70 years ago, Anna Markesini, the memory of Emanuela Fanelli, was born

On November 19, 2023, Anna Marchesini would have turned 70. The comedian from Umbria, who boasts an outstanding career both as a soloist and as a member of the famous Trio with Massimo Lopez and Tullio Solenghi, left us seven years ago. An untimely death that robbed us too soon of her wit and sympathy, but which will never be able to erase her artistic legacy, capable of paving new paths for generations of comedians to come. Among them we must certainly include Emanuela Fanelli, currently in theaters with the film “There’s Still Tomorrow”, directed by Paola Cortellesi.

Fabio Bartoli

November 19, 2023 would have been Anna Marchesini’s seventieth birthday. How do you think we should celebrate this anniversary and remember this artist?
First of all, I will start from a small curiosity that Marchesini herself liked to point out, namely that the date of her birthday, due to a possible error in the registry office, is not certain: she could have been born on the 18th or the 19th but that’s just a hint of color.
To remember her, beyond the value she had and continues to have for our country, I prefer to start with what she represents for me: a true legend, a figure present in my pantheon. I literally grew up with it, in the sense that it became a part of my life from the beginning, when I was a child: then my parents, fans of Trio with Massimo Lopez and Tullio Solenghi, owned the remote control, and it was with them that I started watching it .
You gave a quality boost to humor, because with Trio you brought a new way to make people laugh on TV, full of nonsense and post-TV shows. Moreover, since she was the main lyricist, the leap forward she made in the writing phase as well, as we can conclude from the Trio masterpiece, The fiance: the text shows great adherence to the original work, and in order to joke, to subvert its meanings, he really had to know the original text well, from which he then distanced himself with great humorous pranks.
In general I would like to see her celebrated and aired everyday, I would like people to talk about her all the time and not just on her birthday. I’d like her stuff to be promoted everyday, even solo stuff and not just with the Trio, also because maybe younger generations not knowing about her and not being given that chance would do an incredible disservice.
So let’s go back to talking about personal experience: I would like to know what Anna Marchesini gave her not only as a viewer first but also what she took away from her later, in her career as a writer and performer.
To say I’ve taken something from Anna Marquesini for me would be tantamount to blasphemy, seriously.
One way to answer the question and make people understand what it meant to me as a spectator to witness the manifestation of her talent and intelligence is to tell an anecdote: when she published her collection of short stories, Mosquitoes, I went to a book launch. Here, to talk about her inhibitions and insecurities in writing it, she confided that she had asked the following question: “But if Pirandello was already there, what am I writing to do? What can my writing add?’ And I, who dreamed of doing this job, while looking at her and listening to her say these things, I thought: “For me you you are Pirandello!”. When it came time to sign the copy, I approached her red-faced and trembling and said, without revealing my desire to become an actress out of modesty: “Mrs. Marquessini, for me. she it’s Pirandello.” And she, finding herself in front of that crazy young woman trembling and blushing, nicely brushed off the awkwardness with a “Thank you my love.”
Well, dreaming of doing this job I thought: “To me you are Pirandello”. as soon as I approached it, instead I thought: “But if Anna Marchesini was already there, what should I do as an actress?”.
It is currently in theaters with the film There’s still tomorrow, which sees Parola Cortellesi direct. Before going into the specifics of the film, I would like to make a thought: today in Italy the presence of female actors who mainly have comedy as a component of their performance in cinema and television is normal and widespread. Making a very quick projection of a few seconds, beyond her came to mind Paola Cortellesi, Luciana Littizzetto, Geppi Cucciari, Virginia Raffaele, Brenda Lodigiani, Valentina Barbieri… It was not once like that: if I turn The looking back, only Anna Marchesini and, before her, Franca Valeri come to mind. How did Anna Marchesini pave the way for all subsequent generations of Italian comedians?
Well, Franka Valerie and I challenge another artist from my pantheon. She was the first Italian humorist and I take this opportunity to emphasize that her and Anna Marchesini’s importance lies not only in their talent as actors and performers, but also in their perspicacity and wit as writers. Let’s always take Franca Valéry: she never made people laugh reflexively, starting with a male gaze who might think she was funny, but she was always the very driving force behind her comedy. She was a cultured writer, with a high register, who nevertheless never “lowered herself” to reach everyone, but did so while always remaining at a high level, and that is incredible. He was able to make every social class laugh, rousing the audience without any pretense, without any conceit, and this is truly a gift given to the viewers.
So Franca Valeri and Anna Marchesini blazed a trail and showed those who dreamed of doing their job that it could be done this way too. Apart from these two, the rest of the actors mentioned who have more experience than me, such as Cortellesi, Cucciari and Littizzetto, have also shown a path in their own way, since each of them has their own way of creating humor , with its own particular cut.
Still on the subject of female actors and writers, nhis show Female voices invites us to consider the women performed in the theater as individual characters who should not always be traced to the female archetype, while with its false trailer Selected agent Marilena Likotzis It’s ironic for female characters who have to make their way in an ever-male-dominated environment, seeing gender discrimination everywhere, especially where it doesn’t exist.
And they don’t understand it when they are there…
With Female voices I joked about the women’s monologues because it seems that every time a woman speaks in the theater she does so on behalf of all women, not just modern women but – resorting to immutable archetypes like Medea and Antigone – who belong to every era. That never happens when the actor is a man and I would like it to be like that for me because I only want to speak for myself. Who says women of all times and places would enjoy being represented by me without even being able to distance themselves? I am only representing myself and I believe that is the goal of equality.
With Marilena Licozzi’s character I was first and foremost kidding myself because there’s nothing I enjoy more than making fun of myself, or starting from that anyway. Also to A piece of Ludini I often joked about the role and profession of the actress, about the idea one has of actors and their tics. With Marilena I show that part of me that feels inadequate in some situations, that thinks it doesn’t know how to read possible gender discriminations, and then I think: “But I don’t feel them as such because they don’t exist. or because I am a servant of the patriarchy?’
In Anecdotes I was playing on how we women are often represented: we’ve always been told that we’re fragile and emotional, but frailties are inherent in human beings and not just part of us being women. Exactly for this reason in the film There’s still tomorrow I am happy to have a deep female friendship with Paola Cortellesi, because it is often said about women that they cannot be friends, that they will end up pulling their hair and fighting over men anyway… A story we’ve heard it so many times that in the end we ended up believing it too.
In the infinite world of possibilities, imagine Anna Marchesini in the room watching There’s still tomorrow. What reactions might it have? And what do you think you would like for the movie?
Oh my God! I’m already struggling to see myself again because I can’t stand myself and only notice my mistakes. So with her in the room I would run as fast as possible, miles and miles away. I love and respect her so much that I don’t even dare to imagine what she might think about the movie, for my modesty that would really be too much!


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