February 02, 2008

Dino Risi: 1916–2008

Dino Risi: (December 23 1916; died June 7 2008)

Dino Risi 3

Dino Risi

Introduction

Dino Risi had a long and illustrious career in Italian cinema. Risi was one of the foremost proponents of the genre which came to be known as 'Comedy - Italian Style'. risi worked with many leading Italian movers and shakers in the film industry including: producers such as Carlo Ponti; scriptwriters such as Zavattini, and Ettore Scola; actors such as Sophia Loren, Vittorio de Sica, Marcello Mastroianni,Monica Vitti and Jean-Louis Trintignant.

Working with luminaries such as Alberto Lattuada initially, it was 1956 when Risi made his first film entirely under his own steam. Poor but Beautiful (1956) marked the shift in Italian cinema from neo-realism to comedy. Despite his prolific output there is little written on him according to the bibliographical section of Bondanella's history of Italian Cinema. This may be because so much work has been focused upon neorealism, however as Hipkins notes in her introduction to a course on Comedy - Italian Style:

Picking up on elements of the post-war movement's social critique and combining them with comic techniques, a series of directors managed to satirize the Italy of the economic miracle in a genuinely popular form of cinema. Despite its success, both artistically and at the box office, Comedy - Italian Style is little known abroad and all too rarely studied.

Luigi Comencini was the other main director of these type of films at the time, and they have continued to be made up until the present notes Bondanella (p 89). The genre was highly dependent upon an effective start system and Risi worked with many of these actors who were good at comedy although some may be surprised to see names such as Monica Vitti in these ranks.


Il Sorpasso (The Easy Life,1962) was very popular. It has a picaresque narrative structure using adventures on a drive from Rome to Viareggio to elpore the changing nature of Italian values during the years of the great 'economic miracle'. Vittorio Gassman is obsessed with his car and is a symbol of the over-inflated economy whiclst Jean-Louis Trintignant is a more introverted and intellectual type of personality. The crash which kills the Trintignant character symbolises the dangers just under the surface of the exuberant economy.


The following year Risi produced another popular comedy I Mostri ( The Monsters, 1963), composed of 20 sketches Risi parodies a range of Italian sterotypes who symbolise the type of people who are running Italain society for their own gratification. (One might ask what has changed with Berlusconi's return to power in 2008)

In 1977 I nuovi mostri (The New Monsters) is another episodic work by Risi, Monicelli and Scola in a similar but more bitter vein than the earlier one as Italy has become increasingly violent. A man in the street sees a stabbing but ignores it becuase he is concerned with the quality of cheese on his Pizza for example. Often comedy can provide a powerful politicsal commentary upon society and Risi made films in this tradition. Hopefully more of them will become available now in the UK.

Return to Italian directors hub page


Filmography (for full Credits go to the RAI site)

Vacation With a Gangster (Vacanze col gangster) (Italy, 1951)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Dino Risi

Viale della speranza (Italy, 1952)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Dino Risi

Paradiso per quattro ore – Segment of "Amore in città" (Paradiso per quattro ore – Episodio di "Amore in città") (Italy, 1953)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Cesare Zavattini


Il segno di Venere (Italy, 1954)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Dino Risi, Ennio Flajano, Valeri, Cesare Zavattini, featuring: Vittorio De Sica, Sophia Loren, Alberto Sordi, Peppino De Filippo

The Sign of Venus (Pane, amore e…) (Italy, 1955) Director: Dino Risi, script: Dino Risi

Poor but Beautiful (Poveri ma belli) (Italy, 1956)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Dino Risi

Poor Girl, Pretty Girl (Belle ma povere) (Italy, 1957)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Dino Risi, Pasquale Festa Campanile, Massimo Franciosa

Oh! Sabella (La nonna Sabella) (Italy, 1957)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Dino Risi, Pasquale Festa Campanile, Massimo Franciosa, Ettore Giannini

Poor Millionaires (Poveri Milionari) (Italy, 1958)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Dino Risi, Pasquale Festa Campanile, Massimo Franciosa

Venice, the Moon and you (Venezia, la luna e tu) (Italy, 1958)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Dino Risi, Pasquale Festa Campanile, Massimo Franciosa
Director: Dino Risi, script: Etttore Scola, Alessandro Continenza, Ruggero Maccari

Il vedovo (Italy, 1959)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Dino Risi, Fabio Carpi, Rodolfo Sonego

Love in Rome (n amore a Roma) (Italy, 1960)
Director : Dino Risi, script: Ennio Flajano, Ercole Patti 

Behind closed Doors (A porte chiuse) (Italy, 1961)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Marcello Coscia, Dino De Palma, Sandro Continenza

A difficult life (Una vita difficile) (Italy, 1961)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Rodolfo Sonego, featuring: Franco Fabrizi, Claudio Gora, Alberto Sordi, Lea Massari

March on Rome (La marcia su Roma) (Italy, 1962)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Age, Furio Scarpelli, Ruggero Maccari, Ettore Scola, featuring: Vittorio Gassman, Ugo Tognazzi, Giampiero Albertini, Nando Angelini

The Easy Life (Il sorpasso) (Italy, 1962)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Dino Risi, Ettore Scola, Ruggero Maccari, featuring: Vittorio Gassman, Catherine Spaak, Jean Louis Trintignant, Nando Angelini

The Thursday (Il giovedì) (Italy, 1963)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Dino Risi, Castellano, Pipolo


15 from Rome (I mostri) (Italy, 1963)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Age, Furio Scarpelli, Ruggero Maccari, Ettore Scola

The Success (Il successo) (Italy, 1963)
Director: Dino Risi, Mauro Morassi, script: Ruggero Maccari, Ettore Scola


La telefonata – Segment of  "Four Kind of Love" ( La telefonata – Episodio de "Le bambole")
(France/Italy, 1964)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Rodolfo Sonego

The Gaucho (Il Gaucho) (Italy, 1964)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Dino Risi, Tullio Pinelli, Ruggero Maccari, Ettore Scola

Una giornata decisiva – Segment of "The complexes" (Una giornata decisiva – Episodio de "I complessi") (France/Italy, 1965)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Marcello Fondato, Ettore Scola, Ruggero Maccari

Weekend, Italian, Style (L'ombrellone) (France/Italy, 1965)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Dino Risi, Ennio De Concini

Il marito di Attilia – Segment of "I nostri mariti" (France/Italy, 1966)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Age, Furio Scarpelli, Stefano Strucchi

Treasure of San Gennaro (Operazione San Gennaro)
(Italy, 1966)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Nino Manfredi, Ennio De Concini

Kill Me with Kisses (Straziami, ma di baci saziami) (Italy, 1966)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Age, Furio Scarpelli

The Prophet (Il profeta) (Italy, 1967)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Dino Risi, Ruggero Maccari, Ettore Scola

The Tiger and the Pussycat (Il tigre) (Italy, 1967)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Age, Furio Scarpelli

Normal Young Man (Il giovane normale) (Italy, 1969)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Dino Risi, Maurizio Costanzo, Ruggero Maccari

Vedo Nudo (Italy, 1969)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Iaia Fiastri, Ruggero Maccari

The Priest's Wife (La moglie del prete) (Italy, 1970)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Ruggero Maccari, Bernardino Zapponi, featuring: Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni, Venantino Venantini, Gino Cavalieri

In The Name of The Italian People (In nome del popolo Italiano)
(Italy, 1971)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Age, Furio Scarpelli


Noi donne siamo fatte così (Italy, 1971)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Age, Furio Scarpelli, Rodolfo Sonego, Ettore Scola, featuring: Monica Vitti, Clara Colosimo, Filippo De Gara, Pupo De Luca

Dirty Weekend (Mordi e fuggi) (Italy, 1972)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Dino Risi, Ruggero Maccari, Bernardino Zapponi

How Funny Can Be Sex? (Sessomatto) (Italy, 1973)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Ruggero Maccari, featuring


Scent of a Woman (Profumo di donna) (Italy, 1974)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Dino Risi, Ruggero Maccari, featuring: Vittorio Gassman, Alessandro Momo, Agostina Belli, Moira Orfei

Lost Soul (Anima persa)
(France/Italy, 1976)
Director: Dino Risi, scenegigatura: Dino Risi, Bernardino Zapponi

The Bishop's Bedroom (La stanza del vescovo)
(Italy, 1976)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Dino Risi, Leo Benvenuti, Piero Chiara, Piero De Bernardi

The Career of a Chambermaid (Telefoni Bianchi) (Italy, 1976)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Dino Risi, Ruggero Maccari, Bernardino Zapponi

The New Monsters (I nuovi mostri) (Italy, 1977)
Director: Dino Risi, Ettore Scola, Mario Monicelli, Claudio Risi, script: Age, Furio Scarpelli, Ettore Scola, Bernardino Zapponi, Ruggero Maccari, featuring: Vittorio Gassman, Ornella Muti, Alberto Sordi, Ugo Tognazzi

First Love (Primo amore) (Italy, 1978)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Dino Risi, Ruggero Maccari, featuring: Ornella Muti, Ugo Tognazzi, Riccardo Billi, Caterina Boratto

Dear Father (Caro papà) (Canada/France/Italy, 1979)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Dino Risi, Marco Risi, Bernardino Zapponi

Roma – Segment of "I seduttori della domenica" (Roma – Episodio de "I seduttori della domenica")
(France/Great Britain/USA/Italy, 1980)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Age, Furio Scarpelli, featuring: Ugo Tognazzi, Lino Ventura, Sylva Koscina, Rossana Podestà

I'm Photogenic (Sono fotogenico) (Italy, 1980)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Dino Risi, Marco Risi, Bernardino Zapponi, featuring: Edwige Fenech, Renato Pozzetto, Ugo Tognazzi, Vittorio Gassman

Ghost of Love (Fantasma d'amore) (France/Italy, 1981)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Dino Risi, Bernardino Zapponi, featuring: Marcello Mastroianni, Romy Schneider, Victoria Zinny, Michael Kroecher

Sesso e volentieri (Italy, 1982)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Dino Risi, Enrico Vanzina, Bernardino Zapponi, Laura Antonelli, Giuliana Calandra, Johnny Dorelli, Gloria Guida

Good King Dagobert (Dagobert) (France/Italy, 1984)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Dino Risi, Age, Gerard Brach

Madman at War (Scemo di Guerra) (France/Italy, 1985)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Dino Risi, Age, Furio Scarpelli, featuring: Beppe Grillo, Fabio Testi, Bernard Blier, Claudio Bisio

Il Commissario Lo Gatto (Italy, 1986)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Dino Risi, Enrico Vanzina, Carlo Vanzina


Teresa (Italy, 1987)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Dino Risi, Bernardino Zapponi, Graziano Diana

I'll Be Going Now (Tolgo il disturbo) (Italy, 1989)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Dino Risi, Beranrdino zapponi, Enrico Oldoini

Poor But Beautiful (Giovani e belli) (Italy, 1996)
Director: Dino Risi, script: Dino Risi, Bernardino Zapponi


Webliography

RAI Biography of Dino Risi

Guardian Obituary of Dino Risi

BBC News of Dino Risi's Death

Independent Obituary of Dino Risi

Reuters Report of death of Dino Risi

International Herald Tribune on Dino Risi's Death

New York Times on Dino Risi's Death

Independent Obit of Producer Carlo Ponti

Guardian Obit of Producer Goffredo Lombardo

Monica Bellucci had only been modelling for a few years when Italian director Dino Risi saw her photo in a magazine and hired her for her first film Vita Coi Figli



Where to Study Italian Style Comedy

"Comedy - Italian Style Exeter Uni "

Cambridge Uni (only a couple here)


Videography

Some of these are in Italian only



Extract from Il Sorpasso: Dino Risi (1962)

The Opening Credits from Il Sorpasso. The car driven by Vittorio Gassman is a fine looking Lancia Aurelia B24


Lancia Aurelia




Bibliography 


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