Salvatores, Gabriele 1950-
SALVATORES, Gabriele 1950-
PERSONAL: Born July 30, 1950, in Naples, Italy.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Medusa Film S.P.A., 422-424 Via Aurelia Antica, Rome 00165, Italy.
CAREER: Director and author of screenplays. Film work as director includes Sogno di una notte d'estate, 1983; Kamikazen ultima notte a Milano, 1987; Marrakech Express, 1989; Strada Blues, 1990; Turne, 1990; Mediterraneo, Miramax, 1991; Puerto escondido, 1992; Sud, 1993; Nirvana, Miramax, 1997; Denti, Cecchi Gori Distribuzione, 2000; Calcutta Chromosome (not released), 2000; Un Altro mondo e possible, 2001; Amnesia, 2002; and Io non ho paura, 2002. Film appearances include La vera vita di Antonio H., 1994, and Il cielo e sempre piu blu, 1995.
AWARDS, HONORS: Italian National Syndicate for Film Journalists Silver Ribbon for Best Director, 1992, for Mediterraneo; Giffoni Film Festival François Truffaut Award, 1995; Venice Film Festival Digital Award special mention, 2002, for Denti.
(With Enzo Monteleone) Puerto escondido, Colorado Film Production, 1992.
(With Franco Bernini and Angelo Pasquini) Sud (also known as South), Colorado Film Production, 1993.
(With Pino Cacucci and Gloria Corica) Nirvana, Miramax, 1997.
Denti (based on a novel by Domenico Starnone; also known as Teeth), Cecchi Gori Distribuzione, 2000.
(With Andrea Garello) Amnesia, Medusa Produzione, 2002.
Other screenplays, either as writer or cowriter, include Sogno di una notte d'estate, 1983, Kamikazen ultima notte a Milano, 1987, and Turne, 1990.
SIDELIGHTS: Acclaimed for his directorial work in the 1991 film Mediterraneo, Gabriele Salvatores has written or cowritten the scripts for several of his motion pictures. A common theme in Salvatores's directoral work, according to Janet Stobart in the Los Angeles Times, is the theme of the loser as hero. "I have [losers] in my films because they're friends," the Italian filmmaker told Stobart. "That's the problem, I feel great affection for losers."
Typical of such characters is the protagonist of 1992's Puerto escondido, a banker from Milan who has accidentally witnessed the murder of a policeman. Afraid he may be next, he flees to Mexico, where he winds up in what Salvatores has called "a sort of Casablanca," a place Stobart described as "peopled by endof-the-line characters who live by their wits."
During the mid to late 1990s, Salvatores's writing confronted a variety of surreal themes. In 1997's Nirvana, for instance, Solo, the persona of a computer video game, acquires a consciousness through the action of a virus. Solo begs its designer, Jimi, to "kill" it, even as Jimi himself is haunted by questions regarding the fate of his estranged girlfriend, Lisa.
Only slightly less bizarre is Denti—released in English as Teeth—whose protagonist, Antonio, is obsessed with the size of what David Rooney in Variety called his "generous dental endowments." There unfolds a story centering around teeth and dentists' chairs, a "squirm-inducing run of blood-drenched dental tampering," as Rooney put it.
With Amnesia in 2002, Salvatores seemed to be returning to more traditional fare, though the storyline is certainly far from uncomplicated. In much the same fashion as Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, the tale is split in two, and concerns events involving two different groups of characters over the same period of time.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Contemporary Theatre, Film, and Television, volume 34, Gale (Detroit, MI), 2001.
Los Angeles Times, June 13, 1992, Janet Stobart, "Director Continues Winning Way Movies" (profile), p. 13.
Variety, September 21, 1983, review of Sogno di una notte d'estate, pp. 24-25; March 1, 1993, Deborah Young, review of Puerto escondido, p. 56; November 1, 1993, Deborah Young, review of South,p. 45; March 6, 1995, David Rooney, review of Nirvana, p. 47; September 18, 2000, David Rooney, review of Teeth, p. 36; March 11, 2002, David Rooney, review of Amnesia, pp. 32-33.*