Suso the Leopard

D'Amico, right, pictured with actor Paolo Stoppa.

Some names are synonymous with the Italian film industry. “Cecchi” is one of them, attached as it is to producer Mario Cecchi Gori and his son, Vittorio, as well as to screenwriter Emilio Cecchi and his writer daughter Suso Cecchi d’Amico. It’s a name I’m accustomed to spying in the credits of Italian films good and bad, influential and generic. It’s an almost ubiquitous name, like De Laurentiis. Suso Cecchi d’Amico has passed away in Rome at the age of 96, after writing for the screen for 60 (!) years and getting her scripts adapted in 1940s Italy despite the gender odds. Her collaborators were impressive, from De Sica to Visconti to Antonioni, and her name will forever be honorably attached to films like Bicycle Thieves and The Leopard. Like many professionals working in Cinecittà’s mill, she had her hits and her misses; like some, she was prolific and completely immersed in the scene. But as evidenced by the obits hitting the ether today, she’s left a mark — a considerable one, given her involvement in the Neorealist movement — and her history as a willful woman with a restless pen is something a lot of us admire. Addio. — Ranylt Richildis

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