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The great films of Monica Vitti, the queen of Italian cinema who died at 90


DISAPPEARANCE – The Italian Minister of Culture, Dario Franceschini, has just announced the death of the great actress. The richness of her register made her the incarnation of the great transalpine cinema of the 1960s and 1970s. The adventure at The girl with the gun Passing by drama of jealousy.

In the anthologies of the great Italian cinema of the 1960s and 1970s, she will remain the one whose talent reconciled the elitist cinema of Antonioni with the social comedies of Risi, Monicelli, Scola and others. The filmography of Monica Vitti, who has just left us at the age of 90, reflects the richness of the register of an actress who knew how not to lock herself into one genre.

After years of training in the theater where she practiced playing authors as different as Feydeau or Brecht, Monica Vitti found her Michelangelo. With Antonioni, who understands before anyone else that this woman who did not like her beauty can become the muse he needs to write his poems of incommunicability in black and white. She then becomes the symbol of the intellectual actress. From their professional and sentimental fusion is born The adventure (1960), The night (1961) and The Eclipse (1961) where she shares top billing with Alain Delon. A fourth film, The Red Desert, will complete this trilogy. The culmination of an exceptional work. The Roman actress will camp there with striking accuracy a woman neurotic by the modern world.

In 1968, the big shift in Monica Vitti’s career began. The Antonioni era, which she will never deny, is now behind her. Humor, the commedia dell’arte become an essential priority in his eyes. She does not hesitate to proclaim it: “I prefer to laugh and like all women, I have two faces.”

After playing a kind of 007 in a miniskirt in Modesty Blaise by Joseph Losey, she turns a little jewel of tangy humor, The Girl with the Gununder the direction of Mario Monicelli.
For the actress, the success of this film is a revelation. Monica Vitti will work, after Monicelli, with the biggest names in Italian comedy. We can quote: Ettore Scola (Drama of Jealousy), Dino Risi (Me, the woman), Alberto Sordi (Star dust)…

In the midst of this beautiful litany dedicated to laughter, the actress did not forget intellectual cinema, since in 1974 she was part of the impressive cast of ghost of freedom by Luis Bunuel.

In 1995, she married director and cinematographer Roberto Russo, after living together for 20 years. It was he who, in 2011, announced that Monica Vitti had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for fifteen years. In 2018, he confirmed that she still lives in Rome with the assistance of a caregiver.

In a press release, the Italian Minister of Culture Dario Franceschini expressed his sadness to learn of the death of this great actress. “Farewell to Monica Vitti, farewell to the queen of Italian cinema. Today is a really sad day, a great artist and a great Italian disappears»

In tribute to the talent of Monica Vitti, Le Figaro presents an anthology of the memorable roles of an actress who liked to say: “What I love best in life? The life!“. Of The adventure at Camera d’Albergo Passing by The girl with the gun and Modesty Blaisethe most beautiful films of the marvelous “ragazza» Roman.
The adventure by Michelangelo Antonioni, in 1960, with Gabriele Ferzetti, Monica Vitti, Lea Massari…

The night (The note ) by Michelangelo Antonioni, in 1961, with Jeanne Moreau, Monica Vitti, Marcello Mastroianni…

The Eclipse (L’Eclisse ) by Michelangelo Antonioni, in 1962. This is the third film in Antonioni’s trilogy after L’Avventura (1960) and La Notte (1961), starring Alain Delon, Monica Vitti, Francisco Rabal…

Castle in Sweden by Roger Vadim, in 1963, with Curd Jürgens, Monica Vitti, Jean-Claude Brialy, Jean-Louis Trintignant…

The Dolls (the bamboo ), in 1965, is composed of four sketches: The phone call by Dino Risi with Virna Lisi and Nino Manfredi; Soup by Franco Rossi, with Monica Vitti and Orazio Orlando; The treatise on genetics by Luigi Comencini, with Elke Sommer and Maurizio Arena; Monsignor Cupid by Mauro Bolognini, with Gina Lollobrigida, Akim Tamiroff and Jean Sorel

Modesty Blaise by Joseph Losey, in 1966, with Monica Vitti, Terence Stamp, Dirk Bogarde….

The girl with the gun (La ragazza con la pistola ) by Mario Monicelli, in 1968, with Monica Vitti, Stanley Baker, Carlo Giuffré…

drama of jealousy by Ettore Scola, in 1970, with Marcello Mastroianni, Monica Vitti, Giancarlo Giannini…

The Phantom of Liberty by Luis Bunuel, in 1974, screenplay co-written by Jean-Claude Carrière. The title of the film is inspired by the Manifesto of the Communist Party by Marx and Engels: A ghost (communism) travels through Europe with Bernard Verley, Jean-Claude Brialy, Monica Vitti…

Hotel room (Camera d’albergo ) by Mario Monicelli, in 1981, with Vittorio Gassman, Monica Vitti, Ida Di Benedetto…

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