27 September 2021

Enfin le cinéma!

Today is the official opening of the exhibition 'Enfin le cinéma! Arts, images et spectacles en France (1833-1907)' at musée d’Orsay in Paris. From the museum site: "At the dawn of the twentieth century, cinema is as much, if not more, a way of appropriating the world, bodies, and representations, as a machine or a medium. A new eminently social and popular outlook, it is the product of an urban culture fascinated by the movement of beings and things and eager to make 'modernity' a spectacle." Ivo Blom is one of the advisors of the exhibition and he wrote an article for the exhibition catalog about one of the paintings, Les dernières cartouches (the last bullets) painted by Alphonse de Neuville in 1873. This painting about a heroic fight during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871, became very popular and inspired early films, a play, and several postcards.

The (real) room of Les dernières cartouches
French postcard by Suzaine-Pierson, éditeurs, Sedan, no. 9. Caption: Bazeilles. La Dernière Cartouche (The Last bullet). The room where the last phase of the heroic fight took place, 1 September 1870.

Les dernières cartouches
French postcard by Imp. Pierron. Les dernières cartouches (Alphonse de Neuville, 1873).

Les dernières cartouches
French postcard by Ed. d'Art E. Isabel, Sedan. Early 20th century postcard. Reproduction of Les dernières cartouches (Alphonse de Neuville, 1873). Caption: Defense of the Maison Bourgerie by Commander Lambert. After the painting by A. de Neuville.

Les Dernières Cartouches
French postcard, no. 534. Caption: 'Les Dernières Cartouches', play in [5 acts and] 10 tableaux by Jules Mary and Emile Rochard. Théâtre de l'Ambigu, Paris. 6th tableau. At Bazeilles in 1870. The exit of commander Lambert. "Honour to the Conquered." On the back, the sender has written "Vieux souvenirs", so sender and the addressee may have fought in the same war. Sent in 1907. Jules Mary published in 1902 a novel entitled 'Les dernières cartouches', which Rochard [and Mary] adapted for the stage. Its first presentation was on 8 February 1903 at the Ambigu theater in Paris.

Les Dernières Cartouches
French postcard. Les dernières cartouches. Stage play by Jules Mary et Emile Rochard, based on the famous homonymous painting (1873) by Alphonse de Neuville, on an episode at Bazeilles during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871. It was first performed on 14 January 1903 at the Paris Théâtre de l'Ambigu. Caption: 6th Tableau. At Bazeilles in 1870: The exit of Commander Lambert. Honor to the conquered.

Les Dernières Cartouches
French postcard. Les dernières cartouches. Stage play by Jules Mary et Emile Rochard, based on the famous homonymous painting (1873) by Alphonse de Neuville, on an episode at Bazeilles during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71. It was first performed on 14 January 1903 at the Paris Théâtre de l'Ambigu. Caption: 7th Tableau. Tante Marie-Jeanne - Would you like me to embrace you?

Les Dernières Cartouches
French postcard. Les dernières cartouches. Stage play by Jules Mary et Emile Rochard, based on the famous homonymous painting (1873) by Alphonse de Neuville, on an episode at Bazeilles during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871. It was first performed on 14 January 1903 at the Paris Théâtre de l'Ambigu. Caption: 8th Tableau. The House of Remembrance - ... And now, let's talk.

Les dernières cartouches
French postcard by Nos publicités, reprint. Ed. F. Nugeron, no. J 18. Caption: Les dernières cartouches. Papier à cigarettes. The historical event of Les dernières cartouches, the site at Bazeilles, and Neuville's painting, all became so popular that all kinds of publicity reused it, here for cigarette paper.

Bazeilles - La Maison des Dernières Cartouches
French postcard by Ed. E. Génin, Sedan. Photo: Rossillon, Balan-Sedan. Caption: Bazeilles - La Maison des Dernières Cartouches. On the back, an ink stamp by La Maison des Dernières Cartouches, aka La Maison de la dernière cartouche.

Until the French ran out of bullets


It is at this former inn in Bazeilles, France, at the postcard above, that on 1 September 1870, during the Battle of Sedan, French marines resisted Bavarian troops who besieged them until the French ran out of bullets. Only 15 of the 50 French survived and surrendered. The next day the French Emperor Napoleon III capitulated at Sedan.

The building soon became a site of memory after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871, and its fame increased after the success of Alphonse de Neuville's 1873 painting Les dernières cartouches.

In 1899 the house was bought by the journal Le Gaulois and reopened, but it was only in 1950 that it became an official museum. In 2005 the building got a full restoration.

In 1960 De Neuville's painting was bought at an auction and ever since hangs in the museum in Bazeilles. After a restoration in 2005 by the Musée d'Orsay (where it was also exposed at an exhibition in the same year), it returned to the museum in Bazeilles.

And now the painting is to be seen again at musée d’Orsay in Paris as part of the exhibition 'Enfin le cinéma! Arts, images et spectacles en France (1833-1907)'.

Les Dernières Cartouches
French postcard by Papier Guilleminot, series 768. This postcard was sent by mail in January-March 1907. Caption: Scene I. Children re-enacting the scene from the famous painting 'Les Dernières Cartouches' (1873) by Alphonse de Neuville.

Les Dernières Cartouches
French postcard by Papier Guilleminot, series 768. This postcard was sent by mail in January-March 1907. Caption: Scene II. Children re-enacting the scene from the famous painting 'Les Dernières Cartouches' (1873) by Alphonse de Neuville.

Les Dernières Cartouches
French postcard by Papier Guilleminot, series 768. This postcard was sent by mail in January-March 1907. Caption: Scene III. Children re-enacting the scene from the famous painting 'Les Dernières Cartouches' (1873) by Alphonse de Neuville.
Les Dernières Cartouches
French postcard by Papier Guilleminot, series 768. This postcard was sent by mail in January-March 1907. Caption: Scene IV. Children re-enacting the scene from the famous painting 'Les Dernières Cartouches' (1873) by Alphonse de Neuville.

Les Dernières Cartouches
French postcard by Papier Guilleminot, series 768. Caption: Scene V. Children re-enacting the scene from the famous painting 'Les Dernières Cartouches' (1873) by Alphonse de Neuville.


Les dernières cartouches (1897), Pathé version. Source: Films by the year (YouTube).


Bombardement d'une Maison/Les Dernières Cartouches/The last cartridges (1899), George Meliès version. Source: Piso (YouTube).

Source: French Wikipedia.

26 September 2021

Directed by Quentin Tarantino

American director, screenwriter, actor & producer Quentin Tarantino (1963) was the most distinctive and volatile talent to emerge in American cinema in the 1990s. Tarantino learned his craft from his days as a video clerk at Video Archives in Manhattan Beach, CA. He developed a fusion of pop culture and independent arthouse cinema. With Pulp Fiction (1994), he won the Palme d'Or for best film at the Cannes Film Festival. He also won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, in addition to nominations for Best Picture and Best Director. Inglourious Basterds (2009) also received Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay. He won his second Oscar for the screenplay of Django Unchained (2012).

Quentin Tarantino
French postcard by La Cinémathèque française. Photo: Dennis Hopper. Caption: Quentin Tarantino for Robert Longo's work Bodyhammer Glock, 2006.

Michael Madsen, Quentin Tarantino, Harvey Keitel, Chris Penn, Lawrence Tierney, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi and Edward Bunker in Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Spanish postcard by Record Vision / Ballantine's / Cine Company. Photo: Michael Madsen as Mr. Blonde, Quentin Tarantino as Mr. Brown, Harvey Keitel as Mr. White, Chris Penn as 'Nice Guy' Eddie, Lawrence Tierney as Joe Cabot, Tim Roth as Mr. Orange, Steve Buscemi as Mr. Pink and Edward Bunker as Mr. Blue in Reservoir Dogs (Quentin Tarantino, 1992). Caption: Picture of the family: the Reservoir Dogs complete. They are seven gangsters who only know each other by their nicknames. Reunited in a robbery, they are held in check by the cops. There is only one certainty, and that is that someone has betrayed them.

John Travolta in Pulp Fiction (1994)
French postcard, no. C 583. John Travolta in Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994).

Pam Grier in Jackie Brown (1997)
British postcard by Heroes Publishing LTD, London, no. SFC 3308. Pam Grier in Jackie Brown (Quentin Tarantino, 1997).

Uma Thurman in Kill Bill, Vol. 2 (2004)
Hungarian postcard by Est Media, Budapest. Uma Thurman as The Bride in Kill Bill, Vol. 2 (Quentin Tarantino, 2004). Caption: Aprilis 29 - Töl a Mozikban. (In the cinema from 29 April).

A Neo-Noir about a failed heist


Quentin Jerome Tarantino was born in Knoxville, Tennesse, in 1963. He was the only child of Connie McHugh and aspiring actor Tony Tarantino, who left the family before his son's birth. Quentin grew up in Los Angeles, and his stepfather Curtis Zastoupil encouraged Tarantino's love of cinema.

The summer after his 15th birthday, Tarantino was grounded by his mother for shoplifting Elmore Leonard's novel 'The Switch' from Kmart. He was allowed to leave only to attend the Torrance Community Theater, where he participated in such plays as 'Two Plus Two Makes Sex' and 'Romeo and Juliet'. Later, Tarantino attended acting classes at the James Best Theatre Company, where he met several of his eventual collaborators.

During his five years at Video Archives, he began writing screenplays. In 1987, he completed his first, True Romance, with his co-worker, Roger Avary who would later also become a director. Tarantino tried to get financial backing to film the script. After years of negotiations, he decided to sell the script, which wound up in the hands of director Tony Scott.

During this time, Tarantino wrote the screenplay for Natural Born Killers. Again, he was unable to come up with enough investors to make a film and gave the script to his partner, Rand Vossler. Tarantino then used the money he made from True Romance to begin pre-production on Reservoir Dogs, a Neo-Noir about a failed heist. Reservoir Dogs received financial backing from LIVE Entertainment (now Lionsgate) after Harvey Keitel agreed to star in the film.

Word-of-mouth on Reservoir Dogs (Quentin Tarantino, 1992) began to build at the 1992 Sundance Film Festival, which led to scores of glowing reviews, making the film a cult hit. While many critics and fans were praising Tarantino, he developed a sizable number of detractors. Claiming he ripped off the obscure Hong Kong thriller Lung foo fung wan/City on Fire (Ringo Lam, 1987), the critics only added to the director/writer's already considerable buzz. In 1993, Tarantino wrote and directed his next feature, Pulp Fiction, which featured three interweaving crime storylines. The big-budget production True Romance (Tony Scott, 1993) was also released that year.

Reservoir Dogs (1992)
British postcard, no. PC0457. Photo: poster for Reservoir Dogs (Quentin Tarantino, 1992). Caption: Let's go to work.

Harvey Keitel in Reservoir Dogs (1992)
British postcard, no. C050. Harvey Keitel as Mr. White Reservoir Dogs (Quentin Tarantino, 1992). Caption: "If some asshole starts to think he is Charles Bronson break his nose on the butt of your gun."

Tim Roth in Reservoir Dogs (1992)
British postcard, no. C049. Photo: Tim Roth as Mr. Orange in Reservoir Dogs (Quentin Tarantino, 1992). Caption: Mr. Orange. "If they hadn't done what I told them not to do... they'd still be alive."

Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction (1994)
French postcard by Sonis, no. C. 492. Photo: Bac Films. Uma Thurman on the French poster for Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994). Caption: Affiche du film.

Samuel Jackson, John Travolta, Bruce Willis and Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction (1994)
British postcard by Memory Card, no. 78. Samuel Jackson, John Travolta, Bruce Willis, and Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994). Caption: lobby card.

Bruce Willis in Pulp Fiction (1994)
American postcard by Buena Vista Pictures Distribution. Photo: Touchstone Home Video. Bruce Willis in Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994). Caption: "He was dead before he ever stepped into the ring." The Boxer.

An homage to the blaxploitation films of the 1970s


In 1994, Quentin Tarantino was elevated from a cult figure to a major celebrity. Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994) won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, beginning the flood of good reviews. Before Pulp Fiction was released, Oliver Stone's bombastic version of Natural Born Killers (1994) hit the theatres. Tarantino distanced himself from the film and was only credited for writing the basic story. Pulp Fiction soon eclipsed Natural Born Killers in both acclaim and popularity.

Made for eight million dollars, the film eventually grossed over 100 million dollars and topped many critics' top ten lists. Pulp Fiction earned seven Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay (Tarantino and Avary), Best Actor (John Travolta), Best Supporting Actor (Samuel L. Jackson), and Best Supporting Actress (Uma Thurman). It won one, for Tarantino and Avery's writing.

After the film's success, Tarantino was everywhere, from talk shows to a cameo in the low-budget Sleep With Me (Rory Kelly, 1994). He directed a segment of the anthology film Four Rooms (Allison Anders, Alexandre Rockwell, Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino, Chuck Jones, 1995) and acted in Robert Rodriguez's sequel to El Mariachi (Robert Rodriguez, 1992), Desperado (Robert Rodriguez, 1995), and the comedy Destiny Turns on the Radio (Jack Baran, 1995), in which he had a starring role. Tarantino also kept busy with television, directing an episode of the NBC TV hit ER (1995) and appearing in Margaret Cho's sitcom All-American Girl (Terry Hughes, 1995).

The latter half of the 1990s saw Tarantino continue his multifaceted role as an actor, director, screenwriter, and producer. In 1996, he served as the screenwriter and executive producer for the George Clooney schlock-fest From Dusk Till Dawn (Robert Rodriguez, 1996).

The following year he renewed some of his earlier acclaims as the director and screenwriter of Jackie Brown (Quentin Tarantino, 1997), an homage to the blaxploitation films of the 1970s. The film was an adaptation of Elmore Leonard's novel 'Rum Punch'. It won him the raves that had been missing for much of his post-Fiction career. In 1999, he was back behind the camera as the producer for From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money (Scott Spiegel, 1999).

Quentin Tarantino
French postcard by Editions Cahiers du Cinéma, Paris, 1997. Photo: Traverso. Caption: Quentin Tarantino, Festival de Cannes 1994.

John Travolta and Samuel Jackson in Pulp Fiction (1994)
British postcard by Pyramid Posters, Leicester, no. PC9577. Photo: Miramax Film Corp. John Travolta and Samuel Jackson in Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994). Caption: Guns B&W.

George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino in From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
Vintage postcard, no. PP 137. Photo: George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino in From Dusk Till Dawn (Robert Rodriguez, 1996).

Robert Forster (1941-2019)
French promotion card by BacFilms. Robert Forster in Jackie Brown (Quentin Tarantino, 1997).

Samuel L. Jackson in Jackie Brown (1997)
French postcard, no. 655. Samuel L. Jackson as Ordell Robbi in Jackie Brown (Quentin Tarantino, 1997).

Robert De Niro in Jackie Brown (1997)
French postcard, no. 654. Photo: Robert De Niro as Louis Gara Jackie Brown (Quentin Tarantino, 1997).

A story simply too far-reaching to be contained in a single film


Quentin Tarantino laid relatively low in the early years of the new millennium. In late 2002, the hype started to build around his fourth feature, Kill Bill (Quentin Tarantino, 2003). Though originally envisioned to be a single release, Kill Bill was eventually separated into two films entitled Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003) and Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004) when it became obvious that the story was simply too far-reaching to be contained in a single film.

A kinetic homage to revenge movies of the 1970s, Kill Bill Vol. 1 featured Uma Thurman as a former assassin known as 'The Bride'. While the first film in the pair was an eye-popping homage to Asian cinema and all things extreme, the outrageous violence of Kill Bill Vol. 1 stood in stark contrast to the dialogue-driven second installment that concluded the epic tale of revenge and betrayal.

The gambit of separate releases paid off, as both earned a combined sum of more than 130 million dollars domestically. In the wake of the Kill Bill films, rumors abounded concerning Tarantino's next feature. In 2005, Tarantino did step back into the director's chair to helm a segment of Robert Rodriguez's eagerly anticipated comic book adaptation Sin City (Frank Miller, Quentin Tarantino (special guest director), Robert Rodriguez, 2005). A longtime friend of Rodriguez, Tarantino agreed to take part in the filming of Sin City, not only to repay the versatile filmmaker for providing soundtrack music for the Kill Bill films but also to try his hand at digital filmmaking.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine at AllMovie: "After this, the two directors joined forces again, for one of the most ballyhooed and hotly anticipated pictures of 2007: Grindhouse (Robert Rodriguez, Eli Roth, Quentin Tarantino, 2007). A no-holds-barred elegy to the sleazy, seedy, often half-dilapidated inner-city theaters of the 1970s that would churn out similarly sleazy movies, Tarantino and Rodriguez divided Grindhouse into two portions: the first half, Death Proof (2007), directed by Tarantino, starred Kurt Russell in homage to the high-octane auto thrillers of the '70s.

Merging low-brow thrills with blunt, existential dialogue, the Tarantino segment garnered the lion's share of the film's considerable critical praise, although the three-hour-plus Grindhouse ultimately failed to connect with audiences, much to the dismay of The Weinstein Company, who released it." Separate versions of Death Proof (Qunetin Tarantino, 2007) and Planet Terror (Robert Rodriquez, 1997) were then prepped for European release, with Tarantino's effort screened in competition at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.

Uma Thurman in Kill Bill (2003)
British postcard by Pyramid Posters, Leicester, no. PC 9471. Photo: Miramax Films / A Band Apart. Uma Thurman (montage) in Kill Bill (Quentin Tarantino, 2003). Caption: The 4th film by Quentin Tarantino. "Revenge is a dish best served cold".

David Carradine in Kill Bill, Vol. 2 (2004)
Hungarian postcard by Est Media, Budapest. David Carradine as Bill in Kill Bill, Vol. 2 (Quentin Tarantino, 2004). Caption: Aprilis 29 - Töl a Mozikban. (In the cinema from 29 April).

Daryl Hannah in Kill Bill, Vol. 2 (2004)
Hungarian postcard by Est Media, Budapest. Daryl Hannah as Elle Driver in Kill Bill, Vol. 2 (Quentin Tarantino, 2004). Caption: Aprilis 29 - Töl a Mozikban. (In the cinema from 29 April).

Uma Thurman in Kill Bill, Vol. 2 (2004)
German postcard by Edgar Medien. Photo: Buena Vista International. Uma Thurman in Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (Quentin Tarantino, 2004). Caption: The bride is back to finish her work.

A viscerally bloody, chronologically fractured whodunit full of betrayal and biting wit


In 2009 Quentin Tarantino issued Inglorious Basterds, a sprawling World War II epic about a band of Jewish American soldiers fighting an Apache resistance behind enemy lines in Nazi-occupied France. The film, starring Brad Pitt, was a hit around the world and garnered Tarantino nominations from the Writers Guild, the Directors Guild, the Hollywood Foreign Press, and the Academy for his screenplay and his direction.

He took three years to craft his follow-up, the revisionist Western Django Unchained (Quentin Tarantino, 2012), a film about the revenge of a former slave (Jamie Foxx) in the U.S. South in 1858. The slave teams up with a bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) to get his wife away from a sadistic plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio). Django Unchained was another international box office hit, grossing over $425 million worldwide against its $100 million budget, becoming Tarantino's highest-grossing movie to date. It also earned a number of year-end awards including a second Best Original Screenplay Oscar for Tarantino.

Tarantino's eighth film was the Western The Hateful Eight (Quentin Tarantino 2015), starring Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demián Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, and Bruce Dern, as eight strangers who seek refuge from a blizzard in a stagecoach stopover sometime after the American Civil War. The original score was Italian composer Ennio Morricone's first and only for a Tarantino film, his first complete Western score in thirty-four years.

Daniel Gelb at AllMovie: "It's a viscerally bloody, chronologically fractured whodunit full of betrayal and biting wit. It's profane, protracted, violent, and yet another achievement in a career full of inspired filmmaking. After teasing what he could do with the Western genre in the good but not great Django Unchained, Tarantino's second consecutive Civil War-era picture is a fully realized epic. (...) Despite its three-hour runtime, its hold on the audience's attention never wavers. Tarantino's trademark dialogue (never known for its brevity) keeps us riveted inside Minnie's Haberdashery, and the stellar cast manages to bring out the deadpan hilarity in the script."

Tarantino's ninth film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, 2019), turned out to be one of his best. It recounts an alternate history of events surrounding the Tate–LaBianca murders in 1969, and Leonard DiCaprio and Brad Pitt star as a fading actor and his stuntman. Providing a sense of intrigue during the long 161-minute runtime, the epic weaves in and out of tense moments and comedic relief.

Travis Norris at AllMovie: "Hollywood is a great behind-the-scenes look into the end of an era. The film touches on the pursuit of perfection: how it is never obtainable yet always worth striving for. These are words that seem to drive Tarantino, and it is apparent while watching a film like this. A fun and genuine ride, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood is a must-see." The film earned 10 Academy Award nominations and won best supporting actor for Brad Pitt and best production design.

Since 20018, Quentin Tarantino is married to Israelian singer Daniella Pick. In June 2021, the director confirmed his plans to retire after his tenth film on the TV show Real Time With Bill Maher on which he appeared to promote his novel 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood', based on his ninth film of the same name. He believes it is better to bid adieu when one is at their peak. But what will Quentin Tarantino's final film be?

Rosario Dawson in Sin City (2005)
German postcard by Edgar Medien AG, no. 6.689. Image: Buena Vista / Miramax. Rosario Dawson in Sin City (Frank Miller, Quentin Tarantino (special guest director), Robert Rodriguez, 2005). Caption: Shall we go to me?

Bruce Willis in Sin City (2005)
German postcard by Edgar Medien AG, no. 7.687. Image: Buena Vista / Miramax. Bruce Willis in Sin City (Frank Miller, Quentin Tarantino (special guest director), Robert Rodriguez, 2005). Caption: Your stupid talk really gets on my nerves!

Clive Owen in Sin City (2005)
German postcard by Edgar Medien AG, no. 7.690. Image: Buena Vista / Miramax. Clive Owen in Sin City (Frank Miller, Quentin Tarantino (special guest director), Robert Rodriguez, 2005). Caption: For you, I will kill, baby!

Benicio Del Toro in Sin City (2005)
German postcard by Edgar Medien AG, no. 7.692. Image: Buena Vista / Miramax. Benicio Del Toro in Sin City (Frank Miller, Quentin Tarantino (special guest director), Robert Rodriguez, 2005). Caption: The other one is already dead!

Quentin Tarantino
French postcard by Télérama 'l'hebdomadaire culturel français'. Photo: Patrick Swirc / Télérama.

Sources: Stephen Thomas Erlewine (AllMovie), Daniel Gelb (AllMovie), Travis Norris (AllMovie), Wikipedia, and IMDb.

25 September 2021

Art work by Franco Picchioni

Ivo Blom found this series of postcards with portraits of Italian singers, who were popular in the mid-1960s. Quite a few of them had also careers in cinema, some even extensive ones. All portraits were designed by Franco Picchioni.

Adriano Celentano
Italian postcard by E.N.P., Roma. Art work by F. Picchioni.

One of Italy's best-loved artists, Adriano Celentano (1938) has been equally successful in film and music. Since starting his career as a rock ‘n roll singer in 1957, Adriano Celentano has released 40 albums. This superstar of Italian pop music is also active as a songwriter, comedian, film director, and TV host.

Mina, portrait by F. Picchioni
Italian postcard by E.N.P., Roma. Art work by F. Picchioni.

Italian singer Mina (1940) dominated the Italian charts for fifteen years and reached an unsurpassed level of popularity in Italy. The ‘Queen of Screamers’ was a staple of Musicarellos (the popular Italian musical comedies of the early 1960s) and Italian television variety shows. During five decades, she had more than 70 singles on the Italian charts.

Adamo, portrait by F. Picchioni
Italian postcard by E.N.P., Roma. Art work by F. Picchioni.

Italian-Belgian composer and singer Salvatore Adamo (1943) was a teen idol in the first half of the 1960s. Occasionally he also starred in films.

Caterina Caselli, portrait by F. Picchioni
Italian postcard by E.N.P., Roma. Art work by F. Picchioni.

Caterina Caselli (1946) is an Italian record producer, music executive, singer, bass player and actress.

Claudio Villa, portrait by F. Picchioni
Italian postcard by E.N.P., Roma. Art work by F. Picchioni.

Claudio Villa (1926-1987) was an Italian singer and actor. He possessed a particularly high tenor voice and was considered the "little king" (reuccio) of melodious, popular song in 1950s Italy. Villa participated in the Sanremo Festival a full 13 times (including four victories), and twice also represented his country in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Franco Picchioni


After finishing art school Franco Picchioni (1942-2002) attended the Istituto Don Orione in Rome, where he studied the subject of film posters. His early works, both painted covers and half-tone illustrations, were published by the magazine Giallo Selezione in the early 1960s.

At first, he signed his works as 'Picchioni' or simply 'Franco', before he found his trademark signature: P. Franco. In 1965 he started working for Edizioni COFEDIT, and from then on, all magazines of the Roman printing house wore the characteristics of Picchioni's modern and effective covers.

Picchioni had a very wide range as an artist, with good knowledge of the works of Italian painters such as Averardo Ciriello and American artists like Frank Frazzetta. In 1966 he began an intense collaboration with Edizioni Ma.Ga. He made the covers of their novel series 'Gialli del Cerchio Rosso' and 'F.B.I. Story', novels that were collected more for the beautiful girls pictured on the covers than for the narrative content.

Franco also painted almost all of the covers of 'Joe Sub' and 'Lucy Melson'. At the same time, he was active as a cover artist and did important artwork in the field of film posters. He worked closely with the Studio Paradiso but had also direct contacts with film studios that commissioned a number of flyers and posters.

In 1968 he painted several covers for Ed. Fratelli Spada, where he met one of his admirers, Romano Felmang, regular cover designer of the 'Mandrake' comics. Picchioni thus in 1970 did a series of covers for the 'Mandrake' series.

Later Felmang, by putting Franco in direct contact with publishers, often asked him to paint the cover for various comic books. Thus Picchioni provided the covers for comic books such as 'Zorro', 'Il Santo'(The Saint), 'Sylvie', 'Loana', 'Sgt Clem', 'I Diavoli', and many others. When the recession of comic books with painted covers and film posters came about, Picchioni began to paint posters for the circus, mainly tigers, lions, and lion tamers.

Little Tony, portrait by F. Picchioni
Italian postcard by E.N.P., Roma. Art work by F. Picchioni.

Italian Rock ‘n roll artist Little Tony (1941) achieved success in Great Britain during the late 1950s and early 1960s, as the lead singer of Little Tony & His Brothers. Little Tony & His Brothers first revisited Italy in 1961 to appear at the San Remo Festival, where they reached second place with '24 mila baci' (24 thousand kisses). In 1962, he returned to Italy where he continued a successful career as a singer and film actor in many Musicarellos, the typical Italian youth musical of the 1960s.

Domenico Modugno, portrait by F. Picchioni
Italian postcard by E.N.P., Roma. Art work by F. Picchioni.

Domenico Modugno (1928-1994) was an Italian singer and actor. He became best known for his song 'Nel blu dipinto di blu' better known as 'Volare'.

Gianni Morandi, portrait by F. Picchioni
Italian postcard by E.N.P., Roma. Art work by F. Picchioni.

Italian pop singer and entertainer Gianni Morandi (1944) reportedly sold more than 30 million recordings and appeared in 18 films. In 1970, he represented Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest with Occhi di ragazza. His career went into a decline in the late 1970s but underwent a revival in the 1980s. He won the San Remo Festival in 1987, placed second in 1995, and third in 2000. Having enjoyed four decades of unmatched success, Gianni Morandi is among Italy's greatest performers of all time.

Aurelio Fierro
Italian postcard by E.N.P., Roma. Art work by F. Picchioni.

Aurelio Fierro (1923-2005) was an Italian singer and actor, famous for songs like 'Lazzarella', 'Guaglione', and 'Á pizza'. In the late 1950s, he acted in a dozen of film comedies.

Gigliola Cinquetti, portrait by F. Picchioni
Italian postcard by E.N.P., Roma. Art work by F. Picchioni.

At the age of 16, Italian singer Gigliola Cinquetti (1947) won Festival di Sanremo with Non ho l'età, and with the same song, she won the Eurovision Song Contest 1964 and scored her first international hit. During her long career, she also worked as a TV journalist and appeared in a dozen of films.

Gino Paoli, portrait by F. Picchioni
Italian postcard by E.N.P., Roma. Art work by F. Picchioni.

Gino Paoli (1934) is one of Italy's most famous singers and songwriters.

Lucio Dalla, portrait by F. Picchioni
Italian postcard by E.N.P., Roma. Art work by F. Picchioni.

Lucio Dalla (1943-2012) was an Italian singer-songwriter, musician, and actor. Between 1965 and 1975 Dalla acted in various (musical) comedies such as Little Rita nel West (Ferdinando Baldi, 1967) with Rita Pavone, and Il santo patrono (Bitto Albertini, 1972), but he also had one of the leads in the drama I sovversivi (Paolo & Vittorio Taviani, 1967).

Rita Pavone, portrait by F. Picchioni
Italian postcard by E.N.P., Roma. Art work by F. Picchioni.

Rita Pavone (1945) was one of the biggest teenage stars in Europe during the 1960s, and one of the few Italian pop stars to gain a foothold in the American market. Pavone also starred in several 'Musicarellos'.

Source: Mandrakewiki