Central architect of Italian neorealist cinema who laid down the blueprint for the movement with writings ranging from screenplays and novels to theory and poetry. <p>After an uneventful screenwriting debut with "Daro un Milione" (1935), Zavattini, a committed Marxist, began to formulate his vision of a cinema of truth, free of artificiality and pretense, which would concern itself with the problems of everyday people. He collaborated with another key figure of the movement, Vittorio De Sica, as early as "Teresea Venerdi" (1941), but it was with "The Children are Watching Us" (1943), about a young boy who experiences the separation of his parents, that the foundations for the movement were laid. Zavattini and De Sica went on collaborate on such classic films as "Shoeshine" (1946), "Bicycle Thieves" (1948), "Miracle in Milan" (1950) "Umberto D" (1952), "The Roof" (1956) and "Two Women" (1960).<p>Zavattini also wrote several books (some of which were turned into films) as well as screenplays for other directors, among them Alessandro Blasetti ("Four Steps in the Clouds" 1942), Rene Clement ("The Walls of Malpaga" 1949) and Luchino Visconti ("Bellissima" 1951). At the age of 80 he directed his first film, the surrealistic "The Truth" (1982).