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Eight Popular Comedies by Italian Director Dini Risi Exemplify His Sharp-Witted Humor in Exhibition
From 'Il sorpasso' (The Easy Life), 1962. Directed by Dino Risi. Pictured: Catherine Spaak, Jean-Louis Trintignant. ©Embassy Pictures. Courtesy: MoMA/Photofest.

NEW YORK, NY.- The Museum of Modern Art will screen eight films by Italian director Dino Risi (1916–2008), from December 10 through 17, 2009 in the exhibition "Dino Risi: Comedy with a Twist". Among the acclaimed films presented here are Risi’s masterpiece 'Il sorpasso' (The Easy Life) (1962); 'Profumo di donna' (Scent of a Woman) (1974), which was remade as the 1992 English-language film starring Al Pacino; and the first screening outside Italy of the documentary profile of Risi made for his 90th birthday, 'Una bella vacanza' (A Beautiful Vacation) (2006), directed by Fabrizio Corallo and Francesca Molteni, with segments from his most famous films, and commentaries from such personalities as Monica Bellucci, Umberto Eco, Giancarlo Giannini, Martin Scorsese, and Carlo Verdone. The retrospective is organized by Jytte Jensen, Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art, Davide Azzolini, Director, 41° Parallelo; and Antonio Monda, Professor, New York University.

Risi, who was able to maintain an active career into his 90s, attracted celebrated actors and collaborators to his very special brand of intelligent, sparkling humor. His films stand as a passionate testament to the enduring attraction that actors have to the true soul of comedy as Risi presented it. He possessed, beneath his apparently cynical and even cruel gaze, the traits of a true humanist. Throughout his prolific career, he made films that exhibited a profound morality while giving life to complex characters played by some of the most beloved and accomplished Italian stars of the time.

Considered in its entirety, his work forms an impassioned human comedy, and carries a melancholy mood that results from a deep empathy for his characters. His films frequently produce laughter tinged with bitterness from audiences, and viewers often feel affection and understanding for even the most controversial and questionable protagonists.

"Dino Risi: Comedy with a Twist" is produced by Associazione Napolicinema and 41° Parallelo (Napoli, Mediterraneo-New York, USA), with support from MiBAC Direzione Generale per il Cinema, Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia-Cineteca Nazionale, and Cinecittá Luce SpA.

The Museum of Modern Art | Dino Risi | Il sorpasso |

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