A tearful Sophia Loren on Thursday led a string of Italian cinema luminaries paying their last respects to legendary film director Ettore Scola, who died this week.
Oscar-winning director Paolo Sorrentino was also among those who visited Rome’s Casa del Cinema, where Scola’s coffin was placed to allow mourners to say their final farewells before a funeral restricted to friends and family on Friday.
“I’m too choked up to talk,” Loren, 81, told reporters. The veteran actress starred alongside Marcello Mastroianni in 1977’s A Special Day, one of Scola’s most acclaimed films.
Scriptwriter Enrico Vanzina told AFPTV that Scola, who died on Tuesday at the age of 84, was a master storyteller.
“He explained to us that you can use comedy to tell any story; politics, history, love,” Vanzina said.
“Comedy is a very important genre, it is perhaps the most important in Italian cinema. He was one of the most important, among only a handful of real greats”.
Fabrizio Luccherini, another Italian scriptwriter, said he would be forever in the late director’s debt.
“He was someone that gave me a huge amount. He worked right up until the end, on a documentary about [Italian film director Federico] Fellini. You could never say no to Ettore.”
Antonio Bassolino, a former mayor of Naples and friend of Scola’s, added: “A precious part of Italian history is now gone. We have lost one of the last Italian greats”.