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The Divine Comic: The Cinema of Roberto Benigni (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series) [Kindle Edition]

Carlo Celli

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Book Description

Roberto Benigni, the Italian comedian, actor, director, and writer, gained international fame when his film La vita è bella/ Life Is Beautiful (1997) won three Oscars in 1999, including Best Foreign Film and Best Actor. Benigni has been a steady presence in Italian popular culture since the mid-1970s. This book introduces Benigni's performances in film, stage, and television, little known outside of Italy, with an emphasis on the cultural and intellectual backdrops that characterize his films, including his origins among the Tuscan rhyming poets and his experiences in the Roman avant-garde theater. Benigni's statements about his experiences and apprenticeships with cinema notables like Cesare Zavattini and Federico Fellini reveal a wealth of fresh information and confirm the sense that there is more to this madcap buffoon than meets the eye.

Editorial Reviews


This volume extensive bibliography, a complete filmography and list of Benigni's theatrical work which will render it an indispensable tool for any student or scholar of Benigni in particular or of contemporary Italian cinema in general. Its general readability and engaging style will fare well with proponents of 'high' and 'low' culture alike. (Quaderni D'italianistica)

About the Author

Carlo Celli is Assistant Professor of Italian and Film Studies at Bowling Green State University. He has published articles in Cinema Journal, Italica, Journal of Popular Film and Television, and Critical Inquiry, among others.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1066 KB
  • Print Length: 190 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0810840006
  • Publisher: Scarecrow Press (July 17, 2001)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,992,361 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Carlo Celli, Ph.D. UCLA, B.A. University of Virginia also studied at the universities of Florence and Bologna. He is the author of books on the historical, economic and social factors influencing culture. Works include:

The Essence of Machiavelli: The Prince (Axios Press 2011)

National Identity in Global Cinema: How Movies Explain the World (Palgrave MacMillan 2011)

Il carnevale di Machiavelli (Leo S. Olschki 2009)
- info at

A New Guide to Italian Cinema (Palgrave MacMillan 2007)

From Resistance to Terrorism: The Cinema of Gillo Pontecorvo (Scarecrow Press 2005)

The Divine Comic: The Cinema of Roberto Benigni (Scarecrow Press 2001).

He has published on literature, film and culture in journals including Annali d'italianistica, Critical Inquiry, Film Quarterly, Italica, Italian Culture, Italian Quarterly, Journal of Popular Film and Television, Renaissance Quarterly, Romance Quarterly and has contributed/consulted for periodicals including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.


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