Mario Monicelli

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Mario Monicelli
MarioMonicelli.jpg
Monicelli in 2007
Born(1915-05-16)16 May 1915
Viareggio, Italy
Died 29 November 2010(2010-11-29) (aged 95)
Rome, Italy
Occupation Screenwriter, director, actor
Years active 1935–2010
Awards Silver Bear for Best Director
1957 Padri e figli
1976 Caro Michele
1981 Il Marchese del Grillo
Golden Lion
1959 La Grande Guerra
Career Golden Lion
1991 Lifetime Achievement

Mario Monicelli (Italian:  [ˈmaːrjo moniˈtʃɛlli] ; 16 May 1915 29 November 2010) was an Italian director and screenwriter and one of the masters of the Commedia all'Italiana (Comedy Italian style). He was nominated six times for an Oscar.

Academy Awards American awards given annually for excellence in cinematic achievements

The Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, are a set of awards for artistic and technical merit in the film industry. Given annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), the awards are an international recognition of excellence in cinematic achievements as assessed by the Academy's voting membership. The various category winners are awarded a copy of a golden statuette, officially called the "Academy Award of Merit", although more commonly referred to by its nickname "Oscar".

Contents

Biography

Monicelli was born in Viareggio in Tuscany and was the youngest son of journalist Tommaso Monicelli. His older brother, Giorgio, worked as writer and translator. Another older brother, Franco, was a journalist. He attended studies in the local lyceum, and entered the film world through his friendship with Giacomo Forzano, son of playwright Giovacchino Forzano, who had been put in charge of the founding of cinema studios in Tirrenia by Benito Mussolini. Monicelli lived a carefree youth, and many of the cinematic jokes he later shot in Amici Miei (My Friends) were inspired by his own experience.

Viareggio Comune in Tuscany, Italy

Viareggio is a city and comune in northern Tuscany, Italy, on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea. With a population of over 62,000, it is the second largest city within the province of Lucca, after Lucca.

Tuscany Region of Italy

Tuscany is a region in central Italy with an area of about 23,000 square kilometres and a population of about 3.8 million inhabitants (2013). The regional capital is Florence (Firenze).

Giovacchino Forzano Italian playwright, librettist and director

Giovacchino Forzano was an Italian playwright, librettist, stage director, and film director. A resourceful writer, he authored numerous popular plays and produced opera librettos for most of the major Italian composers of the early twentieth century, including the librettos for Giacomo Puccini's Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi.

Monicelli made his first short in 1934, in collaboration with his friend Alberto Mondadori. He followed up this work with the silent film I ragazzi della Via Paal (an adaptation of the novel The Paul Street Boys ), which was an award-winner in the Venice Film Festival. [1] His first feature length work was made in 1937 ( Pioggia d'estate , "Summer Rain"). [2] From 1939–42, he produced up to 40 numerous screenplays, and worked as an assistant director.[ citation needed ]

<i>The Paul Street Boys</i> novel by Ferenc Molnár

The Paul Street Boys is a youth novel by the Hungarian writer Ferenc Molnár, first published in 1906.

Venice Film Festival annual film festival held in Venice, Italy

The Venice Film Festival or Venice International Film Festival is the oldest film festival in the world and one of the "Big Three" film festivals, alongside the Cannes Film Festival and Berlin International Film Festival. The Big Three are internationally acclaimed for giving creators the artistic freedom to express themselves through film.

Summer Rain is a 1937 Italian comedy film directed by Mario Monicelli. It was his first full-length feature film.

Monicelli made his official debut as a director in 1949, with Totò cerca casa, along with Steno. From the very beginning of his career Monicelli's cinematic style had a remarkable flow to it. The duo produced eight successful movies in four years, including Guardie e ladri (1951) and Totò a colori (1952). From 1953 onwards Monicelli worked alone, without leaving his role as a writer of screenplays.[ citation needed ]

The year 1951 in film involved some significant events.

The year 1952 in film involved some significant events.

Monicelli's career includes some of the masterpieces of Italian cinema. In I soliti ignoti (Big Deal on Madonna Street) (1958), featuring the ubiquitous comedian Totò in a side role, he discovered the comical talent of Vittorio Gassman and Marcello Mastroianni and probably started the new genre of the modern commedia all'italiana.

<i>Big Deal on Madonna Street</i> 1958 film by Mario Monicelli

Big Deal on Madonna Street is a 1958 Italian comedy caper film directed by Mario Monicelli, and considered to be among the masterpieces of Italian cinema. Its original title translates as "the usual unknown persons", a journalistic and bureaucratic euphemism for "unidentified criminals". The film is a comedy about a group of small-time thieves and ne'er-do-wells who bungle an attempt to burgle a pawn shop in Rome.

Totò Italian comedian, actor, and musician

Antonio Griffo Focas Flavio Angelo Ducas Comneno Porfirogenito Gagliardi De Curtis di Bisanzio, best known by his stage name Totò or simply as Antonio De Curtis, and nicknamed il Principe della risata, is commonly referred to as the most popular Italian comedian of all time. He was a film and stage actor as well as a writer, singer and songwriter. He is best known for his funny and sometimes cynical character as a comedian in theatre and then in many successful films shot from the 1940s to the 1960s, all regularly still on TV, but he also worked with many iconic Italian film directors in dramatic/poetic roles.

Vittorio Gassman Italian theatre and film actor and director

Vittorio Gassman, Knight Grand Cross, OMRI, popularly known as Il Mattatore, was an Italian theatre and film actor, as well as director.

While better known in the English-speaking world under the title Big Deal on Madonna Street, the actual translation from the Italian is "the usual unknown perpetrators" (closely resembling the famous line from Casablanca : "Round up the usual suspects"). The film was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 31st Academy Awards. [3]

<i>Casablanca</i> (film) 1942 film by Michael Curtiz

Casablanca is a 1942 American romantic drama film directed by Michael Curtiz based on Murray Burnett and Joan Alison's unproduced stage play Everybody Comes to Rick's. The film stars Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Paul Henreid; it also features Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, and Dooley Wilson. Set during contemporary World War II, it focuses on an American expatriate who must choose between his love for a woman and helping her and her husband, a Czech Resistance leader, escape from the Vichy-controlled city of Casablanca to continue his fight against the Nazis.

The Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film is one of the Academy Awards handed out annually by the U.S.-based Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). It is given to a feature-length motion picture produced outside the United States of America with a predominantly non-English dialogue track.

31st Academy Awards

The 31st Academy Awards ceremony was held on April 6, 1959, to honor the best films of 1958. The show's producer, Jerry Wald, started cutting numbers from the show to make sure it ran on time. He cut too much material and the ceremony ended 20 minutes early, leaving Jerry Lewis to attempt to fill in the time. Eventually, NBC cut to a re-run of a sports show.

La Grande Guerra ( The Great War ), with Vittorio Gassman, Alberto Sordi and Silvana Mangano released one year later, is generally regarded as one of his most successful works, which rewarded Monicelli with a Leone d'Oro in the Venice Film Festival, and an Academy Award nomination for the Best Foreign Film. [4]

The film, featuring Gassman and the other superstar of Italian comedy, Alberto Sordi, excelled in the absence of rhetorical accents (the tragedy of World War I was still very present in Italians' minds in these years) and for its sharp, tragicomical sense of history. Monicelli received two more Academy Award nominations with I compagni (The Organizer, 1963) and The Girl with the Pistol (1968). [5]

L'armata Brancaleone (For Love and Gold, 1966) is another masterpiece of Italian cinema. The film tells the tragicomic tale of a Middle Ages Italian knight, with uncertain nobility and few means but high ideals, self-confidence and pomposity (Vittorio Gassman). The bizarre Macaronic Latin-Italian dialogues were devised by Age & Scarpelli, the most renowned writers of Italian comedies, and represent a whole linguistic invention which was followed by Brancaleone alle Crociate (Brancaleone at the Crusades) in 1970, and less successfully in Bertoldo, Bertoldino e Cacasenno .[ citation needed ]

Amici miei (My Friends, 1975), featuring Ugo Tognazzi, Adolfo Celi, Gastone Moschin, Duilio Del Prete and Philippe Noiret, was one of the most successful films in Italy and confirmed Monicelli's genius in mixing humour, irony and bitter understanding of the human condition. The film was popular to the point that some lines are today turned into well established idiomatic expression ("la supercazzola"), and even a programming language ("monicelli") has been created using a syntax based on film quotes. His 1976 film Caro Michele won him the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 26th Berlin International Film Festival. [6]

Dramatic accents were predominant in the Un borghese piccolo piccolo (A Very Little Man, 1978), but he turned again to more cheerful comedy and attention to historical events from a popular, intimate point of view with Il Marchese del Grillo (1981). Both films featured Alberto Sordi at his best, the latter leading Monicelli to his third Silver Bear for Best Director award at the 32nd Berlin International Film Festival. [7]

Among the final works by Monicelli are Speriamo che sia femmina (1985), Parenti serpenti (1992) and Cari fottutissimi amici (1994), featuring Paolo Hendel. The latter won an Honourable Mention at the 44th Berlin International Film Festival. [8] His 1999 film Dirty Linen was entered into the 21st Moscow International Film Festival. [9]

His last feature film was The Roses of the Desert ( Le rose del deserto , 2006), which he directed when he was 91 years old. In 1991 he received the Golden Lion for Career of the Venice Film Festival. A documentary made by Roberto Salinas and Marina Catucci, Una storia da ridere, breve biografia di Mario Monicelli, appeared in 2008.[ citation needed ]

Death

Monicelli died on 29 November 2010 at the age of 95. He committed suicide by jumping from a window of the San Giovanni Hospital in Rome, where he had been admitted a few days earlier for prostate cancer. [10] [11]

He was an outspoken atheist. [12]

Filmography

Director

Screenplays

Actor

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References

  1. "Mario Monicelli obituary". guardian.co.uk. London, UK. 30 November 2010. Retrieved 29 November 2010.
  2. "Tragic death of film director". italymag. Retrieved 24 November 2010.
  3. "The 31st Academy Awards (1959) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
  4. "The 32nd Academy Awards (1960) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
  5. "The 41st Academy Awards (1969) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  6. "Berlinale Archive 1976". berlinale.de. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
  7. "Berlinale Archive 1982". berlinale.de. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
  8. "Berlinale: 1994 Prize Winners". berlinale.de. Retrieved 11 June 2011.
  9. "21st Moscow International Film Festival (1999)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 22 March 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2013.
  10. "Mario Monicelli morto suicida a Roma" (in Italian). Corriere della Sera. 29 November 2010. Retrieved 29 November 2010.
  11. Roston, Michael (29 November 2010). "Mario Monicelli, Italian Director, Dies at 95". The New York Times . Retrieved 30 November 2010.
  12. "Voceditalia.it - L'articolo richiesto
    non è al momento disponibile"
    . Voceditalia.it. Retrieved 22 October 2017.