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Experts say that Erminio Macario has revolutionized italian comic cinema. And yet, the new generations struggle to know and recognize this personality that not only has revolutionized revue stage and “avanspettacolo”, but also incubated divas that will monopolize Italian screentime starting from the ’70es. Trained in the “school” of the soubrette Isa Bluette, his enormous success comes from an innovative idea for that time: be surrounded by soubrettes that can make his plays rich and captivating. Teacher and stage director, extremely strict and professional, Macario was the one that launched in those years, some of the biggest divas of the Italian scene.
Macario is attributed the intuition to transpose new forms of comedy from the theatre to the cinema, and is precisely on the big screen that his mask of a resigned common man, at the mercy of the events of life, collected his major successes. However, the character that gave him so much fame in the ﬁrst post-war period, was also his ruin because it didn’t allow him to catch up with the economic boom era and with the new and more sophisticated taste of italian audience.
Macario’s story is one of rise and fall of a comedian that, no matter what, made the history of Italian theatre and ﬁlm industry.
I didn’t like Macario, and I think that most of the people in my generation also didn’t. I rarely laughed at his lines, I thought them to be trivial and “qualunquiste”. Often his characters were losers, resigned to their sad fate, and only thanks to a sudden twist of fate they came out unscathed and victorious. So, for me, to meet Macario again and recount in a movie his path as comedian in the ‘900, is a pleasant work of rediscovery and a challenge at the same time. And slowly, I’m starting to reevaluate, in some ways, the person and the comedian Macario.
Macario’s, indeed, the story of a boy that from a very young age starts to chase his passion, working hard and facing sacriﬁces to reach his objectives until, not only he succeeds, achieving fame in theatre and “avanspettacolo”, but also brings innovation into Italian comedy. And when everything starts to crumble apart, he ﬁnds the strength to start over, anything but resigned, as sometimes are his characters.
Caterina Taricano (Archive Researcher)