1987

A surreal and hilarious comedy by Troisi and Benigni. 1984 Frittole, Firenze. Primary schoolteacher Saverio and janitor Mario inexplicably travel back in time to the year 1492, performing a series of unforgettable sketches: the letter to Savonarola, the scene at the customs and the encounter with Leonardo da Vinci.

Non ci resta che piangere

Surreal comedy written, directed and acted by Massimo Troisi and Roberto Benigni. A milestone in Italian comedy with a unique duo performing a series of comic sketches. Primary schoolteacher Saverio and his friend, janitor Mario, go on a road trip and halt in front of a railway intersection. In order to avoid a long wait, they take a side street. Instead, they are stranded in the middle of the countryside in a severe thunderstorm and find shelter in a local inn. By a strange twist of fate, the following day Mario and Saverio find themselves catapulted back “in the 1400s, almost 1500s”. Despite initial confusion, they clumsly try to adapt to the Renaissance lifestyle and intermingle with the society of the time, experiencing surreal situations: the monk yelling at Mario “remember that you shall die!”, Mario and Saverio writing a letter to Savonarola, Mario trying to win the heart of the richest local girl by telling her that he’s a songwriter. Upon realising which age they are in, Saverio even tries to stop Columbus’ departure in order to avoid the discovery of America thus saving humanity, and his sister Gabriellina in particular, from Americans. Along the way, they encounter Leonardo da Vinci, to whom Mario and Saverio try to anticipate science discoveries, and when they get to Palo it is too late as Columbus has set sail. While going back, they spot steam coming up from a locomotive. Saverio and Mario, filled with excitement thinking they might go back to their century, soon wake up to reality and realize that Leonardo da Vinci, who has in the meantime treasured their teachings, invented the locomotive. There is “Nothing Left to Do But Cry” in the end.

Release date:

1987