Dino Risi’s 1962 Italian comedy “Il Sorpasso” is finally making its way to The Criterion Collection after years of being unavailable in a high-quality print. This is the late Dino Risi’s first entry into the Collection, much to the excitement of director Alexander Payne, who cites “Il Sorpasso” as being a major influence on “Sideways.” Payne talks about the movie’s influence and the brilliance of director Dino Risi in a three-minute video of which you can see below. The clip, presumably, is an excerpt of Alexander Payne’s introduction of the film, which you can find as a special feature on the Criterion DVD/Blu-ray.
“I found ‘Il Sorpasso’ through a friend of mine, Bernard Friedman, even before ‘Sideways,’ ” says Payne, “He and I were looking for something to do together, he was producing at the time. And he said, ‘What about a remake of Il Sorpasso, The Easy Life?’ You could only get it at the time on really bad VHS with barely legible subtitles. So I saw it and liked it a lot but didn't fall in love with it until I could see it in better quality. And then I returned to it when I was making Sideways.”
In talking about the film itself, Payne specifically notes the staging and the film’s use of location as being examples of Risi’s brilliance. While making “Sideways,” Payne essentially dissected the film shot-by-shot and he notes that each shot in the film has “a beginning, a middle, and an end.” “Il Sorpasso” showcases the humanity of Italy, according to Payne, and while watching the film “you really get to see Italy in 1962.”
You can pre-order “Il Sorpasso” right now or buy it when it hits stores on April 29th. Watch below.