'Paradiso' helmer Tornatore mugged


NEMI, Italy -- Giuseppe Tornatore, the Oscar-winning director of "Cinema Paradiso," was mugged in Rome and treated in the hospital for head trauma and minor injuries.

According to Italian media reports, Tornatore left his office in central Rome late Wednesday when he was stopped by two men who asked him for directions. Tornatore obliged and, while one man thanked him, the other smashed him across the head.

"After that, I don't recall anything else," newspapers quoted Tornatore as saying, adding that his watch, wallet and cellular phone were taken by the bandits.

Police wouldn't elaborate on the case, which they said is under investigation.

Tornatore is best known for 1989's "Paradiso," which won the 1990 Oscar for best foreign-language film. But his latest film -- "La Sconosciuta" (The Unknown Woman), a dark film about a Ukrainian immigrant trying to escape her past -- has been Italy's most celebrated film this year.

The film dominated the David di Donatello awards in June and was the only one to receive three nominations for the new Cinecitta Awards for behind-the-scenes excellence in film. It also is nominated for the "Diamanti al Cinema" (Diamonds of Cinema) awards, which will be presented at the upcoming Venice Film Festival.

Additionally, Tornatore was the toast of the Taormina Film Fest in June, where he received an achievement award and was the subject of a comprehensive retrospective.

His latest project is the in-production drama "Baaria," which will be distributed by Medusa in 2008. It was not clear whether Tornatore's injuries will have an impact on the film's production.