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10-02-04, 12:33 PM

Benigni shooting Iraq 'comedy'

In spite of the subject matter, Oscar-winner Benigni intends the film - which is due for release in 2005 - to be a comedy.

Benigni plays the part of a poet who is in Iraq by chance and is caught up in the events.

"War naturally is the background of the film and my character is directly involved in it. This poet ends up in Iraq by pure chance," Benigni told Italian Rai radio.

Benigni hopes audiences around the world will be able to identify with his character.

"What is extraordinary is his vision of the world. This is one person representing all the people in the world," he said.


In a further interview on Italian Rai TV, Benigni criticised the West's role in the Iraq violence.

"Westerners are running the show, all of those doing these things have studied in the West, it is not the Easterners. We know how many dreams the East gives, and how grateful we are to the East and love all its beautiful things," he said.

This is not the first time Benigni has attempted to deal with difficult topics in light-hearted fashion.

He won international recognition and attracted some controversy in 1998 with Life is Beautiful, a Holocaust comedy about a family of Italian Jews persecuted by Italian fascists and German Nazis.

The film won three Academy Awards - best actor for Benigni, best foreign film, best original score.

This could be the worst idea for a movie of all time. I absolutely hated Life is Beautiful and can't imagine how he won an Oscar for Best Actor.

Jay G.
10-02-04, 03:32 PM
What didn't you like about Life is Beautiful?

10-02-04, 03:38 PM
Yeah Life is Beautiful was pretty awful. I don't expect this movie to be anything great. He plays a poet and expects everyone in the world to relate to him? I'll pass.

Brain Stew
10-02-04, 03:58 PM
Life Is Beautiful was actually a touching story, but not much comedy IMO.

10-02-04, 04:22 PM
I liked Life Is Beautiful when I saw it, but I have a feeling that I would not like it now. I think that I am more jaded :(

10-02-04, 04:59 PM
Originally posted by NitroJMS

This could be the worst idea for a movie of all time. I absolutely hated Life is Beautiful and can't imagine how he won an Oscar for Best Actor.
I couldn't agree more.

Crocker Jarmen
10-02-04, 05:08 PM
I've really like all of Benigni's movies I've seen (I missed Pinnochio though).

I thought Life is Beautiful was wonderful, and was always puzzeled by how some people were so repulsed by it.

I'm guessing that it is an aversion to Benigni's persona in his movies. I think it's fair to compair him to Adam Sandler or Woody Allen, two other actors who have a strong traits and manners that if you find annoying (as I do Sandler) it makes their movies unwatachable.

With barely anything mentioned in the article, I find it hard to leap to the conclusion that "a movie about a poet in Iraq" is the worst idea ever.

10-02-04, 05:21 PM
Originally posted by Jay G.
What didn't you like about Life is Beautiful?

I found Benigni so grating that I turned it off after about 15 minutes. Sandler and Allen are much more tolerable than Benigni.

10-02-04, 05:38 PM
Originally posted by NitroJMS
This could be the worst idea for a movie of all time.

Ummmm, no... not with this film in existence:


10-02-04, 08:24 PM
It's clear many who fault Life is Beautiful for being dishonest and craved a more graphic depiction of the Holocaust missed the point. The movie was a fairy tale, shown through the eyes of a five-year-old boy, as can be seen from many clues throughout the film. At no point does it try to be a historically-correct portrayal of anything.

From recent interviews it's clear Begnini is not going this route with this new film, even if it is a comedy. There's nothing wrong with mixing comedy with grim subject matter, it can be done effectively(see Danis Tanovic's No Man's Land) If this film is half as good as Life is Beautiful I'll be happy.


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