Born March 26, 1933 in Milan, Lombardy, Italy
Birth Name Giovanni Tinto Brass
Nickname Il Maestro
Giovanni Brass was born on 26 March 1933 into the family of a famous artist, Italico Brass, who was his grandfather. Italico gave his grandson a nickname “Tintoretto,” which Giovanni later adapted into his cinematic name, Tinto Brass.
Tinto inherited his grandfather’s artistic skills, but he applied them to film instead of canvas. When he joined the Italian film industry, he worked with such famous directors as Federico Fellini (his idol) and Roberto Rossellini. In 1963 he directed his first film, Chi lavora è perduto (In capo al mondo) (1963). Afterwards, he went on to make such avante garde art films as Attraction (1969) and The Scream (1966). He was approached in 1976 to directed a sexploitation quickie, Salon Kitty (1976), but he wisely chose to have the script rewritten, turning it into a dark, political satire. The success of “Salon Kitty” lead Penthouse magazine publisher Bob Guccione to choose Brass to helm Caligula (1979), the big-budget adaption of Gore Vidal’s novel “Caligula.” Tinto finished shooting the film, but when he refused to convert it into the “flesh flick” that Guccione wanted it to be by including footage of Penthouse centerfolds making out and romping, he was fired and locked out of the editing room. He later disowned the film when he saw the botched editing (the film was spliced together amateurishly from outtakes and rehearsal footage) and Guccione’s hardcore sex scenes spliced in with his work. Ironically, “Caligula” remains Tinto’s most famous film. After it became a huge international box-office hit, Brass was hired to shoot a spy thriller Snack Bar Budapest (1988). Afterwards, he decided that he should focus on erotica, as a way to rebel against the hypocrisy of censors, explaining that sex is a normal part of life and we should just deal with it.
With his latest films Senso ’45 (2002) (an update of the classic novella “Senso”) and the erotic comedy Fallo (1988), Brass cemented his reputation of an undisputed master of erotica and avante-garde art films.
Caterina Varzi (3 August 2017 – present)
Carla Cipriani (1956 – 9 August 2006) ( her death) ( 2 children)
Often used mirrors and reflections in his films.
Often cast women with large buttocks.
“Mambo italiano” song in many of his pictures.
He often used a TV-like multicam method of shooting, with at least 3 cameras running at once, each focusing on something else.
Russian and Austro-Hungarian background.
Always edited his own films.
Member of the ‘Official Competition’ jury at the 22nd Berlin International Film Festival in 1972.
A vehement opponent of censorship in all its many forms.
Used to be one of the leading directors of Erotica in Europe.
Two children: daughter Beatrice and son Bonifacio.
Personal Quotes (4)
Pornography is there to give you an erection. Erotica is there to give you emotions.
I put two balls and a big cock between the legs of the Italian cinema!
[on Alexander Tuschinski] The films of Alexander are a new kind of film, of showing what can come out from the editing. It is good.
Alda Teodorani, finalmente dei testi affrancati dal sublime, ossessivamente asserviti alle pulsioni più torbide ed inquietanti