Bogart il Giusitiziere

Damiano Damiani was an Italian screenwriter and film director, known for such 1960s classics as 'Arturo's Island' (1962), 'A Bullet for the General' (1966) and 'The Day of the Owl' (1968). He began his career as a comics artist however, as part of the so-called "Group of Venice", which gathered around the comic book Asso di Picche.

Damiani was born in 1922 in Pasiano di Pordenone, Friuli, and studied at the Accademia di Brera in Milan. He began his career as a comics artist in the mid 1940s, alongside artists like Hugo Pratt, Dino Battaglia, Paul Campani and Fernando Carcupino. The group produced the comic book about masked vigilante 'Asso di Picche' (1945-1949), which was written by Mario Faustinelli and Alberto Ongaro. Damiani also contributed the crime noir feature 'Hogart il Giustiziere'. The story was reprinted as 'Bogart il Giusitiziere' in the comic book Sgt. Kirk in 1968-1969.

Bogart il Giusitiziere
Bogart il Giusitiziere

He also drew the comic series 'Mike Lazy' (1946), of which two volumes were published in the collection Albo Dinamite by Edizioni Il Carro in Milan. He was the sole author of the gangster comic 'Pat La Rocca' (1946), of which two comic books appeared in the collection Collana Gialli Film by Edizioni Il Carro. A third volume was advertized, but never released. He subsequently wrote scripts for photo comics published in the Mondadori magazines Avventuroso Film ('Arizona Kid', 1949) and Bolero Film. He was furthermore involved in the launch of a similar magazine called Sogno with editor Luciano Pedrocchi, and served as a scriptwriter for the adventure comic book 'I 3 Boyscouts' (Edizioni Castello, 1948), which was illustrated by Rino Ferrari, Giovanni Benvenuti and Andrea Bresciani.

His first film was the documentary 'La Banda d'Affari' (1947). He then worked as a screenwriter for several years, before directing his first feature film in 1960: 'Il Rossetto'. He won the Golden Shell at the San Sebastián International Film Festival for his film 'Arturo's Island' (1962). What followed was a series of box office successes, which were characterized by their moralist tone. His film 'A Bullet for the General' (1966) is described as one of the first political Spaghetti Westerns. Starting with 'The Day of the Owl' (1968), Damiani started adding more and more social criticism in his films, while also applying an almost American type of action and storytelling. His crime-drama film 'Confessions of a Police Captain' (1971) won the Golden Prize at the 7th Moscow International Film Festival in 1971 and the Prix lntemational de l'Academie du Cinema at the Étoile de Cristal Awards in 1972. In 1973 he debuted as an actor in Florestano Vancini's 'The Matteotti Murder'. Later on, he directed the cult horror film 'Amityville II: The Possession' (1982) for Dino de Laurentiis. He was also responsible for the direction of the highly popular Italian TV series 'La Piovra', which dealt with the involvement of the Italian Maffia in politics. His final feature film was 'Assassini dei giorni di festa' (2002).

Damiano Damiani passed away from respiratory failure in Rome on 7 March 2013. He was 90 years old.

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