My relationship with Gianni went on and off for four years, from his film
documentary, about the Brazilian Music to L'Inchiesta.It was Lino Micciche
that introduced us. Lino came to the Festival de Cinema do Rio de Janeiro
- 1965, where we became friends and we are still friends to this day. After
some months he introduced me to Gianni. I remember the Festival was showing
"Pugni in Tasca" (Fist in his Pocket). Marco Bellocchio, director,
and his producer, were the 'coolest' men of the Festival and very well-dressed
in the Italian style. Charismatic and very attractive. The Brazilian women,
including myself, were all crazy about them.
Gianni and I lived together in Via Garibaldi 59 - Trastevere, which I think
used to be Bernardo's flat?? Gianni was very important in my life. He invited
me to Italy, gave me my first cappuccino, my first pasta,my first pear with
stracchino cheese, the first everything, if you know what I mean! He introduced
me to jazz (he dedicated the film "Noi Insistiamo" 1964 to me and
gave me a copy of the film.
Then I loaned the copy to the Cinemateca do Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de
Janeiro). He even introduced me to Brazilian music, musicians, carnaval. Gave
me my first sightseeing tour of Rome, as well as walking around Genova, Bergamo.
At that time he had the most incredible friends and a very full brilliant
life. Among his friends was the jazz musician Pepito. It was at Pepito's flat
that I met Francesca's father.
Gianni took me to see his daughter Valentina,(not very nice, for her), his
family in Genova and hid friends in Bergamo. Gianni always travelled by taxi
and first-class trains so I found the trains in Italy the best not knowing
that it was only because I was travelling first-class! He was even jealous
of me. When I decided to get my driving licence - he was completely against!!!
Gerson Tavares, a Brazilian film producer, a really good friend of mine from
the time I was working on films in Brazil. Studied in Rome at the Centro Sperimentale
del Cinema, and became a friend of Gianni Narzizi the Director of Photography
who worked with Bertolucci on what I think was the latter's first film "La
Commare Secca", 1962 (The Grim Reaper"). Based on a story by Pier
Paolo Pasolini. When I went to live in Rome, Gerson introduced me to the Narzizis.
I used to go to the Narzizis house in Parioli, so even today I am in touch
with Mariuccia Narzizi (as Gianni Narzizi has passed away). He left her with
three boys of school-age. I remember her saying that a few years after her
husband's death the cinema people forgot her. The Narzizis, Gianni Amico and
Bernardo: what a small world!!!!
But the incredible memory of him was when we met in London by chance! Where
I was living and studying the History of the Cinema, of course, was a member
of the National Film Theatre on the South Bank. I booked all my tickets to
see all the films of the London Film Festival that year. Gianni came with
Bertolucci for the film "Partner" 1967, as they written the screenplay
of the film. So we met again!
One night I was sitting in the NFT for the film of Jean-Luc Godard. To introduce
the film JLG and the producer came on stage: this was the most important vintage
moment of my entire life!!! They were together on stage I don't remember why,
but Jean-Luc Godard lost his mind and slapped his producer around the face!!!!
This was the greatest cinematographic scene of the entire Festival!!! I can
only remember that - like most of the audience - I was shocked and speechless.
But the most incredible thing was yet to come: Gianni took me to dinner with
Godard that night, and I considered the most unforgettable dinner of my entire
life. My myth in front of me: fragile and in despair. Frighten I did not say
one single word. I was looking at Godard in dismay. I want to hold his hand.
I think he was sorry he was speaking French - and explaining why - he had
slapped the producer. The tension in his body was unbearable, really an incredible
French temperament!!! Gianni and Godard kept smoking all through dinner to
my despair!!! God that was GREAT!!! I didn't sleep for few days!!!