By Sandro Forte (for Cinetalk.net)
Ettore Scola, one of the greatest Italian screenwriter and director, died this Tuesday at a Rome hospital. He was 84. As strong artistically as technically, Scola was one of the most complete of italian directors with great writing talent and skills for long shots as the one opening A Special Day (Una giornata particolare, 1977). The film, which starred Sofia Loren opposite Marcello Mastroianni, earned Oscar nominations for best foreign film and in the Best Actor category for Mastroianni.
Winner of the Director Award at the Cannes film festival in 1976 with the ferocious satire Ugly dirty and bad (Brutti, sporchi e cattivi), as well as the festival’s best screenplay award for La terrazza in 1980, Scola started as a screenwriter in the 50’s. One of his most renown screenplay, before turning to directing , was for Dino Risi’s Il Sorpasso (1962), starring Vittorio Gassman and Jean-Louis Trintignant, which he co-scripted with Risi and Ruggero Maccari. The film is considered a major classic of la commedia all’italiana.
Other popular titles in Scola’s biography inlude: We all love each other so much (C’eravamo tanto amati, 1974), a bitter sweet comedy set during postwar Italy that starred Nino Manfredi, Vittorio Gassman and Stefania Sandrelli, Le bal (1983) (which also earned him an oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film) and La famiglia (1987) with Gassman, Sandrelli and Fanny Ardant.
Scola’s last picture, How Strange to Be Named Federico: Scola Narrates Fellini, a tribute to Federico Fellini, screened at the Venice Film Festival in 2013.