If you’ve ever seen Charlie Chaplin and/or Andy Kaufman and take a slight pinch of Benny Hill, then you might have seen classic Italian actor, comedian, Nino Manfredi. In celebration of the actor’s 10th Anniversary, the Manfredi Family in association with the Istituto Di Cultural Di Los Angeles is promoting, ‘Nino!’ Dalia Events and Dalia Association collaborated with Onni, to curate the special series. The retrospective exhibition tribute beginning May 12-16, 2014, includes scripted personal memories, unreleased stills, his most important film soundtracks, and two documentaries. The evening cooled down a bit as the Istituto, screening of “Bread and Chocolate” started. In Italian, it’s pronounced, “Pane E. Cioccolata”, and is one of Nino’s most acclaimed films, completely restored by Franco Brusati.
“Bread and Chocolate” an accomplished comedic piece cleverly ahead of movies like, “Tootsie”, and “ Too Wong Foo”. Manfredi’s reflective interpretation of life on the other side of home sits well to any great film lover’s taste. The audience breathed a sigh of relief, to know that the characters were just regular, everyday people, and completely relatable. “Bread and Chocolate” originally made in 1974, exposes some of Nino Manfredi’s finest and most intimate work. Manfredi plays the part of Nino Garafalo, a migrant worker, “guest worker”, from Ciociaria working in Switzerland as a waiter, then going from one odd job to another. Caught on camera urinating in public, Nino’s career as a waiter comes to an abrupt end. Facing the fact that he is unemployed, he seeks out a Grecian woman of whom he has a brief affair. The woman is very reserved about interacting with any foreigners. Her fear is that the police will discover her son, who stays home during the day, while she works, and who is without a passport. The woman eventually offers Garafalo a one night overstay in her apartment. Garafalo, deciding to be playful with the youngster, assumes that the boy could not speak and starts to joke around. Comedy ensues when the young boy begins to play a full concerto in front of Garafalo’s eyes. Upon discovering that the Grecian is seeing a prestigious Frenchmen, Nino begins to make plans to return home. Wrought with obstacles and on the brink of despair, Nino encounters an industrialist financial tycoon. The tycoon asked the newly displaced Garafalo, to show him how much money he has in his pockets. Nino who hides money in a special area of his underwear loses his only photo of his family back in Italy. When the tycoon rants about his wife and mistakenly rips up Nino’s family photo. There is much humor in Garafalo’s humble attempt to piece the wind-blown pieces back together. The tycoon expecting to see his wife the next day offers the waiter his home, a place to sleep and fresh clothes. After a night of drinking the tycoon overdoses on painkillers, once he discovers that his wife is on not only the plane, that he hired Garafalo to act as a private driver for, but also that she has turned their two sons against him. On the move again and disappointed, Garafalo makes a final plan to get himself out of the country, ultimately ending up right back where he started.
Nino Manfredi, is clearly one of Italy’s most beloved actors and well deserved. Using comedic parody to bring attention to cultural stereotypes Manfredi had incredible timing and used his keen wit to keep his fans fully engaged at all times. The restoration of “Bread and Chocolate” was promoted by the Bologna Cinematheque Foundation, the CSC- Cinetaca Nazionale and Lucky Red. The Laboratory of the Bologna Cinematheque ‘L’immagine Ritrovata’.
The event is set to return to its native Italy on June 7th of this year, with Maestro Roberto Gatto’s gala concert. The special screening of “Between Miracles” is set for June 14th 2014 in Castro dei Volsci the birthplace of Manfredi. Italy’s, 71st Venice Film Festival takes place in September and screens a restored version of “The Adventure of a Soldier”, a film actually made by Nino Manfredi, himself. The film is managed by the CSC-Cineteca Nazionale the Italian Film Archive. In October, Nino Manfredi’s private collection opens in Rome and “Why Did God Create Sin?”, an unreleased text by Manfredi are both a part of a multimedia exhibition. Staged by author and director Alessandro Benvenuti in the fall/winter of 2014, the event lands in NY and wraps up its foreign tour in Paris towed the end of November 2014.
The Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles is the host for the 30 print collections, which simultaneously traces both the professional and personal life of the famed actor. His 20, year partnership with the coffee brand of Lavazza highlighted during the screenings as a part of the hosted exhibition.
For more information on the event planning company Dalia and the collected works of Nino Manfredi check out WWW.DALIAEVENTS.COM and the concept and production model, ONNI a solution oriented service. WWW.WEAREONNI.COM.
ITALIAN CULTURAL INSTITUTE IN LOS ANGELES, 1023 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90024, / T (310) 443-3250. www.iiclosangeles.esteri.it.