Tributes are being paid to Italian film great Mario Monicelli, who killed himself after jumping from a hospital window in Rome.
The filmmaker, 95, who was suffering from terminal prostate cancer, was nominated for four Oscars and directed such post-war comedy classics as ‘Big Deal on Madonna Street’ and ‘My Friends’. He also directed serious films such as ‘The Great War’.
Admitted to hospital a few days ago, Monicelli was regarded as one of the masters of ‘Commedia all’Italiana’ or Italian comedy style.
Speaking to euronews two years ago, he explained what he thought the origins of this genre were.
‘‘Italian comedy is not a product of the 1950’s, or of our cinema, or an individual,” he said. “Italian comedy has always existed in Italy. It is how we show our truth, society, desires, desperation, by mixing comedy and the farce of misery, death and illness. That, more than anything, is what makes Italian comedy style.”’
Born in 1915 in Tuscany, Monicelli directed around 70 movies, making his first short film at the age of 19.