Script-writer to Italian greats Tonino Guerra dies

Italian script-writer and poet Tonino Guerra, who worked with renowned directors such as Federico Fellini and Michelangelo Antonioni, died Wednesday aged 92 in Rimini in central Italy.

Guerra, who was born in 1920 and began writing while imprisoned in a German concentration camp during World War II, died at home after battling illness for several months, Rimini council said in a short statement.

With his first script, for Giuseppe De Santis' film "Men and Wolves" (1956), he launched a life-long career in cinema and television, and he also wrote numerous poems, painted and produced sculptures.

Guerra collaborated with the top Italian directors of his time, including Vittorio De Sica, Mauro Bolognini, Mario Monicelli, Alberto Lattuada, the Taviani brothers, Marco Bellocchio and Francesco Rosi.

He also worked with US filmmaker Steven Soderbergh -- collaborating on the screenplay for "Eros" (2004), a three-part anthology on eroticism and desire -- as well as with Greek filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos.

His most famous screenplays were Fellini's "Amacord" -- which won an Oscar for best foreign film in 1975 -- as well as Antonioni's "The Adventure" and "Blow Up".

"Tonino was an extraordinary person who lived through practically a whole century of Italian culture. We have lost a poet, a genius and marvellous person," said Walter Veltroni, Italy's former culture minister.

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