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Monica Vitti, the anti-Diva par excellence

Celebration of an icon

By Giulietta Riva

Monica Vitti left us on February 2nd. To remember her we propose again the service of her that we dedicated to her on the occasion of her ninetieth birthday.

What was unbearable on Monica Vitti's birthday, best wishes from the heart was the typical prose of “Crocodiles” by the mass media. To be clear: “the Crocodile” is that summary of the life of a famous person, kept in the drawer, ready for use at the moment of her departure; that is, in the editorial offices we carry on with the work so as not to be caught unprepared. A roundup of posthumous praise, typical of journalists' mental laziness.

Monica deserves much more celebrations, built with anecdotes and interviews full of joy, seasoned with irony, which is her figure and saturated with the love that is due to her, for all the good humor she has given us.

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Un post condiviso da Monica Vitti (@monica.vitti_)

Like, for example, the recent anecdote told by Simona Marchini that places Monica's theatrical debut well before Ofelia, in a “Hamlet” from 1956, but rather in a “Mandrake”, produced by Simona's father, Alfio. On the other hand, for those who leave the “Silvio D’Amico” Academy, the debut can only be theatrical.

To the limelight due to cinema and television, however pleasant, she has always preferred the playful aspect of family living rooms, perhaps with endless games of gin rummy where she is a teacher and shameless when, with an air pleased to be caught with her fingers in the jar of jam, pronounces: “I'm out!”.

And if that garden on the ground floor of Via Tiberio, at the foot of the Fleming hill, could speak of the endless games of ping pong, up on the terrace of the attic, where copious balls landed on the lawn like snowflakes, accompanied by numerous laughter and some discussion for an unassigned point. Those were the years of Michelangelo Antonioni.

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Un post condiviso da Monica Vitti (@monica.vitti_)

It goes without saying that each of us has his own idea of cinema, his preferences, his favorites and making rankings is definitely out of place; but try to imagine, as impossible interviews are constructed with the myths of the past, if Monica Vitti had lent her voice, so unique and fascinating, to the dubbing of Greta Garbo.

Free the synapses and replace the leziosi birignao of Lattanzi or Pagnani with the scratchy, sensual and full of irony voice of Vitti; think of how he would have exalted the verve of the “Divine” par excellence, in a film like “Ninotchka”. It is not for nothing that Garbo's films have been re-dubbed several times, by different voices, never finding the right one.

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Un post condiviso da Monica Vitti (@monica.vitti_)

And while we're at it, bringing the synopses to hyperbole, let's imagine if Vitti had encountered “Lubitsch's touch” instead of Antonioni's. Simply Poetry!

We are sure, that if Monica ever read these empty deserts, she would be the first to laugh out loud.

The tribute to the great artist will be held on today 4 February in the Campidoglio from 10:00 to 18:00, while the funeral will take place tomorrow 5 February in the Church of the artists in Piazza del Popolo in Rome.