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Last Updated: Monday, 4 July, 2005, 09:01 GMT 10:01 UK
Italian neo-realist director dies
Alberto Lattuada
Lattuada's films examined Italian high society and the mafia
Italian film director Alberto Lattuada, whose work spanned four decades, has died at the age of 90.

Lattuada's neo-realist films explored racism, unemployment and strikes following World War II.

Among his more controversial movies were Dolci Inganni (Sweet Deceits) in 1960 and Cosi Come Sei (Stay as You Are) in 1978.

Stars of his movies included Alberto Sordi and Giulietta Masina, the wife of fellow director Federico Fellini.

Also among his best known works was La Spiaggia, which explored the hypocrisy of Italian high society.

Film archive

During Italy's fascist era, Lattuada was a member of an anti-fascist movement, writing for a critical review magazine.

His 1962 movie Il Mafioso was one of the first Italian films to explore the secretive world of the Sicilian mafia.

Lattuada, who originally trained as an architect, worked into the early 1980s, writing and directing for television.

His series about the life of Christopher Columbus was shown to US audiences and received high praise.

He was also a photographer and founded Italy's first film archive.

His funeral is to be held on Tuesday in the Chiesa degli Artisti on the Piazza del Popolo, his family announced.


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