Cerami, Vincenzo

(1940-)
   Novelist, poet, playwright, actor, and screenwriter. Cerami always expressed his gratitude at having been introduced to literature in high school by Pier Paolo Pasolini. He nevertheless enrolled in physics at the University of Rome but soon abandoned it in order to pursue writing. After working as assistant director on Pasolini's Comizi d'amore (Love Meetings, 1965) and Uccellacci e uccellini (Hawks and Sparrows, 1966), he collaborated on the scripts of half a dozen spaghetti Westerns before writing the screenplay for Mario Monicelli's Un borghese piccolo piccolo (An Average Little Man, 1977), adapted from his own highly acclaimed novel of the same name.
   He subsequently cowrote the screenplays for many important films by major directors, including Marco Bellocchio's Salto nel vuoto (Leap into the Void, 1980) and Gli occhi, la bocca (The Eyes, the Mouth, 1982), Giuseppe Bertolucci's Segreti segreti (Secrets Secrets, 1985) and I cammelli (The Camels, 1988), and three of Gianni Amelio's early films, Colpire al cuore (Blow to the Heart, 1982), I ragazzi di via Panisperna (The Kids on Panisperna Road, 1989), and Porte aperte (Open Doors, 1990), which received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film. Cerami's closest working relationship to date, however, has been with Roberto Benigni, with whom he has cowritten Il piccolo diavolo (The Little Devil, 1988), Johnny Stecchino (Johnny Toothpick, 1991), Il mostro (The Monster, 1994), La vita e bella (Life Is Beautiful, 1997)—which earned both of them an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay—and, more recently, Pinocchio (2002) and La tigre e la neve (The Tiger and the Snow, 2005).
   As well as writing and sometimes acting in his own plays, Cerami has also long collaborated with musician-composer Nicola Piovani in the creation and performance of musical drama and operettas.
   Historical Dictionary of Italian Cinema by Alberto Mira

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

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