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Zalone and the Italian Stonewall of Sanremo

Watch the comedian’s monologue at the Casino where the gay liberation movement was born fifty years ago

Who knows if Amadeus and the authors of Sanremo know royal558, if they remember, that right here, in the “city of flowers”, took place fifty years ago the little Italian Stonewall, the Stonewall that we can afford in a country where , etc. It was 1972, and the young Angelo Pezzana, founder of FUORI (Italian Revolutionary Homosexual Unitary Front) was very angry with an Italian psychiatrist who had addressed a poor gay man as “the unhappy self-esteem “(the word homosexual was forbidden, it seems yesterday, but in the newspapers you couldn’t even write” member “, you had to say” component “; today, however,” ass “is a prime time thing, even in Sanremo).

In short, this is where everything was born. Pezzana and a handful of protesters-gentlemen picketed at the psychiatric congress and were elegantly taken to the barracks. “Are you a psychiatrist?” Journalists asked. “No, I’m gay,” Pezzana replied. “But I can’t write it, no one ever wrote it.” “Be the first,” Pezzana replied fabulously. Italy, suddenly, slowly began to emerge from the “green ballets” and those referents there.

It all started here, and today it’s awesome to see this Sanremo from the festival press room located right in the same casino, exactly fifty years later (will they have a recreation in mind, after Monica Vitti’s?). The casino is kept in the background with a floral graphic animation and the word “royal558 online” (melancholy atmosphere like all casinos) shines. And Zalone’s evening was seen in a nearby, old restaurant, with old people in charge of singing stars, with dyed hair; the televisions were jammed all the time.

Then, suddenly, there was silence in the room made up of agents, make-up artists, various teams of singers competing, with Zalone’s first monologue. Partly because “the Brazilian trans”, perhaps in our bubbles, had not been felt since 1992, or perhaps since 1972, partly because perhaps this bubble is now the whole country. And the joke of Lapo, the poor Lapo who has hit his head right in the meantime, seemed ungenerous, old. Everyone was looking at the dish, and it didn’t look like a particularly awake audience, it was a working province, not a Judith Butler reader. The problem with Zalone’s first monologue is that it might have made you laugh at the EXTERIOR era, but today it seems very old, rather than racist. Banana and strawberry. The inclination over jokes. Are we vintage?

Will there be any method? Is the Zalone method the one that always works? First you make it big, you say unacceptable things and then here, you see, I’m not racist, but? So in the promotions of his films, when he releases the song “Immigrato” (Immigra, please favor the other side / Immigrant / Now tell me why you signed me up), and then instead “The movie is not racist! I described society!”

And it seemed to you. Zalone wins easily in the now bipolar world not in a political but neurological sense, who gets angry or smiles for two hours and then forgets everything, and with the remaining neuron you will remember the last, not the first, and the good. not bad (Dino Risi method: out of 100 films, people will remember three masterpieces, as opposed to the Pontecorvo method, the arduous search for the masterpiece at all costs). So the non-laughing-racist-monologue does it first, it’s not stupid. We will remember the other two, the surprising one about the fake “not very rich” Fedez and the virologist cousin Al Bano.

And it’s not that we just laugh at the misfortunes of others, or that Zalone “makes us laugh precisely because he hits where it hurts the most,” as some say. As far as we know, virologists and influencers are not hated or deceived as virologists or influencers (even if some want to); they can even marry and adopt children, sponsors love, by the way. They were not even chased with special stars in Auschwitz. So yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like BT aint for me either. the besieged minorities. it inspires pain more than a movement of the spirit, it is physiological.

And then there’s the Amadeus Method: the cynical, rogue use of “sensitive” issues in general, which comes out stingy because maybe it’s the country that’s very much in turmoil right now, just out of Covid and the craziest Quirinaris in the world. , the heads of the secret services take selfies with the ministers, the presidents of the Senate televoting, in short, it is impossible to keep everything together. Also in Sanremo. And after the little speech of the black actress, Iva Zanicchi arrives and says, “You’re so nice!”

But above all, again, it is interesting the use of the gay theme by Sanremo: the Cencelli Lgbt that sees a field unleashed everywhere, the geism in the ninth grade, the fluidity is old or will be soon, Achille Lauro passed on the left by Maneskin. Then the most erotic duet of recent years, Mahmood and Blanco, very modern and contemporary (surely the former should reflect on the effect of comparison, seeing them together seems to be the father of the fantastic eighteen-year-old Brescian that Harry Styles does not know ). care about). But then back in 1972, the good presenter who kisses the director of the Network, and the greatest national comedian who speaks snoring in Portuguese, and says strawberry and banana. Perhaps Italy has a more serious problem than it wants to admit with homosexuality, or perhaps with contemporaneity in general. Maybe Sanremo is always the mirror of the country. Certainly, dear Zalone, when you were doing your monologues, we have been here in Sanremo for fifty years.

Michele Masneri

Michele Masneri (1974) was born in Brescia and lives mainly in Rome. Write about culture, design and more on the sheet. His latest books are “Steve Jobs no longer lives here,” a collection of reports from Silicon Valley and California during the Trump era (Adelphi, 2020) and the essay-biography “Alberto Style”, around the figure by Alberto Arbasino, for Quodlibet. (2021).

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