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Addio, Great Master of Italian Cinema

Roberta Cutillo (January 21, 2016)
Italian film director Ettore Scola - the man who captured decades of Italian society on film - died on Tuesday, January 19th at age 84 after a long and incredibly successful career, during which he earned a Golden Globe and five Oscar nominations. Throughout the last 40 years, his contribution to Italian and international cinema has been such that various prominent figures from actress Sophia Lauren to Prime Minister Matteo Renzi have expressed their sorrow at the loss of such an important and talented artist and many were present at the public ceremony held today, January 21st, at the Casa del Cinema in Rome to say their final goodbyes.

On Tuesday, January 19th, director Ettore Scola passed away surrounded by his wife Gigliola and his daughters Paola and Silvia at the Policlinco Hospital in Rome. He was signed in last Sunday and had been in a coma since then.

The news of his death called many people, including celebrities like Sophia Lauren, Daniele Luchetti, Giancarlo Giannini, and Paolo Sorrentino, who worked with him and considered him a close friend, to the ceremony held today at the Casa del Cinema in his honor.

Scola has been one of the most important figures of Italian cinema throughout the last forty years. He directed over 40 films such as ‘A Special Day’ (Una Giornata Particolare), which earned him a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film in 1977.

His other masterpieces include ‘We All Loved Each Other So Much’ (C’eravamo tanto amati) starring Nino Manfredi, Vittorio Gassman and Stefania Sandrelli, ‘That Night in Varennes’ (1982), and ‘The Dinner’ (La Cena) from 1998.    

Estimed both at home and abroad, Scola received five Academy Award nominations throughout his carreer and many are the people who praised him and his work. 

Amongst them are not only members of the film industry, but also other figures including politicians like Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who both recognized the important role Ettore Scola played in representing Italian society at different stages.

His films perfectly capture the Italian social landscape of the second half of the 20th century with the emotions tied to it and all
its complexities. 

As Mattarella said Scola “narrated our contemporary history with extraordinary acumen and sensitivity”. His body of work can in fact be seen as a historical record of contemporary Italy, while at the same time being made up of engaging and deeply human films.

And not only did his films provide a new way for Italians to look at and understand themselves and their history, but the international attention they received, allowed for the country to be better shown and understood abroad. It’s therefore no surprised if so many different people gathered - both physically or figuratively - to mourn his death and especially to celebrate his achievements.

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