Friday, December 22, 2006
Award winning actress, writer and director Florinda Bolkan was born Florinda Soares Bulcao in Brazil in 1941. She made her film debut in director Damiano Damiani's 1968 film A Very Complicated Girl. She has since made close to 60 films and continues to work today.
Florinda is known and respected by both art-house and genre film fans. One of the most striking looking of all actresses that came out of the sixties she made her first real mark in Visconti's 1969 film The Damned and Petri's 1970 Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion.
She would work non-stop throughout the 1970's and won two Donatello awards for best actress and one L.A. Film Critics award for her great performance in De Sica's A Brief Vacation.
Two of her finest performances came just one year apart with 1974's Flavia The Heretic and especially Luigi Bazzoni's mysterious Footprints.
She is probably most loved by Italian Horror fans who rightly hold two performances she gave for Lucio Fulci as high water marks for acting in genre films. 1971's top Giallo A Lizard In Woman's Skin shows her at her finest as a woman suspected of murdering her neighbor. She brings great emotional depth to a character that may or may not be guilty and thrives amongst some of Fulci's most celebrated set pieces.
She would play a very different role, that of a gypsy, in Fulci's Don't Torture a Duckling. Duckling was one of the most ambitious Giallos of the seventies with it's tackling of the corruption inherent in the church and upper classes. Bolkan is unbelievably intense in this film and is subjected to one of the most gruelling torture sequences ever filmed.
Fulci's problems with actors are legendary but he loved Bolkan and always spoke the highest of her. Bolkan has also never shied away from her genre work and seems as proud of it as her work with more more generally appreciated director's like Visconti and De Sica.
Later work included working with Laura Antonelli in the 1985 Fulci scripted Collector's Item and very memorably with Jennifer Connelly in the underrated 1988 coming of age drama Some Girls.
Florinda remains as striking as ever, she has a wonderful website at florindabolkan.com and even runs her own production company. She's a wonderfully strong woman and one of the most dignified actresses of this or any other era.