Zampa, Luigi

   Director, novelist, playwright, screen-writer. Coming from a poor background, Zampa began studying architecture and engineering at university but gravitated toward the theater and wrote a number of stage plays before enrolling at the newly formed Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in 1935. He then worked extensively as a screenwriter on a host of the so-called white telephone films before directing his first feature, a light theatrical comedy titled L'attore scomparso (The Actor Who Disappeared, 1941). This was followed by the historical costume drama Fra'Diavolo (The Adventures of Fra Diavolo, 1942) and Un americano in vacanza (A Yank in Rome, 1945), a love story set in the context of the American liberation of Italy.
   In the immediate postwar period Zampa achieved a great deal of popularity with a number of films that were regarded, especially out-side Italy, as part of the neorealist movement, in particular Vivere in pace (To Live in Peace, 1946), which was hugely successful both in Italy, where it won a Nastro d'argento for best story, and abroad, where it received, among others, the New York Film Critics award for Best Foreign Film. A year later L'onorevole Angelina (Angelina, MP, 1947), the story of a working-class woman who almost becomes a politician, similarly successful at the box office, was nominated for the Golden Lion at the Venice Festival and earned its star, Anna Magnani, both the Volpi Cup and a Nastro d'argento for her feisty interpretation. There followed a fruitful collaboration between Zampa and Sicilian novelist Vitaliano Brancati, with Brancati adapting his own novels for Zampa's Anni difficili (Difficult Years, 1948), Anni facili (Easy Years, 1953), and L'arte di arrangiarsi (The Art of Getting Along, 1954), biting satirical comedies that foregrounded the Italian knack for political and social compromise. During this time Zampa also made what many regard as his most accomplished film, Processo alla citta (The City Stands Trial, 1952), a dramatic revisiting of the Cuocolo murders and the struggle for control of Naples by the camorra in the early 1900s.
   Following Brancati's untimely death, Zampa filmed an adaptation of Alberto Maravia's novel La romana (Woman of Rome, 1954), with the screenplay written by Moravia himself, before going on to make a handful of only moderately successful films, which included Il magistrato (The Magistrate, 1959), Il vigile (The Traffic Policeman, 1960), and Anni ruggenti (Roaring Years, 1963). He achieved huge box office success again with Il medico della mutua (Be Sick! It's Free, 1968), a satirical take on the Italian health-care system starring Alberto Sordi, who by this stage had become a regular in Zampa's films, and then, again with Sordi playing the lead, Bello, onesto, emigrato Australia sposerebbe compaesana illibata (A Girl in Australia, 1971).
   Zampa continued to address contemporary social problems in a comic vein in Contestazione generate (Let's Have a Riot, 1970), a satire on the student uprisings at the time that included stock footage of the student demonstrations. This was followed by Bisturi, la mafia bianca (Hospitals: The White Mafia, 1973), a caustic critique of corrupt doctors in the Italian medical system, and Gente di rispetto (The Flower in His Mouth, 1975), which took aim at the Mafia itself. After the psychological thriller Il mostro (The Monster, 1977) and Letti selvaggi (Tigers in Lipstick, 1979), an erotic escapade in eight episodes, Zampa retired from the cinema. In retirement he published several novels, including Il primo giro della manovella (The First Take, 1980) and Pianeta nudo (Naked Planet, 1987).
   Historical Dictionary of Italian Cinema by Alberto Mira

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Zampa, Luigi — (1905 1991)    Director, novelist, playwright, screen writer. Coming from a poor background, Zampa began studying architecture and engineering at university but gravitated toward the theater and wrote a number of stage plays before enrolling at… …   Historical dictionary of Italian cinema

  • Zampa, Luigi — • ДЗА МПА (Zampa) Луиджи (р. 2.1.1905)    итал. режиссёр. Учился в Эксперим. киноцентре в Риме. В кино с 1938, пом. режиссёра. Первый ф. Фра Дьяволо (по опере Д. Ф. Э. Обера, 1941). Д. один из создателей жанра неореалистич. сатирич. комедии. Снял …   Кино: Энциклопедический словарь

  • Luigi Zampa — Infobox actor bgcolour = silver name = Luigi Zampa imagesize = caption = birthdate = birth date|1905|1|2|mf=y location = Rome, Italy height = deathdate = death date and age|1991|8|16|1905|1|2|mf=y deathplace = birthname = yearsactive = 1933 1979… …   Wikipedia

  • Luigi Zampa — Données clés Naissance 2 janvier 1905 Rome, Latium Italie Nationalité Italienne Décès …   Wikipédia en Français

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