The Divine Comic: The Cinema of Roberto Benigni

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9780810840003: The Divine Comic: The Cinema of Roberto Benigni

Roberto Benigni, the Italian comedian, actor, director, and writer, gained international fame when his film La vita è bella/ Life Is Beautiful (1997) won three Oscars in 1999, including Best Foreign Film and Best Actor. Benigni has been a steady presence in Italian popular culture since the mid-1970s. This book introduces Benigni's performances in film, stage, and television, little known outside of Italy, with an emphasis on the cultural and intellectual backdrops that characterize his films, including his origins among the Tuscan rhyming poets and his experiences in the Roman avant-garde theater. Benigni's statements about his experiences and apprenticeships with cinema notables like Cesare Zavattini and Federico Fellini reveal a wealth of fresh information and confirm the sense that there is more to this madcap buffoon than meets the eye.

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About the Author:

Carlo Celli is Assistant Professor of Italian and Film Studies at Bowling Green State University. He has published articles in Cinema Journal, Italica, Journal of Popular Film and Television, and Critical Inquiry, among others.

Review:

This volume features...an extensive bibliography, a complete filmography and list of Benigni's theatrical work which will render it an indispensable tool for any student or scholar of Benigni in particular or of contemporary Italian cinema in general. Its general readability and engaging style will fare well with proponents of 'high' and 'low' culture alike. (Quaderni d’italianistica)

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