Ermanno Olmi

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Ermanno Olmi (24 July 1931 – 7 May 2018) was an Italian film director and screenwriter.


Olmi was born in Bergamo, Lombardy. He was married to Loredana Detto, who played Antonietta Masetti in Il Posto.

Olmi's films fit into the artistic mold of Italian neorealism, though Olmi would have argued (and did argue, in an interview found on the Criterion Edition DVD of his 1961 film, Il Posto) that this was the artistic tradition he was responding against because, he claimed, he used non-actors in authentic locations whereas neorealism used professional actors. However, many neorealist directors also used non-professional actors for secondary and sometimes even primary roles. His films, like most of those considered to be products of the neorealist movement, are shot in long, slow takes, and generally contain some sort of social commentary, though rarely do the neorealists wear their political opinions on their sleeves. Another film was I fidanzati.

Perhaps his best known film is The Tree of Wooden Clogs (L'Albero degli zoccoli), which was awarded the Palme d'Or at the 1978 Cannes Film Festival. In 1983 his film Walking, Walking was screened out of competition at Cannes. In 1988, his La leggenda del santo bevitore (The Legend of the Holy Drinker), based on the novella by Joseph Roth and starring Rutger Hauer, won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival as well as a David di Donatello award.

His The Profession of Arms (Il mestiere delle armi) also won a David di Donatello award.

In 2008 he received the Honorary Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.


  • 1978: Palme d'Or for The Tree of Wooden Clogs
  • 1988: Golden Lion for The Legend of the Holy Drinker
  • 2004: Leopard of Honour
  • 2008: Honorary Golden Lion

David di Donatello

  • 1962: Best Director for Il Posto
  • 1989: Best Director for The Legend of the Holy Drinker
  • 2002: Best Director for The Profession of Arms

Nastro d'Argento

  • 1979: Best Director for The Tree of Wooden Clogs
  • 1989: Best Director for The Legend of the Holy Drinker


  • Time Stood Still (1958)
  • Il Posto (1961)
  • The Fiances (1963)
  • A Man Named John (1965)
  • One Fine Day (1969)
  • The Circumstance (1973)
  • The Tree of Wooden Clogs (1978)
  • Walking, Walking (1983)
  • Long Live the Lady! (1987)
  • The Legend of the Holy Drinker (1988)
  • The Secret of the Old Woods (1993)
  • Genesis: The Creation and the Flood (1994)
  • The Profession of Arms (2001)
  • Singing Behind Screens (2003)
  • One Hundred Nails (2007)
  • The Cardboard Village (2011)
  • Greenery Will Bloom Again (2014)


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