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2 items from 2010

Mario Monicelli obituary

30 November 2010 7:35 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Italian film director and screenwriter who established a new school of social-realist comedy

The Italian film director Mario Monicelli has died aged 95, after jumping out of a hospital window in Rome. Monicelli directed more than 60 films, most of which he co-wrote. He was best known for I Soliti Ignoti (Big Deal On Madonna Street, 1958), which was nominated for an Oscar for best foreign-language film. It was remade by Louis Malle as Crackers (1984) and turned into a Broadway musical, Big Deal, by Bob Fosse in 1986. Monicelli's original is one of the most internationally admired Italian comedies of the past 60 years.

Born in Viareggio, Tuscany, Monicelli was the son of a journalist, Tomaso Monicelli, who founded one of the earliest Italian film magazines. Tomaso killed himself in 1946. Mario studied at the universities of Milan and Pisa and took an early interest in films. With the future publisher Alberto Mondadori, he collaborated »

- John Francis Lane

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Furio Scarpelli obituary

17 May 2010 10:01 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

One of Italy's leading screenwriters, he worked on 140 films

One of Italy's most respected and prolific screenwriters, Furio Scarpelli, who has died aged 90, worked on the scripts of about 140 films, sometimes without a credit, and received three shared Oscar nominations, for I Compagni (The Organiser, 1963), Casanova '70 (1965) and Il Postino (1994). Scarpelli enjoyed a lengthy writing partnership, from 1949 until 1985, with Agenore Incrocci, also known as Age. The pair collaborated on the 1958 film I Soliti Ignoti (Big Deal on Madonna Street), about a team of makeshift thieves, which owed much of its success to the brilliant comic characterisations. The film, starring Vittorio Gassman and Marcello Mastroianni, helped to launch the genre of commedia all'italiana ("comedy Italian-style").

Scarpelli was born in Rome. His Neapolitan father, Filiberto, was a satirical writer who founded a humorous magazine, Il Travaso delle Idee. Furio began his own career as a cartoonist. It was after the second world war, »

- John Francis Lane

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