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On December 5th, the Museum of Modern Art in New York inaugurates the traditional retrospective that Istituto Luce Cinecittà every year dedicates to a personality of Italian cinema. This year it celebrates Ugo Tognazzi, a great actor, but also director and scriptwriter that, along with Marcello Mastroianni, Vittorio Gassman, Alberto Sordi and Nino Manfredi, formed the “quintet” of talents that marked the golden age of Italian cinema. Opening with Tragedy of a Ridiculous Man is also a way to remember the late Bernardo Bertolucci, who has been the protagonist of another MoMa-Luce Cinecittà retrospective in 2010-11.

Following Pier Paolo Pasolini, Michelangelo Antonioni, Roberto Rossellini, Giuseppe De Santis, Antonio Pietrangeli, Marco Bellocchio, Ferzan Ozpetek and Paolo Virzì, the retrospective “Ugo Tognazzi: Tragedies of a Ridiculous Man”, organized by Camilla Cormanni and Paola Ruggiero for Istituto Luce Cinecittà with Josh Siegel, curator at MoMA – Department of Film, will be held from December 5 to 30. It will retrace the career of Tognazzi through 25 unforgettable performances directed by Pupi Avati, Marco Ferreri, Pietro Germi, Alberto Lattuada, Carlo Lizzani, Mario Monicelli, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Dino Risi, Antonio Pietrangeli, Elio Petri, Ettore Scola, Luigi Zampa. His daughter Maria Sole Tognazzi will attend the opening night.

Roberto Cicutto, President and Managing Director of Istituto Luce-Cinecittà, states: “It’s a sad time for cinema all over the world. Tognazzi and Bertolucci, in very different ways, succeeded in representing the thousand faces of Italy, often by anticipating its changes. Tognazzi’s ironic and biting sides, and Bertolucci’s lyrical and dreamy attitude presented masterpieces to the whole world, and won awards for our cinema. It’s pure coincidence that Bertolucci’s film has been chosen to open the retrospective at the MoMA, where they have both been protagonists within a few years. We will remember them both, together with their friends and families, with love and gratitude.”

Maria Sole Tognazzi, who will be in New York on behalf of her family, will attend the several events organized to celebrate the memory of her father. Among these, the screening of her documentary Portrait of My Father, and the presentation of the volume “Ugo Tognazzi: Story, Style, and Secrets of a Great Actor”, pubilished by Istituto Luce Cinecittà and Edizioni Sabinae, curated by Mario Sesti, with original illustrations by Luisa Mazzone. This latter event will take place at the Italian Institue of Culture headed by Giorgio Van Straten. Richard Pena from Columbia University will moderate the presentation.

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