Michele Soavi

Director, Actor, Screenwriter
This handsome, blue-eyed, blond actor-turned-filmmaker first ventured behind the camera under the bloodshot eye of celebrated Italian horror maestro Dario Argento. Soavi began acting in 1976 but his classic good looks ... Read more »
Born: 07/02/1957 in Italy

Filmography

Director (7)

Sangue del Vinti 2009 (Movie)

(Director)

Francesco 2005 (Movie)

(Director)

Cemetery Man 1996 (Movie)

(Director)

The Sect 1991 (Movie)

(Director)

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen 1989 (Movie)

2nd unit director (Director)

The Church 1989 (Movie)

(Director)

Bloody Bird 1986 (Movie)

(Director)
Writer (4)

The Sect 1991 (Movie)

(From Story)

The Sect 1991 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Voglia di Rock 1990 (Movie)

(From Story)

The Church 1989 (Movie)

(From Story)
Actor (3)

Demoni 1986 (Movie)

(Actor)

Creepers 1985 (Movie)

(Actor)

A Blade in the Dark 1982 (Movie)

(Actor)
Production Management (3)

Demoni 1986 (Movie)

(Assistant Director)

Creepers 1985 (Movie)

(Assistant Director)

Sotto gli occhi dell'Assassino 1981 (Movie)

(Assistant Director)
Producer (1)

Cemetery Man 1996 (Movie)

(Producer)

Biography

This handsome, blue-eyed, blond actor-turned-filmmaker first ventured behind the camera under the bloodshot eye of celebrated Italian horror maestro Dario Argento. Soavi began acting in 1976 but his classic good looks consigned him to playing Americans in cheap Italian knockoffs of Hollywood genre movies, notably in the absurdly gory work of Lucio Fulci. His fortunes changed upon meeting Argento who was then casting for "Inferno" (1980). Soavi lost the part but gained a mentor when hired as an assistant director on Argento's "Tenebrae/Unsane" (1982). Horror proved both hospitable and inspirational for Soavi, even inflecting his atmospheric direction of the music video for Bill Wyman's "Valley", from the soundtrack of Argento's first English-language feature, "Phenomena/Creepers" (1985), on which he also served as assistant director. Soavi performed similar chores on Argento's "Opera" (1987) and several horror outings by director Lamberto Bava.

Milestones

1996

"Cemetery Man/Dellamorte Dellamore" became his first film to receive a US theatrical release

1991

Feature screenwriting debut (with Argento and Giovanni Romoli), "The Sect/The Devil's Daughter" (also co-wrote story with Argento and Romoli and directed)

1988

Worked as a second unit director on Terry Gilliam's lavish fantasy "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen"

1988

First feature story credit, co-wrote (with Argento and Franco Ferrini) "The Church" (also directed)

1986

Feature directing debut, "Bloody Bird/Deliria/Stagefright/Aquarius"

1985

Directed the music video for Bill Wyman's song "Valley" from the soundtrack of Argento's "Creepers" (in which he worked as an actor and assistant director)

1982

Served as assistant director on Argento's "Tenebrae/Unsane"

1980

Met Dario Argento while auditioning for a role in the director's "Inferno" (the part went to Gabriele Lavia)

1976

Began film acting career

Directed the documentary "Dario Argento's World of Horror"

Bonus Trivia

.

"Whereas "The Church" is ultimately polished folderol about a demon-infested cathedral, "The Sect" is something else altogether, a magical mystery tour full to bursting with beautiful and disturbing images: a tree hung with glittering, tinkling and vaguely sinister charms; a woman's face slowly peeled off with silver hooks; a pickpocket robbing a man on the subway, only to find he's stolen a bloody human heart; a cloth taking on the contours of a man's face and a peculiar deadly life of its own; a beetle crawling up a sleeper's nose and causing hallucinations; an ordinary street, the air alive with drifting, shimmering dandelion fluff. The prevailing tone is dark but enchanted, a grim, twisted fairy tale. . . . It all sounds to silly to be believed, but unfolds with a compelling conviction." -- From "Soavi" by Maitland McDonagh, FILM COMMENT, March - April, 1996.

.

"Says director Soavi, 'I am 35 years old and so far have made three horror/fantasy films. After spending over ten years working with my mentors, Dario Argento and Terry Gilliam, I still hadn't had the chance to make a really personal film--one that would allow me to deal with subjects closer to the way my imagination works. The horror genre has been for me an original way of taking an explicit visual and visionary approach to directing. I love the type of movies that start off in the real world, which the imagination then transforms and twists as it pleases. "Cemetery Man" allowed me to create a fascinating visual climate in which two worlds are totally opposed--the world of the dead and the world of the living." -- From the press kit for "Cemetery Man" (1996).

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