MovieLena Wertmoeller died Thursday at the age of 93 in Rome. Wertmüller was the first female director ever to be nominated for an Academy Award. She had a chance to win the coveted statue in 1977 with her movie “Pasqualino Setibles” (“Seven Beautiful Women”). She did not win then, but two years ago she was awarded an honorary Oscar for her entire career.
Arcangela Felice Assunta Wertmüller von Elgg Spanol von Braueich, that was Lina Wertmüller’s full name. She was born in Rome in 1928 but her family is from Switzerland.
Along with Liliana Cavani of Il portere di notte (The Night Carrier), she was one of the few women who helped define the Italian film scene of the 1960s and 1970s. Wertmüller began her career on the film set as an assistant in the films La dolce vita and Otto e mezzo. In 1963 she made her first movie “I basilischi”. Wertmüller has made a name for himself primarily through black comedies. Her hit movie was “Mimì metallurgico ferito nell’onore,” a 1972 satire that satirized the mores and habits of the Mafia and Sicily.
In 1977, Wertmüller became the first woman to win an Academy Award for Best Director. She was nominated with Pasqualino Settebellezze. However, she did not win the coveted statue. It went to John J. Avildsen, director of “Rocky”. Two years ago, Wertmüller received an Academy Award and an Honorary Academy Award for her entire career. During her acceptance speech, she criticized Wertmoeller at the Academy Awards and her habit of favoring men over women: “They should call her Anna instead of the Oscars,” she said at the time.
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