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Italian director Dino Risi is dead at 91

Italian director Dino Risi is dead at 91

Director Dino Risi, an Oscar-nominated master of the Italian comedy who combined a light touch with a merciless look at the flaws of his compatriots, died Saturday at age 91, officials said.
Risi died in his Rome apartment earlier Saturday, said the Aldrovandi Palace apartment residence where he lived.
Risi was acclaimed as a father of the Italian comedy for his ability to mix the funny with the tragic.
His comedies were a ferocious satire of habits and flaws of Italians, often featuring unflattering characters: the superficial charlatan, the cheating husband, the immoral father. But the chilling, sometimes tragic, endings of some of his movies showed depth and moral rigor behind the laughs.
"I feel a great pain for his death. His movies were beautiful and funny," said actress Sophia Loren.
"With Dino Risi's death, Italy loses a noble and vital father of its cinema and its culture," Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno said in a statement.
During a career that spanned decades, he worked with some of the finest Italian actors, including Loren, Vittorio Gassman and Alberto Sordi.
His hits include "Poveri ma belli" ("Poor But Beautiful") in 1957, and "Il Sorpasso" ("The Easy Life") in 1962, starring Gassman and Jean-Louis Trintignant as an improbable pair traveling toward a tragic end during an Italian summer.
In 1974, Risi directed "Profumo di Donna," ("Scent of a Woman") which received Oscar nominations for best foreign language movie and best adapted screenplay. A U.S. remake of the movie starring Al Pacino won Oscars in 1992.
Born in Milan into a middle-class family, Risi started as a film critic and made documentaries and short movies before moving to feature films. He gained success in the 1950s with "Pane, Amore e..." (known as "Scandal in Sorrento") starring Vittorio de Sica and Loren.
His movies in that period and for the next decade captured the transformation of Italian society during and after the economic boom that followed World War II.
In "La Marcia su Roma" ("March on Rome") of 1963, he looked back at the rise of Fascism thorough the eyes of two down-and-out men. He looked at the prejudices and dreams on the 1960s with a episodic movie called "I Mostri" (known as "Opiate 67").
He scored commercial success and critical acclaim in 1971 with "Nel Nome del Popolo Italiano" ("In the Name of the Italian People") _ the story of a seemingly irreproachable Italian magistrate investigating an industrialist of dubious morality for murder. The ending, as often with Risi, turned the tables.
Risi was awarded a Golden Lion for lifetime achievement at the Venice Film Festival in 2002, where he received a rousing ovation after a special screening of "The Easy Life."
"This gave me a feeling I haven't felt for years," he said at the time. "This moved me, made me emotional."
In the latter part of his career he worked mainly for TV.
Survivors include Risi's two children, Claudio and Marco, the latter also a successful director. Information on funeral arrangements was not immediately available.


Updated : 2020-12-05 17:14 GMT+08:00