Monicelli Revisited, Part One: Empathy and Sin

  • MUBI
Anna Magnani in a publicity photo for The Passionate Thief.One thing cinephiles learn fast is just how easy it is, thanks to the limits and whims of distribution, for celebrated films to fade into the background outside their homeland. So one way to begin with Italian director Mario Monicelli is how overshadowed he is today on the world stage. You could say, only half-ironically, that he'd be more famous if only more people had heard of him, or if his global reputation kept up with the one he holds in Italy. Monicelli began filmmaking in the 1930s, was a prolific screenwriter in the 40s, took off as a director in the 50s, and continued making movies without much pause until his death in 2010. In his heyday as a hitmaker, he worked with stars like Anna Magnani, Marcello Mastroianni, Totò, Claudia Cardinale, and Monica Vitti. He once shared a Golden
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