Enrico Vanzina, a cunning Zelig who transparently outlines an unpredictable country (by M. Sesti)

Like all films written by Enrico Vanzina, more than 80, including his latest book, Diary, about three hundred pages of almost daily notes from 2011 to today, from the most violent financial crisis of the new millennium to the most sensational epidemiological crisis of today, has a chorus structure. There are many main characters.

One of the most important is certainly Rome, whose boundless and unspeakable soul is caught in the grip of claws, when in the summer at happy hours on the coast one hears “the pathetic applause from the sun that will sink into the horizon,” and for the capital the “girls from Tor Pagnotta sweated with scottadito “around. Enrico, who was the son of Steno, who belonged to Marcus Aurelius’ satirical generation, has the natural talent for sketching and caricature, in whose soil, however, the vigilant and intellectual inspiration of the literal man sprouted.

The note about Parioli is sublime: “They consider me the greatest expert of Parioli. How ridiculous. (…). Parioli are not beautiful. The houses, commissioned by a generation of architects without ambition to amaze posterity, are anonymous, drawn with bar creativity, built with modest materials. “ The terraces are narrow tongues for the geraniums, the lighting is glacial, even the elevators are dingy compared to those full of prints and sofas in the historic center. “In any case, Rome does not forgive you. It clings to you, intoxicates you and leaves you on the shelves in its millennial history.” He did so with the Northern League, unrecognizable after the country in parliament.

And how does Enrico defend himself against the deadly charm of the sweet life of the great beauty of what was the first metropolis in the world? Every morning he takes “1 g vitamin C, 1 multivitamin, 2500 mcg biotin, vitamin E, cod liver oil, coezima Q10 for the heart, echinacea, vitamin D9”. But above all, he has always beaten the world like a restless teenager. There is nothing that does not create emotion or appetite for him: also for this reason I will be with him in Treviso, on May 13, at. 18.30, at the Civic Museums, to present the book, to the series of meetings Cinema is literature.

For birth reasons, he has known since childhood from Alberto Sordi to Gloria Swanson to Gary Cooper (captured in the elegant black-and-white memory of a child’s memory published on the page in 2013), from Totò (quoted as the Bible in a precious anecdote: “How beautiful it is to be Toto”, the Prince of Laughter once confessed to him) to Virna Lisi. When you grow up, you will not miss a dinner with Sting, Jovanotti, Carla Fendi, Totti, Angelo Di Belmonte (and who is he?), Gigi D’Alessio, Montezemolo, Simona Agnes and many other names in the show business or well citizenship, entrepreneurship or culture, such as Rocco Siffredi and family (with whom he eats in Budapest).

Sometimes one gets the impression that behind this Diary there may be the irony of a cunning Zelig who, across the lost illusions, as in a Balzac novel moving between Abano Terme and Trani, between Imperia and Amalfi, has really in transparency outlined an unpredictable country in which you can direct and stage Puccini in Torre del Lago (which he did with Tosca), see your wife rescued in extremis from a bowel obstruction by two diligent doctors from Pescara (this is the most dramatic moment in this diary), ends in a dinner where the hostess due to the obsession with cooking serves you squid ink spaghetti with mint and ginger.

There are funny moments that we hope to see sooner or later in a movie (like when he in a cinema room, surrounded by lively old men and old men, hears the film’s lines behind him. repeated in turn by some of the spectators due to the limited hearing of another in the group), recordings of impeccable precision (when quoting the best film book published in recent years in Italian translation, Who made this movie, by Peter Bogdanovich), classic satirical teasing (the monstrous spread of the term “there is”). There are many sorrows (apart from the brother who has become a book, touching, aside).

Although, in the end – “Many things are ‘wonderful'”: it is the most philosophical notation of all Diary – it’s worth what Barthes says somewhere: when a writer publishes a diary, it means that it is not enough for him to be loved for his works, he will also be loved for what he has lived.

Enrico Vanzina, who wrote more than 80 films and many books that as a young man bet like crazy on horses, played the piano bar in Cortina and was engaged to Mastroianni’s daughter, who even manages to be touched by Fregene (but he is in good company with Fellini and Petri), he is a guy who has such a bulimia and a passion for life that he can not keep his own filled content to himself. Although we, to tell the truth, for some reason, we already loved him.


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