Film Movement Takes U.S. on Mario Martone’s Venice Pic ‘The King of Laughter’ Starring Toni Servillo

Sep 07, 2021 759

BY: Nick Vivarelli

Film Movement has acquired U.S. rights to Italian director Mario Martone’s “The King of Laughter” (“Qui Rido Io”) ahead of its world premiere Tuesday in competition at the Venice Film FestivalThe film, being sold internationally by Italy’s True Colours, toplines Toni Servillo (“The Great Beauty”) as popular and prolific early 20th century Neapolitan actor and playwright Eduardo Scarpetta.

In 1904, at the height of his popularity, Scarpetta took a great risk: he staged a parody of “La figlia di Iorio,” a tragedy written by the greatest Italian poet of the day, Gabriele D’Annunzio. After all hell broke loose, Scarpetta ended up being sued for plagiarism by D’Annunzio himself. It was the beginning of the first copyright lawsuit in Italy, and a draining experience for Scarpetta and his family. 

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