Risi, Dino

    (1916-2008)
   Screenwriter, director. The foremost director of that biting social satire that came to be known as commedia all'italiana, Risi (brother of poet and director Nelo Risi and father of Marco Risi) originally trained as a doctor and specialized in psychiatry but soon abandoned medicine in order to work in the cinema. He served his first apprenticeship as assistant to Mario Soldati on Piccolo mondo antico (Old-Fashioned World, 1941) and to Alberto Lattuada on Giacomo l'idealista (Giacomo the Idealist, 1943). After spending the final years of World War II in Switzerland, where he was able to study with veteran French director Jaques Feyder, Risi returned to Italy in the immediate postwar period to work as a film critic and documentary filmmaker. Then, after having also honed his screenwriting skills by collaborating on the scripts of Lattuada's Anna (1951) and Mario Camerini's Gli eroi della domenica (Sunday Heroes, 1952), he directed his first fictional feature, Vacanze col gangster (Vacation with a Gangster, 1952). There followed a number of other light comedies and an episode made for the compilation film L'Amore in citta (Love in the City, 1953), before he scored his first big commercial success with Pane, amore e .. . (Scandal in Sorrento, 1955), the third in the series of what had been the hugely popular Bread and Love films directed by Luigi Comencini. A year later he achieved even greater box office success with Poveri ma belli (Poor, but Handsome, 1956), a lively and lighthearted romp through the lives and complicated loves of a group of young people in Rome, which was soon followed by its similarly successful sequel, Belle ma povere (Pretty but Poor, 1957), both the highest-grossing films in Italy in their respective years. Then, beginning with Il vedovo (The Widower, 1959) and continuing through the next decade with Una vita difficile (A Difficult Life, 1961), Il sorpasso (The Easy Life, 1962), I mostri (The Monsters, 1963, but known in the United States as 15 from Rome), Il gaucho (The Gaucho, 1964), Il tigre (The Tiger and the Pussycat, 1967), and Il profeta (The Prophet, 1968)—always working with the same team of screenwriters and utilizing a regular group of comic actors (Alberto Sordi, Ugo Tognazzi, Nino Manfredi, and Vittorio Gassman)—Risi produced a series of mordant social comedies that bitingly satirized, frequently to the point of caricature, the changing mores of Italian society as it raced ruthlessly toward affluence on the back of the so-called economic miracle. Underscoring the seriousness of the moral intent beneath the caricature, Risi's comedies often included tragic deaths, as in Il vedovo where, in an attempt to eliminate his rich wife, the financially strapped businessman played by Alberto Sordi actually engineers his own death, or the abrupt and unexpected death of the young coprotagonist in the car accident at the close of Il sorpasso. However, in spite of their extraordinary popularity, Risi's caustic comedies of manners continued to be severely undervalued by critics, who judged them as mere excercises in commercial cinema, at least until the mid-1970s when Profumo di donna (Scent of a Woman, 1974) achieved international recognition, receiving two Oscar nominations in the United States and the Cesar award for Best Foreign Film in France, and at home two David di Donatello awards and the Nastro d'argento.
   By this time, Risi had begun to extend both the range and depth of his comic vision to include an exploration of issues such as the celibacy of priests in La moglie del prete (The Priest's Wife, 1970), judicial privileges and the law in In nome del popolo italiano (In the Name of the Italian People, 1971), and political terrorism in Mordi e fuggi (Dirty Weekend, 1973). Indeed, as the 1970s wore on, while not foregoing satirical comedy, Risi moved into more dramatic territory with an effective reworking of a familiar horror motif in Anima persa (Lost Soul, 1976) and an elegant playing out of the classic murder mystery formula in La stanza del vescovo (The Bishop's Bedroom, 1977). Nevertheless, after a valiant—and largely successful—attempt to reprise some of the fierce social satire of the original I mostri in I nuovi mostri (The New Monsters, 1977), directed collaboratively with Ettore Scola and Mario Monicelli, and another interesting engagement with the theme of political terrorism in Caro papa (Dear Papa, 1979), Risi's formerly prolific production fell away to a trickle during the 1980s and, with the possible exception of the moving portrait of old age and mental illness in Tolgo il disturbo (I'll Be Going Now, 1990), never quite regained its former brilliance.
   Nevertheless, in 1993 Risi was honored at the Cannes Film Festival with a retrospective of 15 of his most significant films, and at the Venice Festival in 2002 he was presented with the Golden Lion for lifetime achievement. In 2004, in recognition of his services to Italian culture, he was also made a Knight of the Great Cross.
   Historical Dictionary of Italian Cinema by Alberto Mira

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Risi, Dino —     (1916 2008)    Screenwriter, director. The foremost director of that biting social satire that came to be known as commedia all italiana, Risi (brother of poet and director Nelo Risi and father of Marco Risi) originally trained as a doctor… …   Historical dictionary of Italian cinema

  • Risi, Dino — ▪ 2009       Italian filmmaker born Dec. 23, 1916, Milan, Italy died June 7, 2008, Rome, Italy wrote and/or directed more than 80 films, documentaries, and television shows throughout his nearly six decade long (1946–2002) career. Risi helped to… …   Universalium

  • Risi, Dino — • РИ ЗИ (Risi) Дино    РИЗИ (Risi) Дино (р. 23.12.1916), итал. режиссёр. Был рецензентом, писал сценарии. Учился на театр. курсах Ж. Фейдера в Женеве. В кино с 1946 как документалист. Первый худож. ф. Каникулы с гангстером (1950). В ф. Знак… …   Кино: Энциклопедический словарь

  • Dino Risi — Born 23 December 1916(1916 12 23) Milan, Italy Died 7 June 2008(2008 06 07 …   Wikipedia

  • Risi — Risi,   Dino, italienischer Filmregisseur, * Mailand 23. 12. 1916; begann mit kurzen Dokumentarfilmen und drehte 1952 seinen ersten Spielfilm. Risi ist ein Vertreter der italienischen Gesellschaftskomödie.   Filme: Liebe, Brot und 1 000 Küsse… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Dino Risi — (* 23. Dezember 1916 in Mailand; † 7. Juni 2008 in Rom[1]) war ein italienischer Filmregisseur und Drehbuchautor. Risi gilt als einer der Altmeister der …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Dino Risi — Données clés Naissance 23 décembre 1916 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Dino Risi — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Dino Risi (Milán, 23 de diciembre de 1916 – Roma, 7 de junio de 2008) fue un director de cine italiano. Junto a Mario Monicelli, Luigi Comencini, Nanni Loy y Ettore Scola, fue uno de los llamados maestros de la… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Dino — may refer to: slang term for a dinosaur Dean Dino Martin (1917–1995), American singer and actor Dino (Δεινώ), one of the Graiai Japanese professional wrestler who uses the name Danshoku Dino Dino (The Flintstones), pet dinosaur of The Flintstones …   Wikipedia

  • Risi — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Armin Risi (* 1962), Schweizer Dichter, Veda Philosoph und Sachbuchautor Bruno Risi (* 1968), Schweizer Bahnradrennfahrer Dino Risi (1916–2008), italienischer Filmregisseur und Drehbuchautor Marco Risi (*… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.