Monicelli, Mario

Monicelli, Mario
   Screenwriter and director. One of Italy's most prolific and consistently popular directors, Monicelli has worked in many genres but has come to be regarded above all as a master practitioner of the commedia all'italiana.
   Interested in cinema from a very young age, Monicelli began making 16 mm films while still a student in Milan. I ragazzi di via Paal (The Boys of Via Paal, 1935), a full-length feature shot in 16 mm and financed by his cousin, Alberto Mondadori, won first prize at the Venice Festival in 1935, allowing Monicelli to begin serving an apprenticeship at the Tirrenia film studios, where he acted as assistant to established filmmakers such as Gustav Machaty, Mario Camerini, Giacomo Gentilomo, and Augusto Genina. By the early 1940s he had also begun screenwriting, an activity he continued in the immediate postwar period, working on the scripts for a host of films that included Gennaro Righelli's Il corriere del re (The King's Courier, 1947), Mario Camerini's La figlia del capitano (The Captain's Daughter, 1947), and Raffaele Matarazzoi's unsuccessful attempt to revive the Za-la-Mort character, Lafumeria dell'oppio (The Opium Den, 1947). He also collaborated on the screenplay of Giuseppe De Santis's hugely successful Riso amaro (Bitter Rice, 1949) and on Pietro Germi's Gioventu perduta (1947) and In nome della legge (In the Name of the Law, 1948). While working on a number of films with Riccardo Freda, Monicelli met fellow scriptwriter and future director Steno (Stefano Vanzina), with whom he began writing and codirecting a series of films that included some of the very popular social farces featuring Toto, among them Guardie e ladri (Cops and Robbers, 1951), which received the prize at Cannes for scriptwriting. Then with Toto e Carolina (Toto and Carolina, made in 1953 but not released till 1955 due to problems with censor-ship) Monicelli began his long-term collaboration with the screen-writers Age e Scarpelli and Rodolfo Sonego, with whom he would produce many of the key films of the commedia all'italiana.
   National box office success and international renown came with I soliti ignoti (Big Deal on Madonna Street, 1958), a funny heist-gone-wrong movie that masterfully brought to the fore the considerable comic talents of both a young Marcello Mastroianni and Vittorio Gassman. The film was a huge hit and marked the birth of what from then on became known as "comedy Italian style." Monicelli repeated his enormous success with La grande guerra (The Great War, 1959), a powerful tragicomic antiwar film that paired Gassman with Alberto Sordi and that came to share the Golden Lion at Venice that year with Roberto Rossellini's Il Generale della Rovere (General della Rovere, 1959). In 1963 I compagni (The Organizer, 1963), a film recounting the birth of the Socialist movement in Turin in the 1890s, found a lukewarm response in Italy but was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Screenplay.
   There followed a host of clever bittersweet comedies including the picaresque misadventures of L'armata Brancaleone (For Love and Gold, 1966), and Brancaleone alle crociate (Brancaleone at the Crusades, 1970). The political satire Vogliamo i colonnelli (We Want the Colonels, 1973) was followed by the extremely popular Amici miei (My Friends, 1975) and Caro Michele (Dear Michael, 1976), a successful adaptation of a popular novel by Natalia Ginzburg that was awarded the Silver Bear at Berlin. However, Monicelli's most significant and provocative film during this period was undoubtedly Un borghese piccolo piccolo (An Average Little Man, 1977). Adapted from a novel by Vincenzo Cerami and starring Alberto Sordi in what was perhaps one of the most powerful roles of his crowded career, the film recounts the story of a meek and mild public servant who turns into something of a monster as he seeks to exact revenge for the accidental shooting of his teenage son during a botched bank robbery. Although misunderstood by some as an apology for vigilante violence, the film earned Monicelli a David di Donatello for his direction.
   In the 1980s, again with Sordi, Monicelli made Il marchese del Grillo (Marquis Del Grillo, 1981), which won the Silver Bear at Berlin, but his attempt to repeat the extraordinary popularity of the earlier Amici miei with the sequel, Amici miei atto II (My Friends,Act II, 1982), was less successful. Le due vite di Mattia Pascal (The Two Lives of Mattia Pascal, 1985), an adaptation of Pirandello's novel made in separate versions for television and the big screen, also proved to be something of a flop, but in the same year Speriamo che sia femmina (Let's Hope It's a Girl, 1985) both was popular at the box office and won seven David di Donatello awards and three Nastri d'argento. In recognition of his extraordinary contribution to Italian cinema, in 1991 he was awarded a Golden Lion at Venice for career achievement. In the following years he has continued to turn out caustic social satires like Parenti serpenti (Dearest Relatives, Poisonous Relations, 1992) and Panni sporchi (Dirty Linen, 1999) and in 2000 returned to the small screen with the popular miniseries Come quando fuori piove (Hens, Ducks, Chicken and Swine, 2000). More recently he has collaborated with a number of other committed film-makers on the social documentary Un altro mondo e possibile (Another World Is Possible, 2001), before braving the desert sands to film Le rose del deserto (Roses of the Desert), a bittersweet satire about Italy's invasion of Libya during World War II.

Historical dictionary of Italian cinema. . 2010.

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  • Monicelli, Mario — (1915 )    Screenwriter and director. One of Italy s most prolific and consistently popular directors, Monicelli has worked in many genres but has come to be regarded above all as a master practitioner of the commedia all italiana.    Interested… …   Guide to cinema

  • Monicelli, Mario — • МОНИЧЕ ЛЛИ (Monicelli) Марио (р. 15.5.1915)    итал. режиссёр, сценарист. Учился в Рим. ун те. В кино с 1935 (на Мкф в Венеции был представлен его любительский 16 мм ф. Мальчишки с улицы Пал ). Был помощником чеш. реж. Г. Махаты (ф. Балерины ,… …   Кино: Энциклопедический словарь

  • Mario Monicelli — Born 16 May 1915(1915 05 16) Rome, Latium, Italy Died 29 November 2010(2 …   Wikipedia

  • Monicelli — Mario Monicelli Mario Monicelli (* 15. Mai 1915 in Viareggio, Italien) ist ein italienischer Drehbuchautor und Filmregisseur. Sein Vater Tommaso Monicelli war ein Theaterkritiker. Monicelli begann als Drehbuchautor und verfasste auch die Bücher… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Monicelli — Mario Monicelli Mario Monicelli Naissance 15 mai 1915 (94 ans) Viareggio …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Mario Garbuglia — est un chef décorateur italien, né le 27 mai 1927 à Civitanova Marche (Marches), mort le 31 mars 2010 à Rome. Sommaire 1 Biographie 2 Filmographie 3 Récompenses …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Mario Monicelli — Nacimiento 16 de mayo de 1915 Roma Fallecimiento 29 de noviembre de 2010 (95 años) Roma …   Wikipedia Español

  • Mario Monicelli — (Februar 2010) Mario Monicelli (Dezember 20 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Monicelli — puede hacer referencia a: Giorgio Monicelli; traductor y editor italiano. Mario Monicelli, director de cine italiano. Rinaldo Monicelli, ingeniero hidráulico italiano. Tomaso Monicelli, periodista italiano. Esta página de desambiguación cataloga… …   Wikipedia Español

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