Daniele Ceccarini: "Tina Pica was a rock"
Tina Pica was a rock, a milestone in our cinema, one of the few characters that managed to become a protagonist and more, turning the performer into a character. In 1955, at the age of 71, she played the lead actress in 13 films, for a total career, from 1916 to 1963, of over 60 titles. Today, 50 years after her death, comes the documentary Tina Pica directed by Daniele Ceccarini and written by Paola Settimini, presented at the Naples Film Festival.
How did the idea of telling the life story of an actress like Tina Pica come about?
The idea of making this documentary was born during a train journey one night. Last year Paola Settimini and I were returning from the Ischia festival, where we had been guests with another documentary. We had stopped in Naples, a city we love a lot and during one of our heated discussions about cinema and the importance that some Italian authors have had in the world cinema, Paola suddenly realized that 2018 would be the fiftieth anniversary of death of Tina Pica and so the discussion turned into a draft of a project that we wrote without stopping, during the return trip.
How did the realization work set up?
We started work of a long research on the life and career of Tina Pica, covering all the movies we have always loved, we were in Naples several times to make inspections and to discover the places where she lived and worked, knowing the family and after drawing a script we started filming and doing interviews. The greatest difficulty was to be able to find people who had really known her or who had worked with her, because unfortunately her being died 50 years ago many of the great people with whom she collaborated are now gone.
How was the collaboration with the family?
We met her nephews who are both called Franco Pica, they welcomed us with great warmth, telling with sympathy and enthusiasm numerous and friendly anecdotes of "Aunt Concetta", like her passion for cooking, her original way of praying and the relationship of love and hate with the great Eduardo. They showed us some of her items including the Silver Ribbon and gave us some of the photographic material that was then used in the documentary.
What are the particularities of this great actress of our cinema and theater?
She is a unique, unreplaceable actress, with an unmistakable voice and walk. She was able to turn those weak points into strengths that made it irreplaceable for all the great directors she worked with. One expression was enough to make a laugh, only the great actors have this talent. Her great theatrical school allowed her to be direct, immediate and to get to the viewer's heart then like today. It is one of those characters that give you joy, serenity.
What was the artistic career of this great actress?
Tina Pica started as a child, she can say she was born in the theater, from a family of actors: her father was Giuseppe Pica, who with her family and other actors, from Naples reached the most remote countries. They called them the "scavalcamontagna" and with them she learned a very strong technique that combined with natural talent made it a myth of Italian cinema and theater. She then appeared in the theater with Eduardo, with whom she had a relationship of love and hatred that was born and accompanied them throughout their lives. Also in the cinema she started very early, starting with the great Elvira Notari and then working in over seventy films, most of which marked an era. To quote some of the great people with whom she worked: De Sica, Totò, Alberto Sordi, Dino Risi, Steno, Mario Soldati and Monicelli.
What will be the path of the documentary?
We decided to embark on the path of the festival and we are very happy that the film has started its journey from the most appropriate setting, that of the Naples Film Festival where the national preview was held and from which we hope will continue its journey in many other festivals.
A 2017 Italian production [Associazione Cinema & Cultura 2018 (Rome)]
Producers: Daniele Ceccarini, Paola Settimini
Directors: Daniele Ceccarini
Story: Paola Settimini
Music: Livio Bernardini, Egildo Simeone
Running time: 46 minutes
Story: A documentary dedicated to Concetta Annunziata Pica in art by Tina Pica, an unmistakable actress who worked with the greatest Italian directors. The documentary traces her career.
Tina Pica [archive footage], Franco Pica, Valerio Caprara, Giulio Baffi, Steve Della Casa, Lello Arena, Matteo Taranto