Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Rosanna Yanni - One Way Ticket to Rome

One way ticket to Rome
Author: Antonio La Torre
(Palermo, Italy)
Contributions by: Carlos Aguilar (Madrid, Spain), Javier G. Romero (Bilbao, Spain)
The beginning is just a mixture of small fragments of distant years past. A mnemonic puzzle of souvenir papers, bills, notes, journals ... where they are waiting to come alive. They met in early 1900, at the tip of the boot, in Calabria. A young couple decided to immigrate to Argentina in search of a solution to the problems of not finding work in their homeland. The young Ianni family left Italy. Their task of adapting to their new world begins in a small fishing village, where the young Italian couple is torn between the misery of everyday life and the number of their children which increases steadily which totals thirteen. Of these moved to Buenos Aires where he undertook the study of medicine and became a doctor, Dr. Ianni. But unfortunately dies of cancer. He was the father of Rosanna Yanni, real name Ianni Paxot Marta Susana, who became orphaned at the age of eight, and her perspective on life became quite complicated. His two siblings go to live with his paternal uncle, with whom they grow up. She, by contrast, will live with his paternal grandma until a teen. She lives in deprivation and in conditions approaching misery, where she retains her hate with all her strength for the rest of her life. She lives in the neighborhood of La Boca in Buenos Aires, where the ships were arriving from Genoa and Naples. Yanni will be raised by relatives and her grandmother in a very rigid and conservative, staunch Catholic culture which is obsessive with Calabrian honor, a condition which sharpened her natural instinct to revolt and increased the desire for autonomy. Especially when, as a teenager, she realizes that it she is a pretty and talented girl.
At age 14, she began her first professional steps, first working in a store as a clerk Later she will be a telephone operator in a hospital clinic and an elevator operator in Buenos Aires. A few years later, she gets to work on television and in some risqué magazines, the Ianni family - especially her two brothers - show a tremendous disappointment in her career, resulting in a break in their relationship, a couple of years later, and break all emotional relationships with her. Yanni was already obsessed with the idea of ​​getting everything she had previously been denied in the world. Dragging the sadness in her memories of childhood and adolescence, resolving to leave Buenos Aires forever and return to the promising and sparkling Italian economic boom. The same country that their grandparents were forced to leave in search of fortune. This idea begins to obsess her every day until it becomes her primary goal.
In Italy she is already a very pretty woman, tall full of style and appeal. Her closest friends push her to do some modeling for agencies in Buenos Aires as a mannequin and model. And this is when she starts to earn enough to pay for night school and complete her studies in order to leave. She learns to parade on the catwalk, but at first did not receive any money for this activity. She says her quality of life was not satisfactory, and she lived with a constant sense of insecurity. These years were still difficult for her. Rosanna had low self-esteem and self-confidence, but had a great desire to improve. She marries in Argentina, but his first and imprudent marriage fails after only two years. Her obsession is to go to Italy as soon as possible, to work in the fashion industry or the cinema. But the lack of emotional support and a series of misfortunes sentimentally undermine her confidence. The Rosanna Yanni of those years is very fragile, often betrayed by affections and friendships; yet she often gets aggressive like a wild animal, like a defense mechanism is involved. However, that does not deny the remembrances and she considers it a period of growth needed to strengthen her temperament.
Sometime later she begins working as a model for Cartier. In 1957 Argentina national TV organizes a beauty contest that Yanni enters and is the winner. She is only 17. Rosanna receives many contracts to pose in front of the cameras and television. But efforts to reach out to the family, again, are frustrated by new accusations by the brothers, who are still ashamed of the public appearances of their sister who consider it indecent. In fact, the family still has a rather violent reaction, pointing a finger to her as the black sheep of the Ianni family, refusing to even meet with her. This episode traumatized her inner imbalance. It seems as if life had ostracized her and quickly led to a level of maturity to Yanni's life giving it a turning point.
Rosanna Yanni left Buenos Aires in 1961 with a one-way ticket to Rome, Italy, the homeland of the Ianni family. The ideal place to begin a new life in the Eternal City with the Fontana sisters, designers whose signature is still very prestigious, and Capucci. She will also model swimsuits for a company in Milan. Yanni visits Paris as a tourist, where she remains for a few weeks with some friends from Argentina, before returning to Rome, where she longs to meet and mingle with the jet set in Cinecittà and the capital. These were the years in which Italian cinema was the largest in Europe and second in the world after the United States, by the number of film productions. A field quite competitive and ruthless, where Rosanna was unable to find work. After a couple of years she is not associated with any film agency, and is involved in fashion, continuously. She does not even engage in relevant relationships or any noteworthy friendships. A missed opportunity which greatly afflicted Yanni, who wanted to live and work in the country of her ancestors. This does not alter her intent to build a career in the entertainment world, and promises herself she will never return to Buenos Aires.
Yanni considers the possibility of going to Spain, where the language factor could help her. So she visits Madrid in 1963, and decides to stay for a month. Also here are some Argentine friends. She attends the Teatro de la Zarzuela where Alfredo Alaria is debuted and finds Hugo Ferrer, an Argentine journalist, who informs her that the Spanish director Juan Bosch is looking for a Nordic-looking actress for a comedy film. She is chosen for the cast. It marks her entry into the film world, working in the summer sun (1963), one of those products that would fashion in Spanish cinema of those years, empty comedies rich in content and scantily clad girls. Also entering the film environment is the actor Arturo Fernandez, with whom she maintained a long romance. Yanni makes friends in Spain and with her new found film career decides to stay. This is the period that begins her reputation as a worldly woman of the elitist party planner and man-eater. Her reputation begins with a flirtation with Alain Delon, and other characters of the world of the jet set caliber of Maria Gabriella of Savoy, Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy and Marina Doria. But during a period of time more work does not arrive. And above all the international jet set will never see her in the movies, because her early films are distributed only in Spain. The consequence of Iberian and restrictive laws that arouse little interest in major European distributors. For two long years without scripts she will remain unemployed. She still manage to appear in some small film such as musicals even though Yanni could not sing, or dance. Then she is given a small role in “La familia y... uno más” (Family and ... one more) (1965) by Fernando Palacios, where she works, among others, next to Soledad Miranda, the much worshipped Iberian actress. Consecutively she appears in “Las salvajes en Puente San Gil” (1966) by Antonio Ribas. In 1967 she recovers her inner peace. It convinces her that beautiful women have an advantage of exploitation and uses it to her advantage, because of the selfish and cynical world in which he lives, no one does anything for nothing, and people are only valued for what they have. “El paseíllo” (The Little Walk) (1968) will be her next film, before her relevant encounter with Jacinto Molina aka Paul Naschy. Yanni always claimed to feel very limited in the role of an actress in films that went beyond Spanish borders. The opportunity came with precisely with the encounter with Naschy, actor and director best known Iberian in the world. Born was an artistic union that will allow them to work together in four important films in the Spanish cinema gender. “Brand of the Werewolf” (1968) is the first, and certainly the film that opens a terrifying Spanish genre developed in the 1970s.
With regard to the relationship between cinema of Paul Naschy and Yanni, asked the Spanish film critic and scholar Javier G. Romero analysis:
J.G.R. – Finding it nice to surround himself with desirable women, Jacinto Molina wrote his scripts with fantastic grandiose lovemaking qualities. It was then natural to incorporate four times the very carnal presence of Rosanna Yanni. In “The Mark of the Werewolf” (1968), she embodies an old-fashioned gypsy (stunning curves and tanned skin), soon massacred by the werewolf. However, in “The Great Love of Count Dracula” (1974), the actress takes a role of a supernatural vampire with her co-stars (Mirta Miller and Ingrid Garbo), so conducive to her sensual appeal to join, in fog and a morbid halo a necrophiliac. The antithesis of the image proposed in “The Hunchback of the Morgue” (1973), the maternal female whose devotion to the deformed protagonist to share, very comfortably, with the unfortunate sex. I have little else to say about her role in “Madrid al desnudo” (The Naked Madrid) (1979), the mistress of a banker, a victim of blackmail. In any case, the actress, cardboard and / or overplayed thanks to artificially dramatic character dashes was mediocre in this quartet and is subjected to the dual vision of women held in Naschy and his films: the harpy source object or female fears of unconditional pleasure.
A.L.T. - And, in this respect Yanni was much requested for roles in sexy Spanish comedies?
J.G.R. - In Spain the Developmentalism, first, Consumerism and then proposed an erotic comedy harem "great ladies" that Rosanna Yanni availed without much bias or selectivity. Yanni, tall, blonde, gorgeous with a subtle physicality air marked with masculine traits but beautiful, works as a desired icon that a woman that dazzles the fiery stallion inept homeland: “The Master and the Heartbreakers” (1969), in the “Por qué pecamos a los cuarenta” (1969), in the biting “Cómo casarse en 7 días” (How to Marry in 7 days) (1971), is always "the other" that sexual presence that threatens the "legitimate" star couple's fool. Rosanna Yanni, based on her previous experience as a model and actress in magazines, lewd displays authority, but with some aplomb humorous burlesque denoting distance, is aware of the very low level of this popular film, whether faced with an insatiable Simon Alfredo Landa, “Simón, contamos contigo” (1971), caught in a tangle of paranormal powers “Matrimonio al desnudo” (1974), showing, for solace of Arturo Fernandez, generous cleavage in “El adúltero”  (1975), or in the skin of naive and desirable amateur footballer smoking cigars in “Las ibéricas F.C.” (1971).
That same year, Julio Busch signs her for “Cuidado con las señoras” (1968), and later the same year she works on “Comanche blanco” (White Comanche) (1968), where she works with the great Joseph Cotten and William Shatner. Yanni's performances always arouse particular interest, especially in the original language versions. Because of her Argentine accent, coupled with her elegance and striking physical beauty, incurred considerable public acceptance as partial Spanish and Spanish. 1969 is her most prolific year and full of praise for her. Yanni works in eight films: “El señorito y las seductoras” (1969), a typical comedy by Ramon Fernandez a sex specialist, “Por qué pecamos a los cuarenta” (1969) by Pedro Lazaga, versatile in both war films “Hora cero: Operación Rommel” (A Bullet for Rommel) (1969 ) with Jack Palance and “The Legion of No Return” (1969) with Tab Hunter and Howard Ross, both films directed by the late Leon Klimovsky (also from Argentina). "Kiss Me Monster" (1969)] in which she plays Regina, and another genre film “Sadist Erotica” with starlet Janine Reynaud, Michel Lemoine, directed by Jesus Franco. On the professional collaboration with Jesus Franco Yanni was asked for a comment by writer and film historian Carlos Aguilar:
C. A. - Before “Kiss Me Monster” and the case of two beautiful actresses in the films of Jess Franco belonging to the fantasy genre had been characterized by a murky erotic appeal: Diana Lorys, Marie Vincent, Silvia Sorrente, Estella Blain, Françoise Brion, Rosalba Neri ... Well Janine Reynaud, Rosanna Yanni Argentina established the adequate contrast in this leaflet, thanks to her beauty and grace. Virtues that complemented with unsettling curiosity emanating precisely Janine Reynaud said. Thus, the beautiful adventurous duo are both embodied in these two films literally a perspective particularly coming about by coincidence.
Yanni also worked in the 1969 musical “Song of Forgetting” (1969) by Juan de Orduna, which also double to Lily Bergman, and closes the years in “Malenka, the Niece of the Vampire” (1969), a Spanish-Italian co-production directed by the great Amando De Ossorio. These were years in which Yanni is much requested on the set, and she did not miss a single opportunity to work and interact with the movie business. In 1970 she works again with Lazaga in “Las siete vidas del gato” (1970), alongside popular names in Spain, Mirta Miller (remembered, among other things, for her role in “Vengeance of the Zombies” (1973) Klimovsky), Antonio Ozores and Esperanza Roy. Also in “Fortunata and Jacinta” (1970) by Angelino Fons, drama, an Italian-Spanish co-production, filmed in Seville, Madrid and Granada, and Liana Orfei and Emma Penella, “El cronicón” (The Chronicle) (1970) by Antonio Giménez Rico again beside her friend Esperanza Roy, “Cuadrilátero” (Quadrangle) (1970) by Eloy de la Iglesia chow business and film debut of boxer Jose Legrá; “Dele color al difunto” (1970), a comedy directed by Luis María Delgado and “Crimen imperfect” (1970) by Fernando Fernan Gomez written by Pedro Maso. In 1970 she finished with “El dinero tiene miedo” (1970) by the popular Pedro Lazaga starring Tony Leblanc. This time period is helpful in every way to Yanni. With it comes success and money. Going to live near the park in Madrid's Casa del Campo, the green lush oasis of the Spanish capital. But, although the quality of her life has changed dramatically for the better, the disillusioned and fatalistic attitude of Yanni does not change at all. In fact, she says it will take the things of life as they come, trying to adapt to your way of being. The world, Rosanna, despite its technological armor will always stay the same as it has always been, is, miserable and fundamentally unfair. Divided into who has economic power and who serves out of fear, fatalism and resignation, consciously or unconsciously. And finally, those who try to change the situation, but have little effect, because many of them are in jail (the reference to the Spanish political situation of the time is quite straightforward).
José María signed her to play alongside Danielle Jean Sorel, Analia Gade and Tony Kendall in “In the Eye of the Hurricane” (1971), co-produced with Italy an important giallo, the same works in comedy, “Simón, contamos contigo” (1971) by again Ramon Fernandez. The film opens only in Spain, like many others. Here Yanni plays an Italian girl betrayed by her Spanish boyfriend, which profusely insulted her, his Italic language ... and burning. Other similar films would in “Cómo casarse en 7 días” (1971) by Fernando Fernan Gomez and “Las ibéricas F.C.” (1971) by Pedro Maso with Ingrid Garbo, Jose Sacristan and Simon Andreu, a very familiar faces of the genre. The year concludes with two works: ‘Las doce caras de Eva’ (The Twelve Faces of Eve), Spanish TV series, and “Un omicidio perfetto a termine di legge” (Cross Current), an Italian giallo directed by Tonino Ricci, with Philippe Leroy, Elga Andersen and Ivan Rassimov. “Mañana en la mañana” (Tomorrow Morning), 1972, directed by Luis Revenga, who was most active as a screenwriter. In the same year she works with Sergio Corbucci for two days on the western “The band JS: Cronaca criminale del Far West” (Sonny & Jed) (1972)] with Tomas Milian, Susan George, Telly Savalas and Eduardo Fajardo, and in “What Am I Doing in the Middle of the Revolution” with the Italian greats Italian Vittorio Gassman and Paolo Villaggio. Yanni returns to the side of Paul Naschy in “El jorobado de la Morgue” (Hunchback of the Morgue) (1973) and Terence Young will direct the Franco-Italian-Spanish co-production “Le guerriere dal sinus node (War Goddess) (1973 ), with a cast full of familiar names.
1973 is also a pivotal year for Yanni’s private life. In the Madrid clinic of Our Lady of the Rosary, little Sharon is born in March, the first daughter of Rosanna, and the result of a relationship with Johnny Dwyre, editor and sound engineer, who she met on the set of “The Amazons”. Then, after obtaining a divorce will enjoy her new family. They move to live in a wealthy suburb of Paris. Yanni, must return to Madrid for work, and this will be a slow and inexorable cause of estrangement, between the two. It will be a relationship destined to soon fail. But motherhood seems to have given a new light to Yanni, also making it much more beautiful and lucid.
The third film with Naschy comes as “Count Dracula's Great Love” (1974), Aguirre also filming the tape around Madrid, and again with the Iberian Horror icon Mirta Miller, and the splendid Haydée Politoff. Ramon Fernandez calls her back to do “Matrimonio al desnudo” (1974), “Como matar a papá... sin hacerle daño” (1975) and “El adúltero” (1975). In 1976 she works on “Batida de raposas” (Fox Hunt) (1976) by Carlos Serrano, with the fascinating Maria Perschy and again with Aguirre “La iniciación en el amor” (Daphnis and Chloe) (1976), and ‘Novela’, TVE series, where she played the Vizcondesa de Beausant. Rosanna meets the director Luis Garcia Berlanga and they work together in “La escopeta nacional” (1978), while the following year comes “Madrid al desnudo” (1979), the last film with Naschy makes as an actor and director. In 1980, she works in the film “Despido improcedente” by Joaquín Luis Romero Marchent.
In the course of the 1970s, Yanni lives her private life and loves between flirting wisps, either because of her professional life had booked many job opportunities, perhaps many rewarding. Perennially she retains an elegance of form, but a rebellious deathless spirit, and considers the world as a sort of jungle full of dangers that she needs to be constantly on alert. She forces herself to redeem the misery and affection denied by her dearest family, who rejected her when she began to pose for Argentine magazines early in her career.
Rosanna Yanni, her background full of integrity because she lived through many difficulties in her life always in the best way, that is, without repeating the same mistakes and overcoming the fear and uncertainty had certainly hardened her temperament, as can happen to someone who has lived alone for a long time without a real family. Despite being very sociable, she loves solitude. All that she has earned claims to have spent, and has no difficulty in admitting that she became selfish, because she she received little from others except disappointment.
She return to work for Spanish television in the 1990s in some series, and movies “To the Limit” (1997) with Bud Spencer in “Paris-Timbuktu” (1999) with Michel Piccoli and Concha Velasco, and “The First and Last Love” (2002).
The personal and professional experiences of this woman and actress of Calabrian origin, through the various stages of her life, deserve necessary reflection. In memory of all who love, and rebel in Buenos Aires,  the alter-ego of the woman as, spy, secret agent, compassionate carnal sex comedian, vampire, worldly woman in Spanish lands, Rosanna Yanni played the sweet and tenacious representation of the unforgettable Latin blonde goddess of European cinema.
[Special thanks: Sharon Golding Dwyre (Rosanna Yanni’s daughter), Paulina Ianni (Rosanna Yanni’s relative), Susana Ianni (Rosanna Yanni’s relative)]
Blanco y Negro [Spain / Nr. 2704 - 29 February 1964] (mg)  |  Miss [Spain / Nr. 70 - 2 August 1968] (mg)  |  Nuevo Fotogramas | [Spain / A. XXIV - Nr. 1070 - 18 April 1969] (mg)  |  Los Domingos de ABC [Spain / Suplemento Semanal - 1 November 1970] (mg)  |  Nuevo Fotogramas [Spain / A. XXVII - Nr. 1215 - 28 January 1972] (mg)  |  Diez Minutos [Spain / A. XXIII - Nr. 1152 - 22 September 1973] (mg)  |  Semana [Spain / A. XXXIV - Nr. 1759 - 3 November 1973] (mg)  |  Lecturas [Spain / A. LIII - Nr. 1180 - 29 November 1974] (mg)  |  Interviu [Spain / A. 2 - Nr. 66 - 18-24 August 1977] (mg)

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