Journalist-turned-filmmaker Fabrizio Corallo was hand chosen by the family of Vittorio Gassman to make his latest documentary Sono Gassman! Vittorio King of Comedy. The film, which Corallo just presented at Open Roads: New Italian Cinema, is a followup to his acclaimed documentary on one of Gassman's frequent collaborators, Dino Risi. The pair made 15 films together.
|With Fabrizio Corallo at the MAXXI Museo, Rome|
Sono Gassman! Vittorio King of Comedy highlights the comic abilities of this otherwise intellectual Shakespearean actor who made the transition from theater and neorealism to the commedia all'italiana genre. The documentary was made with the same love and affection for his friend and colleague as his 2016 film on Dino Risi. Both feature intimate interviews showing a keen sense of humor the two shared, which inadvertently made them both icons.
In Dino Risi Forever, Risi spoke of his memories working with the likes of Sophia Loren, Ettore Scola and Dino De Laurentiis. He spoke of his passion for writing screenplays, "Writing was something that I really enjoyed." And Scola spoke of his collaboration with Risi. "I started working with Dino and I did about ten films with him in all." Risi spoke in depth about his friendship and collaboration with Vittorio Gassman, describing his first impression of Gassman upon as "A cocky yet likable young man from Rome with a swaggering air."
The documentary was followed by a compelling Q&A in which some of Risi's most influential films were discussed by his colleagues Elsa Martinelli, Lino Capolicchio and Andrea Occhipinti. They talked about the making and legacies of Il sorpasso, Una vita difficile, I mostri and Profumo di donna (Scent of a Woman). These are films that will never be forgotten because they document the lifestyle and social trends of post-war Italy. Not only are they artistic masterpieces, they are lessons in history.
Many of Gassman's and Risi's films are available to stream online. Click here to stream Mario Monicelli's Big Deal on Madonna Street on Criterion Channel.
Stream Bitter Rice, Il Sorpasso and Rhapsody (with Elisabeth Taylor) on Amazon...