Archivio Luce

27 October 2022

Benigni 70

Cinecittà Celebrates 70 Years of Roberto Benigni with 3 Surprising Footage from the Luce Archive and a Special Section on CinecittàNews

Celebrating 70 years of Roberto Benigni, Cinecittà extends its wishes and pays tribute to an actor, comedian, director, screenwriter, and stage poet among the most beloved of all time, by releasing three ‘gems’ hidden in the vast treasure trove of images from the Luce Cinecittà Archive. Emerging from the Canale Fund of the Archive—which preserves over 500 behind-the-scenes moments from Italian and foreign films between 1980 and 2010, along with about 2000 director interviews—are three rare videos that encapsulate the genius of an artist capable of transitioning from basement theaters to major stages, from experimental cinema to the Oscars, from television to the love of millions of viewers worldwide.

In an article on CinecittàNews, Cinecittà’s online daily, which traces his outstanding contribution as an actor with some of the most important film directors—Federico Fellini, Costa-Gavras, Marco Ferreri, Bernardo and Giuseppe Bertolucci, Blake Edwards, Matteo Garrone, Sergio Citti, Renzo Arbore, Woody Allen—an amusing video from 1986 is published. In this footage, a 34-year-old Benigni engages in a dialogue with the audience in Bologna regarding Jim Jarmusch’s ‘Down by Law,’ in which he acted (in English) alongside Tom Waits and John Lurie. Benigni launches into an irresistible debate with the audience, turning it into a small lecture of verbal and mimetic acrobatics, offering a demonstration of profound humanistic knowledge amidst irony and sarcasm.

Here is the link to the CinecittàNews article with the video: benigni 70

And the two unpublished interviews published by the Luce Archive’s website – on – feature a lively Benigni, seated next to the editing table where Nino Baragli is editing his ‘The Little Devil.’ Benigni tells the story of the film he’s editing on the moviola – he calls it the “screenplay table” – while improvising an absurd story to narrate the plot, his work with Walter Matthau, Nicoletta Braschi, and Stefania Sandrelli, “a famous Chinese actress named Miutenaka,” and then delving into broken English to recount the story and characters of the film.

The two interviews are published in their entirety for the first time, complete with backstage content, available here:

(Photo Pino Settanni – Archivio Storico Luce)

(Foto Pino Settanni - Archivio Storico Luce)

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