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Obit: Screenwriter Tonino Guerra, Three-Time Oscar-Nominee, Has Died

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood March 21, 2012 at 1:43PM

One of cinema's greatest writers, three-time Oscar nominee Tonino Guerra, has died. The poet/screenwriter from Northern Italy had just turned 92 on March 16. Guerra wrote over 100 screenplays, including "L'avventura," "La notte," "L'eclisse," "Red Desert," "Blow-Up," and "Zabriskie Point" for Antonioni;
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Tonino Guerra
Tonino Guerra

One of cinema's greatest writers, three-time Oscar nominee Tonino Guerra, has died. The poet/screenwriter from Northern Italy had just turned 92 on March 16. Guerra wrote over 100 screenplays, including "L'avventura," "La notte," "L'eclisse," "Red Desert," "Blow-Up," and "Zabriskie Point" for Antonioni; "Amarcord," "And the Ship Sails On," and "Ginger and Fred" for Fellini; "Nostalghia" for Tarkovsky; the Taviani brothers' "Kaos," Francesco Rosi's "Exquisite Corpses" and "Three Brothers," "Landscapes in the Mist" for Angelopoulos; Vittorio De Sica's "Marriage Italian-style" and "Sunflower," and Elio Petri's "The Tenth Victim."

Guerra was nominated for three co-writing Oscars ("Amarcord," "Blow-Up," "Casanova 70"), won best screenplay at Cannes in 1984 for "Voyage to Cythera," and has been honored at the Venice Film Festival (Pietro Bianchi Award, 1994) and Italy's David di Donatello Awards ("Career David" Lifetime Achievement award, 2010).

The Writers Guild of America West gave Guerra its Jean Renoir Award in 2011 for Screenwriting Achievement by an international writer. At the time of the announcement, the WGA's Howard Rodman stated:

“By any standard one of the great writers of our times. His medium is the screenplay...Guerra's work is the brave and moral thread that runs through the fabric of modernist cinema. He is a breathtaking poet, a generous collaborator, and is possessed of the largest heart."
 

This article is related to: Obit, Stuck In Love


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.