To the Kapannone dei Libri of Angera he arrives Ugo Fantozzi, the most unfortunate accountant in Italy, for an exhibition that opens today – Friday 23 September on the occasion of the recent release Fantozzi, Accountant Ugo. The (ir) resistible rise of a born loser, by Guido Pautasso and Irene Stucchi. Guido, thanks to his father Sergio Pautasso, the editor of Paolo Villaggio’s novels at Rizzoli, had the good fortune to meet the Genoese intellectual and comedian and in these pages he tells the genesis and behind the scenes of the character.
In the cultural center of Via Verdi – former building converted by the writer and bibliophile Andrea Kerbaker in the cultural center – a rich collection of playbills, posters and books on cinema on the character made famous by the big screen but born from the printed word. Even before being the popular icon of Italian cinema, he is in fact a literary character born from the encounter between Paolo Villaggio and the Rizzoli publishing housewhich at the beginning of the 1970s published the first adventures.
«We hope that the exhibition does not bring with it proverbial Fantozzian misfortune – comments with a touch of irony K. – Who doesn’t know the accountant Ugo Fantozzi? A name that has been part of Italian popular culture for generations, of which each of us remembers at least some of the peculiarities: the cloud of rain that haunts him, the “crazy craniate”, the meatballs and hot morsels swallowed awkwardly, the daring alarm clock and the rush to work. Immediately identified in its creator and author – Paolo Villaggio, comic actor and intellectual end at the same time – the servile and clumsy employee Fantozzi, an unfortunate character and harassed by life, becomes the emblem and parody of a generation of Italians, still capable of entertaining the public, between bitterness and laughter ».
From this afternoon 23 September – 6 pm – Fantozzi will therefore animate the 400 square meters of the Kapannone. Not only the title will be taken from the book by Pautasso and Stucchi, the curators will draw heavily from the colorful collection that Guido has put together for a faithful and carefree reconstruction by the accountant Fantozzi. At the exhibition there are not only posters, playbills, photo envelopes from all over the world, but also period magazines and newspapers and, of course, the books with the (dis) adventures of Fantozzi. For philological correctness, the collection and consequently the exhibition focuses on the first four films, which correspond to the first four books: Fantozzi, The second tragic Fantozzi, Fantozzi against everyone, Fantozzi still suffers.
“The character of Fantozzi – underlines Kerbaker – goes far beyond being just a comic mask and is the result of a refined and cultured construction that – thanks to its creator – draws indiscriminately from high and low culture, “mixing the best in itself literary tradition, popular theater, the season of silent cinema, that of Italian comedy, the unfortunate heroes of cartoons and comics”, As explained in the book by Pautasso and Stucchi. It will be enough to give just a few examples of the texts that are placed in the hands of the accountant – even if he will never read them: History of Morante, Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell and even the De consolatione philosophiæ of the Latin writer Severino Boethius. This last text, “with a philosophical but strongly allegorical character “states Pautasso in his book,” has its raison d’etre precisely if framed in the existential journey of Fantozzi, the greatest exponent of the category of born losing accountants, because the book is centered, in a nutshell, precisely on the theme of the suffering of the just: the just who pays, while the sinner triumphs“”.
“In the exhibition, therefore, we reconstruct this variegated Fantozzian library and, in addition to giving a detailed account of the world of the accountant between literature and cinema, we also enjoy lingering in curious and unusual materials such as the Russian VHS del Second tragic film by Fantozzi, a single entitled The ballad of Fantozzi-Impiegatango containing two excerpts from the film’s soundtrack Fantozzi and interpreted by the same Village, an audio cassette with the if a line of cups recently dedicated to the character. Then there are interviews and covers of all the newspapers (even a Playboy of ’77), foreign posters for the promotion of films in Spain, Central and South America, Slovenia, Germany, there is even Fantozzi in comics. The result is a fun and light-hearted review but – thanks to the curators Guido Pautasso and Irene Stucchi – equally accurate and exhaustive, which we are sure will be able to please a wide audience, including that of faithful readers and loyal spectators of the accountant Fantozzi, born loser “.