a curious Yankee in Europe's court

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Learning Italian: Roberto Benigni translated

Posted on the July 17th, 2009

A few days ago I came across an in-depth interview with Italian filmmaker Roberto Benigni published last August on i-Italy.org — “Benigni the Poet Makes Life Even More Beautiful.” The impressive website is by a group of academics, journalists and intellectuals, according to its About page. The website’s subhead is an Italian/American Digital Project.

Benigni’s interviewer is Grace Russo Bullaro, a City University of New York professor.  Although the interview was in Italian, Bullaro translated it into English for the i-Italy website. The original Italian version is here on the Italian-language magazine OGGI 7 website (“Benigni poeta e la vita è più bella” July 16, 2008).

I’m a fan of Benigni’s and wrote another post about him a couple of years ago (“Roberto Benigni: Speaking in Second”). That post featured a 1998  interview Benigni did with the Guardian, and on that occasion he did the whole thing in English.

By the way, if you haven’t seen Benigni’s “The Tiger and the Snow,” I think you’ve missed one of his best works. As discussed in the interview with Bullaro, the movie bombed at the box office. Who knows why exactly, but a rash of lunk-headed reviews of the film at the time certainly didn’t help.

For a more favorable and informed review, see Deborah Young’s piece in Variety (“The Tiger and the Snow”/”La Tigre e la Neve”  Oct. 12, 2005).

And as one more plug for the film, here’s the trailer.

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