Mario Monicelli retires from directing at 93

Oscar nominee writing screenplay about Sicily earthquake

ROME -- At age 93, two-time Oscar nominee Mario Monicelli says he is finally putting away his director's chair. His pen is another story.

Monicelli earned Oscar nominations for "I Compagni" (The Organizer) in 1965 and for "Casanova '70" a year later. His last directorial effort, "Vicino al Colosseo c'e' Monti" (Near the Coliseum is Monti), was a well-received tribute to his neighborhood in Rome that screened in Venice this year.

But Monicelli, whose first directing credit dates to 1935, is not done writing: He said he's putting in four hours most days, penning a script about an earthquake that hit the Sicilian town of Messina in 1908.