Ladies and gentlemen, we now present a wonder of Italian animation, the work of two masters: Emanuele Luzzati and Giulio Gianini.
It is a short film rendition of “L’Italiana in Algeri” – or “The Italian Girl in Algiers” as Gioachino Rossini’s operatic ‘dramma giocoso’ is known in English – that the two artists and friends created in 1968, using decoupage.
For this project, Gianini (1927-2009) worked on photography, editing, and animation, while Luzzati (1921-2007) was in charge of illustrations and set design. They shared responsibility over direction, screenplay, and script.
In over forty years of collaboration, Luzzati and Gianini – the former a great set designer and illustrator from Genoa, the latter a star of animation in Rome – made a number of films, including (again with music by Rossini) “La gazza ladra” (“The Thieving Magpie”) in 1964 and “Pulcinella” in 1973, both nominated for an Oscar.
We also owe to their combined talents the small wonder of the opening titles for Mario Monicelli’s “L’Armata Brancaleone” (1966), known in English as “For Love and Gold”.