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Boomkat Product Review:
When classic Italian directors get extensive coverage beyond their native land, it tends to be the usual suspects: the Neoealist crowd (Rossellini, De Sica, Visconti, Antonioni et al) or horror icons of the '70s like Argento and Fulci. Consequently you'd seldom run into a career retrospective of Mario Monicelli, an incredibly prolific, influential filmmaker, but one whose output leans towards comedy, which inevitably means that Monicelli misses out on some of the international attention he deserves. While we might not hear his name dropped too often nowadays, Monicelli was courted by the Academy Awards, scoring three Oscar nominations between the late fifties and late sixties, in addition to racking up a number of gongs from European organisations. His book provides a wonderful pictorial history of the director's career, providing on-set and behind the scenes insights into his filmmaking in addition to the usual array of movie poster reproductions and stills. The CD is bound to be the principal draw for many of you, featuring excerpts from a host of movie scores, penned by such greats of Italian cinema as Nino Rota and Ennio Morricone. There's even one excerpt from the soundtrack to La Mortadella, showcasing the vocal talents of Sophia Loren, one of Monicelli's favoured actresses. As with prior instalments in the Cine Cult series, focussing on Pasolini and Argento, this volume is a real treasure trove of insights into the work of a key figure in European film. Highly recommended.