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Italian cinema has been always labeled as intellectual and artistic, deep in its content and a benchmark for many filmmakers. Masters like De Sica and Rossellini created the neorealism that became worshipped by Hollywood and studied in every single film school in the world. Despite this claim to fame, the genre that has captured Italian moviegoers for decades, and lined the pockets of producers, is comedy. Italian comedies are a bit different from your usual Hollywood comedic fare, yet they nonetheless continue to be both popular and lucrative within Italy.
Alberto Sordi: The National Albertone
"Maccarone, m'hai provocato e io ti distruggo adesso, maccarone! Io me te magno, ahmm!". (Said in a Roman accent: "Pasta, you provoked me and I’ll destroy you now,pasta! I'm going to eat you, ahmm!")
Talk to an Italian about the renowned commedia sexy all'italiana, the Italian sexy slapstick style comedy, and you will likely find out the first name coming to their mind is Lino Banfi. Banfi, who is closely associated with Edwige Fenech, has successfully acted in many movies of this celebrated genre.
Totò: The Prince of Laughter
Antonio De Curtis, or Totò as he is better known, is not well known outside of Italy, but in his home country is one of the most famous comedians in the history of television and film. Not surprisingly, Italians refer to Totò as the Prince of Laughter. Born in Naples in February 1898, Totò would become a celebrated actor, writer, singer and songwriter, for a long time neglected by critics, some of whom are only now reevaluating what was once largely considered meaningless humor.
Fantozzi: The Comic Symbol of the Italian Everyman
If you go to Italy, you will sometimes hear people saying "Fare una fantozzata" or "Sei un Fantozzi". The term fantozzata is a neologism, included in many dictionaries, that is used by Italians to describe particular types of behavior inspired by Fantozzi. And who, exactly, is Fantozzi? He is the literary and comedic character created and played by Italian actor Paolo Villaggio.
Fantozzi has marked the history of Italian film and comedy so deeply that his name and the adjectives deriving from it are known to define a particular type of behavior, that of a person who is an unlucky nerd. Someone who is a Fantozzi also tends to do silly things and always stands in the background without being noticed.
Those who fell in love with Edwige Fenech in the 70s will remember her sex appeal, her femininity and the actress' seductive French accent. The star of the erotic comedies that were once all the rage in Italy had both teenage boys and grown men falling head over heels from her, although some had to do it while hiding from their wives. The comedies that Fenech starred in had basic plots that were built around a bedroom and featured several topless or full frontal nudity scenes, often in showers. Light sex was also shown and many of the storylines involved affairs. The movies were rated for adults only, but teenagers often snuck into the theatres or waited to watch the films on late night TV, often to get a glimpse of the irresistible Edwige Fenech.
"Comm'aggio accuminciato? Ecco... io ero 'nu guaglione... ero andato a vedere un grande film. Si trattava di Roma città aperta, chillo grande lavoro di Rossellini. Me n'ero uscito da o'cinema con tutte quelle immagini dint'a capa e tutte quante le emozioni dentro. Mi sono fermato 'nu mumento e m'aggio ditto... "Massimo, da grande tu devi fà 'o geometra".
The land of Hollywood is sprinkled with some of the most prolific actors like Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Sophia Loren, and plenty of others who share one underlying common thread: they are Italian or have Italian heritage. Italian men and women are well known for their adventurous, 'never say die' spirit and it is this zeal which often prompts them to try their luck at acting.
Beauty Of Italian Actresses - Classic Examples
When iconic Italian actress and showgirl Sandra Mondaini died on September 21, 2010, at age 79, the majority of Italians were saddened, but not many were surprised. Seeing Mondaini at the funeral of husband Raimondo Vianello, dead at 87 just five months earlier, it was clear how much of a toll the loss of her beloved had taken on the actress. The love and bond between the two proved too strong and the actress soon followed the husband she had met in 1958 and married in 1962.
Italy's Sexiest Export
Now, I'm not the kind of woman who drools over celebrities. Not usually. Not unless you count the likes of Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Vincent Perez...Okay! I guess I do drool over sexy male celebrities. I may be married; but, my eyes are in perfect working order.
RTL 102.5, a popular radio station, wanted to prove that Italy's male stars "are still able to live up to their traditional reputation for being smooth-talking, sexy and successful with women." (ANSA, 02-Feb-06 17:30 NNN).