Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Jean-Pierre Nutini Died July 10, 2013 Film Gaffer Was 'Larger Than Life'

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Jean-Pierre Nutini Died July 10, 2013 Film Gaffer Was 'Larger Than Life'

Article excerpt

To the extent that Pittsburgh has a film bibliography, Jean- Pierre Nutini's name appears on every page.

Just look on the international movie database website: He was a crew member on all of the major films, and some minor ones, that have been made here in the past 20 years, from "Lorenzo's Oil" to "Wonder Boys" to "The Dark Knight Rises."

But Mr. Nutini, who died July 10 of cancer at age 57 in his Squirrel Hill home, also had another calling: to bring Mexican art and culture to Pittsburghers through Mexico Lindo Y Galeria de Artesanias, a shop on Murray Avenue operated by him and his wife, Lisa DiGioia-Nutini.

A passionate collector of Mexican Folk Art -- a passion acquired through his mother, who was Mexican of French and Italian descent -- he and his wife spent a great deal of time in that country searching out artisans to showcase in the store.

"He was a larger than life artist in both stature and spirit," said his wife, referring to his height -- he was 6 foot 7 inches tall -- and his personality, which was "charismatic, gregarious and generous. His own life was as fascinating and compelling enough to have been made into any one films and television series he helped create here."

Not only was he a charter member and staunch supporter of IATSE local 489, Mr. Nutini also was a member of SAG-AFTRA Local 3, working on thousands of concerts, performances, political rallies and lectures.

"Sometimes people he knew would take non-union jobs and he would tear his hair out," said Ms. Di-Gioia-Nutini. "Sometimes he would be offered those jobs too, and he wouldn't take them. We marched in every Labor Day parade."

The son of Hugo Nutini, the late University of Pittsburgh anthropologist who specialized in Mesoamerican culture, he was born in Los Angeles and moved with his family to Pittsburgh in 1963.

Mr. Nutini earned his B.A. in theatre from Northern Illinois University in 1985 and a master's in theatre in 1987 from the University of Pittsburgh. …

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