Moma Tribute For Troisi

The surprise film slated to cap off the New York Museum of Modern Art’s salute to Italo actor-director Massimo Troisi Feb. 26 is believed to be a sneak preview of Miramax Films’ worldwide pickup “The Postman.”

The film was directed by Michael Radford in collaboration with the late Troisi, who plays the title role, co-starring with Gallic thesp Philippe Noiret

The story of the simple son of a Mediterranean fisherman transformed under the tuition of exiled Chilean poet Pablo Neruda earned more than $10 million in its Italian release last fall. One of the country’s top box office draws, the 41-year-old star died suddenly June 4, just 11 hours after shooting wrapped on the pic at Rome’s Cinecitta studios.

The MoMA tribute, which runs Feb. 24-26, should help popularize Troisi to Gotham audiences before “The Postman” opens in May. The pic is currently skedded for exclusive New York release May 12, going wider a week later.

“It’s so ironic that one of Italy’s most successful comics and a very talented filmmaker will have his first film released in the U.S. after his death,” said MoMA film curator Adrienne Mancia, who is organizing the show together with Jennifer Beals. The actress, a friend of Troisi’s, will introduce the homage.

Also screening are “Nothing Left to Do But Cry,” which Troisi wrote, directed and starred in with Roberto Benigni in 1985, and Ettore Scola’s 1989 feature “What Time Is It?”