Giancarlo Giannini was honored with a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame on March 6. He joined other famous Italians from the world of cinema: Rodolfo Valentino, Anna Magnani, Sophia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida, Bernardo Bertolucci and Lina Wertmüller.
The 80-year-old actor received a Lifetime Achievement Award at Filming Italy on March 3. This event celebrating Italian cinema, with several recent films projected at Harmony Gold on March 1 and March 3, included a retrospective of Giannini’s work on the online platform Mymovies.it.
I was delighted to see his latest performance in Gianni Schicchi (2022) directed by Damiano Michieletto from the 1917 opera by Giacomo Puccini. I had seen that comic opera in 2008 at Los Angeles’ Music Center in a production directed by Woody Allen with Placido Domingo in the title role. In this movie version Giannini recites an introductory monologue as the wealthy dead man, whose relatives fight over the inheritance he had left to a monastery in his will. See him in the trailer. Watch here the enchanting soprano aria “O mio babbino caro.”
I was also able to see Il male oscuro (1990), directed by Mario Monicelli from the 1964 novel by Giuseppe Berto, where Giannini plays a screenwriter, Emmanuelle Seigner his young wife, Stefania Sandrelli his former lover, Vittorio Caprioli his psychoanalyst. You may see the entire movie on YouTube, watch a scene here.
I loved a young Giannini in the 1970 comedy Dramma della gelosia (Tutti i particolari in cronaca) directed by Ettore Scola. He plays a pizzaiolo who falls in love with a florist (Monica Vitti), lover of a bricklayer (Marcello Mastroianni). You may watch the full movie on YouTube, see the trailer here.
I did not have time to view other films, since they were only available for three days, but I would have wanted to see Giannini in two movies written and directed by Lina Wertmüller, Non stuzzicare la zanzara (1967) with Rita Pavone, and Fatto di sangue fra due uomini per causa di una vedova. Si sospettano moventi politici (1978) with Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni. Also included in the online marathon were Mimì metallurgico ferito nell’onore (1972) and Pasqualino Settebellezze (1974).
Travolti da un insolito destino nell’azzurro mare d’agosto (1974) was projected at Istituto di Cultura on March 2, followed by a live conversation with Giannini conducted by Hollywood Foreign Press journalist Luca Celada.
That interview is not available online, but you may watch this masterclass, subtitled in English, with question by Jacopo Mosca, recorded in Rome and introduced by Tiziana Rocca, organizer of Filming Italy. Giannini dedicated the star to “a wonderful director, Lina Wertmuller, who created me.”
For more on Giannini, read my 2019 article here.
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