Franco Zeffirelli (06:11)
Italian director Franco Zeffirelli grew up in an orphanage in Florence until he went to live with an aunt. His film "Tea with Mussolini" was semi-autobiographical. His upbringing allowed him to discover things on his own and in a different way than most children.
Zeffirelli in World War II (04:25)
Zeffirelli served as a translator in the British Armed Forces during World War II. He became close friends with the Scottish soldiers he served with.
Career in Theater (03:22)
After World War II, Zeffirelli decided to find a job as an actor instead of returning to architecture, which he studied before the war. He performed in multiple stage productions and then started working as a director. He directed a film version of "Romeo and Juliet" in 1968.
Zeffirelli as a Film Director (07:27)
"Romeo and Juliet" was widely successful and launched Zeffirelli's career as a film director. Zeffirelli's experience directing opera and theater made him a better film director. He worked with each actor to create a strong connection.
Zeffirelli's Style (06:16)
Zeffirelli brought an Italian style to his Shakespeare adaptions, many of which were set in Italy. Zeffirelli used bright colors and elegant costumes that matched the time period his films were set in.
Zeffirelli's "Otello" (04:20)
Zeffirelli made two movies with opera singer Placido Domingo. He played the title role in "Otello," which Zeffirelli considers his best film.
Working with Zeffirelli (03:57)
Contemporaries describe Zeffirelli as difficult to work with and hard to make happy on set. He was knowledge about all aspects of filmmaking and would not begin filming until everything was to his liking.
Zeffirelli's Process (05:45)
It would take numerous rewrites for Zeffirelli to be happy with the script, but once it was ready other preparations were simple. Casting was always easier for Zeffirelli because he had an actor in mind for most roles.
Credits: Discovering Zeffirelli (00:43)
Credits: Discovering Zeffirelli
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