Roberto Benigni, “The little Devil”, acting The Divine Comedy: an Oscar performance!

Roberto BenigniThe big screen lovers look forward to the month of February and its annual dates: the Berlin International Film Festival and the well-known Hollywood Oscar Night The Academy Awards, on which you can learn more visiting the oscar web site.
We have thus decided to dedicate this article to one of the Italian movie director and actor who mostly contributed to the international acclaim of the Italian cinema industry and the “Tuscan dialect”: Roberto Benigni.
Ten years have gone by since Sofia Loren eagerly called out his name while giving him one of the three statuettes of the Academy Awards for his film “Life is Beautiful” through which he gained international acclaim, letting many people know and appreciate his “ebullient talent”.
Playing a Jewish Italian, Guido, Benigni is the unforgettable protagonist of the love story with Dora (Nicoletta Braschi), his princess in the fiction and in real life as well, moving and making millions of spectators smile at the same time.
It can really be said that the little devil, who put the priest’s patience – Walter Matthau – to the hard test, has come a long way getting to declaim on TV “L’ultimo del Paradiso” (The last Paradise). This transmission is actually related to theatre travelling performances which took place in some of the most beautiful and attractive Italian squares, where Benigni explained to his public “The Divine Comedy”, a cornerstone of the Italian Literature, often too difficult to be understood at school but now easier thanks to his smart and particular teaching and his capability to demonstrate how this 13th century piece by the great Dante Alighieri can bring to the fore our same current problems.
Both Benigni and Dante have in common the same outspoken, straightforward “Tuscan style and language” in addressing to whoever, even making fun of powerful people who can do nothing else but laugh of his sharp-irony but never raging or offensive jokes.
The frequent choice of setting several scenes of many movies in Tuscany reveals the deep, strong relation between Benigni and his region: from Castelfalfi and Collodi as settings for some outside shootings of Pinocchio, to those of “Life is Beautiful” set in Arezzo old town centre (should you want to visit Arezzo, have a look at the web site
If you are planning to visit this area, you will certainly identify the squares and streets where some scenes have been shot thanks to the signs supposed to give tourists this kind of information, as that of photography.
You will need to pay attention when travelling around the little streets of Tuscan villages and the country tracks, since you could even loose yourself by being grabbed by the beauty of art and landscapes, as it happened to Benigni and Troisi when playing Nothing left to do but cry, where both of them lose their way ending up back in time and trying to explain Leonardo da Vinci how some modern inventions work, as light bulb and train (those who have not yet seen the movie can not miss it again!)
Those and many other scenes of this film could make us feel like changing its name into “Nothing left to do but laugh” and we could even assure that this Tuscan wit still has plenty of jokes and surprises in store for us, since he stated that “the last thing he will do is dying!”
That said, there is nothing left for us to do but wish you a pleasant next Oscar Night, we like picturing most of us watching this “glamour” event on tv at the same time, feeling the same strong emotions that cinema with its stories often gives us. We all will be watching the show with the same “childish” expectation, even if this time there will not be our “Tuscan wit” to give us emotions and make us feel proud of being Tuscan, as it actually happened ten years ago:

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