The Beautiful Confusion

Original title: La bella confusione

Publication Date:

February 2023



Original language and publisher

Italian | Einaudi

Territories Handled

Netherlands, Scandinavia, World English

Territories Sold

France (Albin Michel)
Albania (Botime Dudaj)


Literary Non-Fiction, Narrative Non-Fiction

Number of copies sold:


The Beautiful Confusion

Original title: La bella confusione


Film history is not so different from life: seemingly linear, but studded with chance encounters, chased or missed appointments, last minute decisions and unpredictable coincidences.

Crucial fatalities that allow a work to come to light, with the precise characteristics that everyone will later remember. The choice of an actress, the light on the set, the sentimental vicissitudes of the director or a co-star, as well as budget cuts or a sudden scene change, can in their own way write a page of universal genius. 1963 is the year of Fellini and Visconti. A decisive year for Italian cinema, which saw the birth of Otto e mezzo and Il Gattopardo. But before they became the masterpieces we know so well, they were two incredible bets, as well as the battleground between two rival and profoundly different artists: while Claudia Cardinale changed her hair color according to the whims of her director, the entire Italian cultural context was preparing to espouse one or the other vision of cinema and the world.

This is what “La bella confusione” is: chasing like a detective the figures and episodes that made History, Francesco Piccolo sifted through letters, films, notes and diaries, interviews, gossip and testimonies.

For in this book unlike any other, the characters are named Marcello Mastroianni, Ennio Flaiano, Sandra Milo, Tomasi di Lampedusa, Camilla Cederna, Suso Cecchi d’Amico, Burt Lancaster and Pier Paolo Pasolini. Moving between myth and anecdote, the unmistakable voice of the author of “Il desiderio di essere come tutti” awakens millions of memories and gives us the lost light of an era.

A documentary made of words: the power of art, the secrets of cinema, the duels of an Italy we could no longer imagine.

Marketing Information

  • English sample available