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PEOPLE Italy

Goodbye to Vincenzo Cerami, the author of Life Is Beautiful

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- The Roman screenwriter and writer, who was nominated for an Oscar in 1999 for Roberto Benigni’s film, passed away yesterday in Rome after a long battle with illness

Goodbye to Vincenzo Cerami, the author of Life Is Beautiful

Vincenzo Cerami passed away yesterday in Rome after a long battle with illness.  The screenwriter of over forty films, who was also a writer and playwright, reached international fame when he was nominated for an Oscar in 1999 for the screenplay of Life Is Beautiful by Roberto Benigni.

Born in Rome on 2 November 1940 of Sicilian parents, Cerami discovered literature, poetry and cinema with Pier Paolo Pasolini, his teacher in middle school, who he later assisted on the sets of Comizi d'amoreUccellacci e uccellini and La Terra vista dalla Luna. In 1976, he published his first novel, Un borghese piccolo piccolo, a satire of the little bourgeoisie’s vices, which was later the basis for an extraordinary film by Mario Monicelli with Alberto Sordi.

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Among many of the film scripts written were Casotto and Il Minestrone by Sergio Citti, Salto nel vuoto and Gli occhi, la bocca by Marco Bellocchio, Colpire al cuoreI ragazzi di via Panisperna and Porte aperte by Gianni Amelio, Tutta colpa del paradiso by Francesco Nuti, Il viaggio di Capitan Fracassa by Ettore Scola, and Roberto Benigni from Il piccolo diavolo (1988) to The Tigre and the Snow [+see also:
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(2005), Johnny Stecchino and the winner of three Academy Awards, Life Is Beautiful.  In recent years, he also collaborated with Antonio Albanese (Uomo d'acqua dolce) and Giovanni Veronesi (Manual Of Love). His last screenplay goes back to 2010, Tutti al mare [+see also:
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, inspired by Casotto and written together with son Matteo, who directed it.  

Last June 14, Cerami received a David di Donatello for his career that he was unable to retrieve due to illness. His lifelong friends Roberto Benigni and composer Nicola Piovani (also an Oscar winner for the original score of La vita è bella) did it for him. “He taught me many things,” Benigni said at the time, “especially that only amateurs wait for inspiration, others roll up their sleeves and get to work. He was precise, and being precise is a quality that belongs to great visionaries.” 

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(Translated from Italian)

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