Gianni Film Director? No,

author of ... thrillers

The Alberto Tedeschi Prize ’89
Goes to Gianni Materazzo.

 Well-deserved by our Co-citizen for his Mondadori [1] Thriller
 “Imperfect Crimes”

 by Antonio Piccoli

Already in April, Gianni confided in us in strict secrecy, that unexpectedly he had won a prize for his book, a thriller. It’s an important enough thing to get published in this sector, let alone by the Mondadori Thriller chain, the classical weekly of intrigue. We were very surprised at the news, not that Gianni is writing books, but that the writer of a thriller should have an Italian name, which is almost a desecration of good American names. And so on the 25th of June there was a festival in Cattolica[2], the “Mystfest”, the exhibition of mystery books, where our Gianni won the Alberto Tedsechi Prize. It was absolutely natural, almost his due, for us to interview him, because in our Association, between doctors and architects, accountants and engineers, lawyers and magistrates, cooks and ice cream makers, we didn’t believe that we also had an author of thrillers.  

Question: What gave you the idea of writing a book?

 Answer: In the end, reading a good book is not all that different from living a so-called real experience. In fact sometimes it happens that in reading, we identify with and are stirred to such an extent by the goings on in the book, that they seem more “real” than those of daily life. This happens when we are reading. Just imagine when one is writing. It’s like living a second life that you invent yourself, filling it with characters, facts and emotions that you choose and mix to your own pleasure. All this gives you a sensation of omnipotence. That’s why I wrote a book. If you then think that every day life is often flat, trivial, a forgone conclusion, then writing a book can become a pressing need.

 Question: You made a film of the “Promessi Sposi” (The Betrothed) and you promised to do another on “La Guerra degli Achei” (The War of the Achaeans[3], [4]), you’ve written a thriller and some scripts for TV, is this a fertile period or are these things that you’ve been thinking about for a long time?

 Answer: Yes, I must say that it is a very fertile period of my life. Before now, for various reasons, I don’t know why, my creative energies, the capacity to abandon myself to the game and to fantasy, stayed frozen and were inhibited. I had to reach the age of 50 before I was able to remove the block. Better late than never.

 Question: Is there some of you in the lawyer, Marotta? (Main character in the thriller?)

 Answer: Yes, I am the lawyer, Marotta. But there has already been someone who said something similar: a certain Gustave Flaubert. He too said “Madame Bovary c’est moi” (Madame Bovary is me).

 Question: Could you write a thriller for us in episodes, maybe as a comic-strip, to publish in our journal?

 Answer: If you knew how hard it is to write a thriller. How much time and concentration are needed. However I will try.

 Question: Could you tell us any anecdotes, about something that inspired you to write any of the passages in your thriller?

 Answer: Rather than relating an anecdote, I can let you have a couple of previews. The first is that the rights to make this book into a film have already been bought. The second is that my next story, or the next but one, provided they publish it for me, I shall set around Torricella, which, as those who have read “Imperfect Crimes” know, is suggested by the name of Fallascoso. There we are.

 Question: We already know that you are a cartoonist (for Torricella a “cartellonista”) and that you had a bookshop, but not that you are a lawyer and an author, so which profession do you really feel is you?

 Answer: In the whole of my life I never really knew who I was. I must confess that even now I have a serious problem with identity. At Torricella the problem seems less, because I feel at ease in this village. Here I have always had the feeling of being myself, and it seems to me that here other people too think of me for what I am, not for that which I represent. At this point, however, if I absolutely must categorise myself, well, I’d say I’m a writer of thrillers which suits me fine.  

Question: As a founder member, what do you think of our Association and its projects?

 Answer: The Association has been very important. Personally and egotistically, the Amici di Torricella has enabled me to get to know Torricellans who I didn’t even knew existed and I have re-discovered others whom I had only known superficially. Now I feel even more integrated within the village and this cannot be other than a pleasurable experience for me. So, if you get an idea and you want to achieve it, you have a point of reference, you know that there are people with whom you can share projects and initiatives. You, Antonio, asked me to write something about the project for the forthcoming film, “La Guerra di Troia” (The Trojan War). I can tell you that half a script is already ready, but, before making any more progress, it must be discussed in depth, to find out whether amongst the Members and amongst Torricellans in general, there is a strong expectation about it. But above all many people must have the understanding, the goodwill, a strong desire and be truly available to be involved in this new undertaking. This can only be evaluated this summer at the meeting of the Assembly and at other possible meetings.

Translator’s Notes:

[1]Mondadori – a Famous Italian Publishing House, founded by Arnoldo Mondadori (born Poggio Rusco Mantua, November 2, 1889 – died Milan, June 8, 1971).His publishing house is famous both within and outside of Italy for publishing “giallo” books (primarily mystery and crime fiction).

    [2] Cattolica - is a seaside resort town, with 2 Km of fine golden sandy beaches, surrounded by green hills. It is in the province of Rimini, in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. Situated on the Via Flaminia, at the centre of a small gulf, it is sheltered all year round from winds and currents, giving it a particularly favourable climate. Cattolica hosts many cultural events throughout the year. Cattolica's origins date back to Roman times; site of ancient taverns which later became famous inns during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance period, it is famous for its tradition of hospitality through the ages and this has strengthened its reputation today as a welcoming and modern tourist resort. (15,601 inhabitants).

 [3]  The Achaeans (Greek Αχαιοί) is the collective name given to the Greek forces in Homer's Iliad.  

      [4] see also Amici article “To the Horse of Troy” Year I No. 2, May 1989, page 12.

   Translation courtesy of Dr. Marion Apley Porreca   

© Amici di Torricella         Year 1       No 3 August 1989  page 12