After graduating from school her first job was touring Europe in a puppet show. For the next ten years she worked as an actress, director and playwright in legitimate theater.
Through her acquaintance with the Mastroianni she met Federico Fellini and in 1962 Fellini offered her a position as an assistant director on 8 and a Half The following year Wertmüller made her directorial debut with The Lizards (I Basilischi), a film whose subject matter (the lives of impoverished southern Italians) would become a recurring motif in her later work.
Several other moderately successful films followed, but it was not until 1972 that Wertmüller achieved lasting international acclaim with a series of four movies starring Giancarlo Gianini. The last, and best-received of these, was 1975's Seven Beuties (Pasqualino Sette Bellezze), which earned 4 Academy Award nominations and was an international hit. Wertmüller was the first woman to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.
Though Wertmüller has had a prolific career since, and is still actively directing, none of her later films have had the same impact as her mid-1970s collaborations with Giannini. Wertmüller was married to Enrico Job (died on March 4th, 2008), an art designer who worked on several of her pictures. She has an adopted teenage Daughter whose moniker is Mauchi.
Laraine Newman impersonated Wertmüller twice on Saturday Night Live .
In general, Wertmüller's films are highly reflective of her own political commitments, with the main characters either dedicated Anarchists, Communists, Feminists (or all), and the main action centered on conflicts which are political or socio-economic in nature. Despite this, Wertmüller's films are rarely didactic, and often reflect her own iconoclastic sensibilities. In her first film with Giannini for example, tells the story of a rich, liberated industrialist's wife finding erotic fulfillment only after being Sadomasochistically "tamed" by a macho, communist deck-hand. The film earned the ire of orthodox feminists, one of whom asked in a review whether Wertmüller had now become "one of the boys". Wertmüller has also been criticized for the gender dichotomy within her films which reflects a comical men-as-dogs/women-as-whores perspective.
Lina Wertmuller - what members say
Lina Wertmuller - filmography
Lina Wertmuller facts