“Steno, l’arte di far ridere”: the exhibition from April 12th to June 5th

11 april - 4 June, 2017 | Galleria Nazionale
Steno mostra

One of the most prolific and eclectic directors in Italy, along with Monicelli, Risi and Comencini, Stefano Vanzini, known as Steno, is one of the fathers of Italian comedy, that commedia all’italiana that marked such a departure from the romantic comedies of the 1950s, because its scripts were deeply rooted in reality.

The one hundredth anniversary of his birth (January 19th 2017) is being celebrated with an exhibition dedicated to his work, titled “Steno, the art of making people laugh. Once upon a time, there was Steno’s Italy. And it’s still there”. It will be presented at the Casa del Cinema on January 18th at 12 noon, with the participation of his sons Enrico and Carlo Vanzina. Produced by Show Eventi, in collaboration with CityFest – the programme of annual events by the Fondazione Cinema per Roma chaired by Piera Detassis, who will participate in the press conference – and with the support of SIAE, this will be the first monographic exhibition dedicated to Steno, curated by Marco Dionisi and Nevio De Pascalis. It will be inaugurated on April 12th at the Galleria Nazionale D’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Rome, where it will remain on display through June 5th.

Steno was a master at leading his films towards comic situations typical of traditional Italian comedy, and towards a biting and sometimes bitter satire of Italian mores that perfectly mirrored the evolution of society at the threshold of, during and after the economic Boom.

Displaying heretofore unseen family material, lent by his sons Enrico and Carlo Vanzina, with the collaboration of the archives of studio EL Cinecittà, Latitudine, the exhibition reconstructs the private and professional life of one of the great Italian directors: from his childhood through his last film.

A journey based on photographs, memorabilia, letters, and the personal recollections of the many actors who worked with him: from Totò to Aldo Fabrizi, from Alberto Sordi to Vittorio De Sica, from the duo Tognazzi-Vianello to Franchi-Ingrassia, from Renato Pozzetto to Diego Abatantuono, from Mariangela Melato to Monica Vitti, from Enrico Montesano to Gigi Proietti, one of the stars of the unforgettable cult film “Febbre da Cavallo”.

The multimedia part of the exhibition will be curated by Farm Studio Factory, which together with 39Films, the Italian-Argentinian production company, will produce the documentary “Steno”, to be directed by Alberto Fabi, co-author together with Marco Dionisi. This documentary film will reconstruct the working life of the director in a series of interviews and with video and photographic material, never seen before, from his most significant works.

The exhibition, organized on the basis of Diario futile, a veritable pop work in which Steno used to glue newspaper clippings, cartoons, notes and photos of his co-workers, will approach the director’s body of films with a look at the historic, social and cultural context in which he worked. Continuous parallels will be drawn with the films of his childhood and his early debut (comic cinema) and the birth of commedia all’italiana, with a focus not only on the humour magazines (first and foremost Marc’Aurelio), but also on the actors, screenwriters and directors who have made the history of Italian cinema. The exhibition is divided into two sections: the first, chronological, will deal with his childhood and his training, with his early professional work in magazines, radio and variety theatre, which he pursued along with his work as a screenwriter and director for both cinema and television. The second thematic section will analyse issues related to the figure of Steno in both his professional and private life: his brushes with censorship, his relationships with actors and collaborators, his family and his work as a writer.

Throughout the exposition, there will be a programme of entertaining and educational encounters open to the public and/or organized for theatre and film schools and academies, as well as film screenings and documentaries about Steno, and meetings dedicated to the archives collaborating with the exhibition. The media partner will be Ciak Magazine.

A monograph that follows the outline of the exhibition, with texts written by the curators and photographs from the family and the archives, will be published and sold in bookstores and online.


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