Friday, February 22, 2019

Malisa Longo: an unforgettable face of Italian cinema

She has made more than seventy films including thrillers, sexy comedies, many decamerotic, horror, fantasy, science fiction, action and westerns; a professional in the genre cinema. The career of Malisa Longo amazes us for her ditility of acting, beyond the undeniable of her photogenic features.

LF Magazine
By Antonello Altmura
February 1, 2019

Tall, slender, lithe, high cheekbones, big blue eyes and restless, long honey-colored hair, sweet, refined but the air she is wearing and transmitting is always that of a restless and wandering girl of the '70s. There are few women in the cinema of the '70s and' 80s who can boast an incredible physical form like hers, perhaps a miracle of his all-Venetian DNA. A Raquel Welch all'italiana, if we could define it. She has shot more than seventy films including thrillers, sexy comedies, many decamerotic, horror, fantasy, science fiction, westerns and many action films; a professional in the genre of cinema. The career of Malisa Longo amazes for the ditility of acting, beyond her undeniable photogenic features. Wife, revolutionary girl, guardian of the SS, appetizing bourgeois, the girl next door, mafia woman, even a woman of the future in countless science fiction movies. Her big blue eyes really marked the Italian cinema, seductive eyes, at times, but also full of healthy determination. Carlo Giuffrè, Ben Gazzara, Helmut Berger, Lando Buzzanca, Lino Banfi, Christopher Mitchum, Arthur Kennedy, Bruce Lee, are just some of his countless partners who she shared scenes with.

The enthusiasm emerges in the film accounts of the actress, very kind and affable, which today reveals a great desire to live and create, together with a charm that has remained intact. She left the cinema herself, she points out, at the beginning of the 1990s; today she is a painter and writer in an increasingly chaotic Rome but still mysteriously suggestive. Even Fellini wanted it in the variegated female population of the film "La città delle donne", in a cameo where she exhibited her photogenic and the statuary look that the master loved.

Where was the Malisa Longo actress born?

"In Venice I have always frequented painters and artists. Then, with my sister, we hitchhiked and traveled around the world (laughs). I won a Miss Cinema contest. I was a flashy girl and at the beginning I became a Cubist at the Piper in Milan, where I was a guest of the band "Equipe 84". Then I came to Rome and started in the cinema with small parts. Tiny things, remember "Eat it" with Paolo Villaggio at the beginning .... he was a bear ... then "Una ragazza piuttosto complicata" by Damiani with Spaak and Bolkan, but it was really at the very beginning. "

Terence Young chose her for "Le guerriere dal seno nudo", a cult film that has been greatly re-evaluated. What do you remember about it?

"I remember a set equipped with few people. Terence had chosen me after an audition. I remember in Sardinia, in Liscia di Vacca, the training on horseback, fighting, javelin, English, then acting lessons, for four weeks, and then going to Spain to shoot the film. "

Lucio Fulci has directed you in one of his cult film, "Una sull'altra", a story like Hitchcock, remember Marisa Mell?

"Of course, I did other things with her; there was a good working friendship. She was a simple girl with this wonderful movie face. She did not gloat, she was like that, she spoke very truthfully, she used herself at the actor level. She was a simple woman at the end. I then met her again in two other films: "Taxi love" and "Amori, letti e tradimenti". "

With Barbara Bouchet you filmed "Un tipo con la faccia strana ti cerca per ucciderti", what do you remember about this colleague?

"Well, we did not bond at the time. I rediscovered her as a friend today and we see each other. When I was acting, I did my job but I never lost too much in personal relationships on the set, just to not give rise to misunderstandings; the world of cinema is a particular world. Today there can be no rivalry I have to say that Barbara is a beautiful person. "

"Cristiana Studentessa degli scandali" by Bergonzelli, a strong film as a rebel girl, can we ask about it?

"The director Bergonzelli, with whom I worked also later in two other films, was looking for an actress to play the role of a rebellious and proud girl. An absolute protagonist. A good test for an actress. The screenplay was a beautiful cross-section of the '68, and of those years of the costume revolution. We were going to Mondragone. Maybe I was a bit like that girl in sixty-eight. A good movie I have to say. At that time I met Antonioni, who wanted me to star in one of his films, which he did not do. He also came to the assembly of "Cristiana" to see how I acted. And I really liked him! Sin. I had a black wig, in the film there was also Rossano, a singer in vogue at the time, which I remember who was in decline, but still very vain. "

Another beautiful film is "Il Trapianto" by the great Steno, with Rascel and Giuffrè, how do you remember them?

"Oh great ... the film was fun and well written, Rascel was really funny and then Giuffre was a great actor who put you at ease, a great Neapolitan gentleman."

"Afyon Oppio" a film about a shop in Turkey where you work with Ben Gazzara; what was the relationship with this myth?

"I had a small role, but in a strong film. Ben Gazzara was wonderful and was a friend of Terence Young, I often saw him at the Olgiata where Terence Young invited him; or at the restaurant. Once at Terence's "Piccolo Mondo", as a tribute to Ben, and we were friends, he even sent Roberto Murolo, who was a myth to him. I remember beautiful things about Ben, a great man who speaks very good Italian. "

With Lando Buzzanca you did "Il domestico", how did you get along with this actor who is still very popular today?

"Lando is simply delicious, I still see him. A great artist downgraded for years for problems with views. He worked a lot because he's a big guy, but he did not deserve twenty years of mud, because of his art, I say, it was an injustice. Today, perhaps, they have understood that at the cinema, for someone who laughs, make the dramatic fresh water ... .. But today ... thanks to him."

Stepping back, you become famous and sought after all over the world for working with Bruce Lee in "L’urlo di Chen che terrorizza anche l’Occidente." They have accredited you in the opening credits as the Italian Beauty for coproduction reasons. What kind of guy was Bruce Lee? Was he kind to you?

"Yes very gallant and a real man; You know I did not expect that this Chinese, who had however a beautiful body, had such a worldwide resonance over the years, I wonder if he had not died so young if this legend would have even started. He then had a philosophy of his own, he was a strict, a healthy man, and his son's death seemed strange to me, I must say. I have my hypotheses ... "

You shot a film scandal "Adolescence perversa" with Femi Benussi, a Slavic sex symbol, actress disappeared into thin air, but what we know lives in Istria do you remember it?

"Femi Benussi was a particular person, she looked like a film clerk, she did not chat at all with her colleagues and after the shooting just disappeared. I met her on the street, years after the film, she was with a friend of mine, but she had already retired, the Director Josè Benazeraf, was an author who then went into porn but in France it was very well seen at the time. And I must say that I too was very much appreciated in France. In addition to the film with Benazeraf, I made more films in France. Two of these were very successful, but in Italy they did very little, because they came out quietly, without publicity. In France at the time, after the set, in the evening we actors, we met with the director and we saw the shots of the day before. So, between a cup of Champagne, and an appetizer, we exchanged ideas, even talking about mistakes. With us this never happened, they were afraid that the actors would say something contrary to the ideas of the director. The voice then, in France, absolutely made you use yours, even if you were a foreigner, in Italy instead, most of the time they wanted me to be dubbed. Castellitto, was already famous, before being famous in Italy, just in France. Raf Vallone  was an item. I remember receptions in Paris from Salvador Dali with his extravagant court around. Unforgettable moments. If you have a strong artistic background you are really well considered in France. "

You collaborated a lot with Tinto Brass, in at least 4 films and he is a great friend of yours, in particular on "Saloon Kitty" what do you remember?

"A big family all together in the hotel. Helmut Berger is, as a person, a little evanescent, but as an actor he was a great, just right for the part. Then I remember Jost Jocobs, the costume designer of Brass, an absolute genius, creator of cosmetics and wigs, he was a great professional. I remember Tinto's wife as a very nice person. But be careful ... with Tinto you create a family on the set but also an absolute penalty, he as a director demands a lot. "

Then a mythical film in which you play the beautiful blonde wife of Banfi who must contend with the charm of Cassini, blackberry, in "La dottoressa ci sta col colonnello", you were very beautiful in that film, almost to make the Cassini disappear. How did you find Banfi and the Cassini?

"Mah Cassini is the type of actress perpetually concerned only with her beauty and there we had no relationship, Banfi is an exquisite person with whom it was a pleasure to work. Silvio Laurenzi (the costume designer of the NDR divas) made me pretty, between lace, gloves I was seductive ... "

With your athletic physicality you participated in the fantasy "Gunan il guerriero" by Franco Prosperi, and "Thor the conqueror" by Tonino Ricci, where you play a slave. What do you remember of these films?

"Very little of those sets ... very little, I remember my partners in the first, Pietro Torrisi, and in the second, Bruno Minniti, both with great physicality and great athletic performances."

With Alfonso Brescia you made a lot of movies, especially science fiction, a woman of the threatening but seductive future. There were so many, why?

"In the science fiction films there have been replacements. There were only three movies and then they became five. With Brescia, however, I have always found myself comfortable even in the craziest roles; I made 8 films with him, he made me the rider in "Supermen, Superdonne Superbotte", the doctor in "L’adolescente", the mother in "White Fang", the sexy maid in "Amori, letti e tradimenti" and even the Neapolitan wife of Mario Merola in "Il mammasantissima" ... .. I worked a lot with him really, even before sci-fi movies."

"Frati Rossi" a film about the seven, in my opinion to be seen, a film enigmatic, complex, hypnotic, but what is left of your participation with the character of the housekeeper Rebecca Hitchcock?

"I remember the animals that were spinning, the insects in that ancient village of Count Giovannelli ... I enjoy these strict and rigorous roles. I'm pretty sweet, good-natured, I've never felt I was a beautiful and erotic actress. I would also like to remind you that between the films and the theater, I was working on TV shows, I sang, and I even did the soubrette in a magazine called "Bentornata Madame Magazine". Thanks to my performance, my photos and posters, have been included in the official book that tells the story of the "Folie Bergère". A great satisfaction."

Why did you stop working in the cinema, you are still beautiful?

"I stopped because I no longer wanted to do the casting, it was a tiring process because they were all burned by the crisis. I dedicated myself to writing and poetry and journalism. As a writer I wrote two books of poetry, a political essay, and two novels, one with Mondadori. They can also be found on the Internet in the Ebook version. As a painter, however, I have participated in numerous exhibitions, and I have also won several prizes. Then, twice a year, I exhibit in via Margutta with the Association of 100 Painters. So I never stop ... But at the cinema ... I think about it again .. Who knows ... should the right occasion happen .. Why not? "

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