Giuseppe ("Beppe") Lanci - Writer





Cinematographer. Nationality: Italian. Born: Rome, 1942. Education: Institute of Art, then Rome's Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia. Career: 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.


Films as Cinematographer:

1978

Maternale

1980

Salto nel Vuoto ( Leap into the Void ) (Bellochio); Con fusione (Natoli)

1982

Gli occhi, la bocca ( The Eyes, the Mouth ) (Bellochio); Piso Piselli ( Swee' Pea ) (Delmonte)

1983

Nostalghia ( Nostalgi ) (Tarkovsky); Stelle emigranti (Mazeni—for TV)

1984

Enrico IV ( Henry IV ) (Bellochio); Kaos ( Chaos ) (P. and V. Taviani)

1985

Un Complicato intrigo di Bonne vicoli e delitti ( Camorra ) (Wertmüller)

1986

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)

1987

Havinck (Weisz)

1988

Paure e Amore ( Three Sisters ; Love and Fear ) (Von Trotta); Zoo ; La Visione del Sabba ( The Sabbath ) (Bellocchio)

1989

Francesco ( St. Francis of Assisi ) (Cavani); Il Prete bello ( The Handsome Priest ); Palombella rossa (Moretti)

1990

La-Baule-Les-Pins ( C'est la Vie ) (Kurys); Il Sole anche di notte ( Night Sun ) (P. and V. Taviani)

1991

Johnny Stecchino ( Johnny Toothpick ) (Benigni)

1992

Fiorile ( Wild Flower ) (P. and V. Taviani); La Villa del venerdi ( Husbands and Lovers ) (Bolognini); Tra due risvegli (Fago)

1994

The Conviction (Bellochio); Caro Diaro ( Dear Diary ) (Moretti); Con gli occhi chiusi ( With Closed Eyes ) (Archibugi)

1996

Compagna di viaggio (Del Monte); Le Affinita elettive ( The Elective Affinities ) (P. and V. Taviani)

1997

Santostefano (Pasquini); Il Principe di Homburg ( The Prince of Homburg ) (Bellocchio)

1998

I Piccoli maestri ( Little Teachers ) (Luchetti); Oscar per due (Farina—for TV); Aprile (Moretti); Tu ridi ( You Laugh ) (Paolo Taviani and Vittorio Taviani)

1999

La Balia ( The Nanny ; The Wet Nurse ) (Bellocchio)



Publications


On LANCI: article—

"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

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