(November 30, 2010) – Italian cinema has lost another of its legends with the death of acclaimed writer/director Mario Monicelli on November 29. Along with fellow directors such as Federico Fellini, Monicelli challenged traditional filmmaking in an award-winning career which spanned more than 60 years. Many of his best-known films were shot at Cinecittà Studios which joins the world in celebrating his illustrious career.
Monicelli’s Academy Award®-nominated Big Deal on Madonna Street (I Solti Ignoti) (1959 Best Foreign Language Film) was shot at Cinecittà Studios as was Forbidden (Proibito), Casanova ‘70 (for which Monicelli was nominated for an Oscar® for Best Original Screenplay), Lady Liberty (La Mortadella), Looking for Paradise (Facciamo Paradiso) and many others. His last film at Cinecittà was Dirty Linen (Panni Sporchi) in 1999.
Monicelli was well-loved by the many actors with whom he worked including Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni, Vittorio Gassman, Giancarlo Giannini and Claudia Cardinale who recalled “I started my career at Cinecittà, in a studio, against a white wall, I did it with great emotion, with bated breath, for the casting of I Soliti Ignoti. I remember the smile full of affection and attention of Mario Monicelli, clothing, flared 50s of the other girls who were with me for the casting. Even today, every time I work at Cinecittà, I sometimes recall my first dressing room, my studio, the make-up etc ...”
Mario Monicelli’s legacy at Cinecittà Studios and throughout the world will long be remembered.