Joseph Losey

Joseph Losey (1909- 1984) belonged to (apparteneva a) an important American family and was educated at Harvard, beginning as a student of medicine and ending in drama.  He got fame (divenne famoso) as a stage director in New York political theatre, with the like Sinclair Lewis’s  Jayhawke , then he spent some months in the Soviet union  to study the Russian stage (1936). Back to America, he arrived in Hollywood just after the Second World War. His first film was a political allegory The Boy with Green Hair (1947). The same year he staged in Broadway (portò sul palcoscenico di Broadway) the first English language version of Bertolt Brecht’s Galileo starring Charles Laughton –  Losey had met the German author and probably studied with him. The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC – a committee created to investigate private citizens or organizations suspected of having Communist ties –legami ) started being interested in Losey because in the 1930s and 40s he had extensive contacts with people on the political left.  Losey collaborated with composer (compositore) Hanns Eisler on a “political cabaret” from 1937 to 1939 and in 1946, he joined (si unì) the Communist Party as he felt “useless in Hollywood” – he explained. It became difficult for him to work in America because of the Communist witch- hunt (caccia alle streghe), and, after a period in Rome, he decided to leave definitely America and settle (stabilirsi) in England (1953).  His first British films were a  noir crime thriller The Sleeping Tiger (1954) and The Intimate Stranger (1956) shot under pseudonym of  Victor Hanbury because the actors feared being blacklisted (temevano di essere messi nella lista nera).

In 1960 Losey started his collaboration – and then a close friendship (profonda amicizia) – with playwright Harold Pinter. He directed three films based on Pinter’s screenplays: The Servant (1963, winner of three Academy Awards), Accident (1967) and The Go-Between (1971), each of them examines the politics of sexuality, gender, and class in 1960s and 1970s Britain. In 1975, Losey realized a film adaptation of Brecht’s Galileo released as Life of Galileo starring Topo; in  Monsieur Klein (1976; starring Alain Delon) he examined the period when Jews in and around Paris were arrested for deportation and in  1979 Losey filmed Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni, in Villa La Rotonda and the Veneto region of Italy. Losey also worked with Pinter on The Proust Screenplay (1972), an adaptation of A la recherche du temps perdu (alla ricerca del tempo perduto) by Marcel Proust but he died before the project’s financing (finanziamento)could be assembled.