Institute of Art, then Rome's Centro Sperimentale di
Mid-1960s—entered film industry as an apprentice cameraman; by the
1970s, had become one of Europe's most noted cinematographers,
working on films with a number of European luminaries.
Salto nel Vuoto ( Leap into the Void ) (Bellochio); Con fusione (Natoli)
Gli occhi, la bocca ( The Eyes, the Mouth ) (Bellochio); Piso Piselli ( Swee' Pea ) (Delmonte)
Nostalghia ( Nostalgi ) (Tarkovsky); Stelle emigranti (Mazeni—for TV)
Enrico IV ( Henry IV ) (Bellochio); Kaos ( Chaos ) (P. and V. Taviani)
Un Complicato intrigo di Bonne vicoli e delitti ( Camorra ) (Wertmüller)
Good Morning Babilonia ( Good Morning, Babylon ) (P. and V. Taviani); Il Diavolo in Corpo ( Devil in the Flesh ) (Bellochio); La Venexiana ( The Venetian Woman ) (Bolognini); Every Time We Say Goodbye (Mizrahi)
Paure e Amore ( Three Sisters ; Love and Fear ) (Von Trotta); Zoo ; La Visione del Sabba ( The Sabbath ) (Bellocchio)
Francesco ( St. Francis of Assisi ) (Cavani); Il Prete bello ( The Handsome Priest ); Palombella rossa (Moretti)
La-Baule-Les-Pins ( C'est la Vie ) (Kurys); Il Sole anche di notte ( Night Sun ) (P. and V. Taviani)
Johnny Stecchino ( Johnny Toothpick ) (Benigni)
Fiorile ( Wild Flower ) (P. and V. Taviani); La Villa del venerdi ( Husbands and Lovers ) (Bolognini); Tra due risvegli (Fago)
The Conviction (Bellochio); Caro Diaro ( Dear Diary ) (Moretti); Con gli occhi chiusi ( With Closed Eyes ) (Archibugi)
Compagna di viaggio (Del Monte); Le Affinita elettive ( The Elective Affinities ) (P. and V. Taviani)
Santostefano (Pasquini); Il Principe di Homburg ( The Prince of Homburg ) (Bellocchio)
I Piccoli maestri ( Little Teachers ) (Luchetti); Oscar per due (Farina—for TV); Aprile (Moretti); Tu ridi ( You Laugh ) (Paolo Taviani and Vittorio Taviani)
La Balia ( The Nanny ; The Wet Nurse ) (Bellocchio)
"Italian cinematographers: le nuove tendenze," in Cineforum , July/August 1983.
* * *
Italian cinematographer Giuseppe Lanci's gift with the camera has kept him in the esteemed company of such landmark European directors as Lina Wertmüller, Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, and most frequently with Marco Bellochio during a career that spans three decades. Whether it is the lush, romantic style his vision has brought to such Taviani films as Good Morning Babilonia or the overheated visuals that suit the melodramas of Bellochio's work, Lanci has proven to be an artist with the camera.
Lanci studied cinematography at Rome's noted Centro Sperimentale, which Bellochio also attended. The two seem to have been meant for each other cinematically so aptly has Lanci's work complemented Bellochio's directing since Leap into the Void . Their Devil in the Flesh perhaps gained the most attention when it created international controversy due to a scene of oral sex. Nevertheless, its portrait of obsession leading to madness was far more noteworthy and greatly heightened by the cinematographer's contribution.
Although a number of the films Lanci has worked on have gained both critical and popular acclaim, it seems a little ironic that Lanci gained his greatest commercial success with Johnny Stecchino —made with actor, director, and co-writer Roberto Benigni—a simple comedy of gangsters and mistaken identity; it went on to become the highest grossing film ever to play in Italy.
It is understandable that Lanci has been chosen as cinematographer by many of Europe's noted and often most controversial directors, including Lina Wertmüller and Diane Kurys, given his fluid camera and provocative use of lighting and color to underline the mood of the scene. Lanci entered the 2000s as one of Europe's leading cinematographers.
—Allen Grant Richards