(this year 100!) was born in Milan on 23rd December, 1916. He’s one of the most important comedy’s directors in Italian cinema of Fifties and Sixties. He had a curious engagement in cinema: his family’s wishing was to have Dino as a medical doctor, not a movie’s director but he, after completing his medical studies, decided to pursue his own passion for filmmaking, starting as assistant director with Mario Soldati
and Alberto Lattuada
. After making some shorts, he debuted as director in the nineteen-fifties.
The Poor but Beautiful series (the first film in 1956) was really a great success, so Risi became one of the best-known directors of Italian comedies, the so-called genre “commedia all’italiana” much loved all over the world.
Risi worked with the biggest Italian actors of the day and of the “commedia all’italiana” tradition (Alberto Sordi, Ugo Tognazzi, Nino Manfredi and, above all, with Vittorio Gassman, on stage with him for most of his career). Some films such as A Difficult Life (1961), The Easy Life (1962) and Monsters (1963) describe with intelligence, but also his particular, acute sense of bitterness, great changes that Italy was undergoing in it transformation -just in a few years- from being a mainly agricultural nation to an industrial power. Later on, he would supplement his comedy output with more dramatic works, often of literary origin, especially by Piero Chiara and Giovanni Arpino (Scent of a Woman, shot in 1974, had the honor of an American remake with Al Pacino).
In later years of his life he was also a television director, often working in France too. In 2002 he was awarded the Honorary Golden Lion at Venice, and in 2004 he published his bitter-sweet autobiography, My Monsters, full of humour and pithy observations on Italian life.