsewhere in the programme. Wootton is a long-time programmer of Italian cinema for the BFI, including curating a Marco Bellocchio season at BFI Southbank in 2018, has been an advisor on Italian cinema to the BFI London Film Festival, and works with Cinecittà curating their annual Cinema Made in Italy festival.

On-sale dates: Tickets for screenings in February are on sale to BFI Patrons and Champions on 2 January, BFI Members on 3 January and to the general public on 5 January. Tickets for screenings in March are on sale to BFI Patrons and Champions on 5 February, BFI Members on 6 February and to the general public on 8 February.


The full Taviani Brothers retrospective programme is listed below:


The Politics of Rebellion

A Man for Burning aka This Man is For Burning
Un uomo da bruciare
Also available on BFI Player

St. Michael Had a Rooster
San Michele aveva un gallo

Also available on BFI Player

Padre Padrone

Classic Literature


Elective Affinities
Le affinità elettive

You Laugh
Tu ridi

Wondrous Boccaccio
Maraviglioso Boccaccio

Caesar Must Die
Cesare deve morire


The Inspiration of Cinema

The Subversives
I sovversivi
Also available on BFI Player 

The Meadow
Il prato

Good Morning Babylon
Good morning Babilonia

Leonora Addio

The Realities of War and Conflict

The Night of the Shooting Stars
La notte di San Lorenzo

The Lark Farm
La masseria delle allodole

Rainbow: A Private Affair
Una questione privata

Screening on BFI Player only

Outlaws of Love / Marriage Outlaws
I Fuorilegge del Matrimonio

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