Biography of Valerio Zurlini
Born in Bologna on 19 March
1926, Valerio Zurlini worked in the theatre during his law studies in Rome.
He entered the cinema towards the late 1940s and directed various
short films of a certain calibre (including "Storia di un
quartiere", 1950; "Pugilatori", 1951; "Il blues della domenica",
1952; "Soldati in città", 1953), some of which won major awards.
He made his long film debut in 1954 with "The Girls of San Frediano (Le ragazze di San
by the eponymous novel by Vasco Pratolini. However, he really made his name with the
"Violent Summer (Estate violenta)" (1959), a passionate love story set in 1943
towards the end of the second world war.
He showed himself to be a sensitive and perceptive observer of the ways of the heart in
"Girl with a Suitcase (La ragazza
con la valigia)" (1961), a melancholy description of the tormented love story between two
young people from different backgrounds. "Family Diary (Cronaca familiare)" (1962) is a splendid
adaptation of another novel by Pratolini, centring around the dramatic vicissitudes of
The subsequent "The Camp Followers (Le soldatesse)" (1965) and
"Seated at His Right (Seduto
alla sua destra)" (1968) were less successful, but he returned to his finest form in
"The Professor (La prima notte di quiete)" (1972).
The last film of his career
was "The Desert of the Tartars (Il deserto dei tartari)" (1976), a splendid celluloid version of the acclaimed novel
by Dino Buzzati set in a suggestive "Finis Austriae" atmosphere.
After spending the latter years of his life teaching at the Centro Sperimentale di
Cinematografia, Zurlini died in Verona on 27 October 1982.