Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Marco Tullio Barboni: “They Called Him Trinity” and Cinema becomes a destiny

 La voce di New York

By Lisa Bernardini

December 12, 2020

Fifty years ago a film that became a world cult classic was released: an interview with Marco Tullio Barboni, who continues in the footsteps of his father Enzo

[Enzo Barboni with Bud Spencer and Terence Hill. Behind his son Marco Tullio]

It has been exactly 50 years since the release of one of the most famous cult movies of all time.


We are talking about "They called him Trinity", directed by Enzo Barboni under the pseudonym EB Clucher. Half a century later, with public appreciation that has   even increased over the years, this cinematographic pearl is unanimously recognized as an international success.

Marco Tullio Barboni, son of the director of that film, belongs to an illustrious family, the Barboni, who have marked important traits of Italian auteur cinema. Uncle Leonida was a masterful director of photography, loved by AnnaMagnani; his father Enzo, first camera operator then director of photography and finally director under the pseudonym of EB Clucher, from "They called him Trinity" onwards has linked much of his fame to films starring Bud Spencer and Terence Hill and to the unforgettable Western bean loaf. A set frequenter since childhood, Marco Tullio was himself a director and screenwriter, and has continued his family career with stubbornness and considerable talent. In recent years he has become an appreciated and award-winning writer, whose books have received wide acclaim from audiences and critics. I interview him in Rome, where he has always lived.

[Marco Tullio Barboni]




Marco Tullio Barboni and your life in the world of cinema: how many international productions - and which ones - linked to your father's films have you followed?


“In various forms I have followed them all. The first as an attentive and passionate observer, all the others as the author of the subjects and the screenwriter, as well as my father's collaborator in all phases of production: from the conception to the edition.


In truth, on the occasion of the first Trinity, no one imagined that it would become an "international" production with such extraordinary speed. Immediately after, however, the first European and then, although smaller, totally unexpected success of "They Called It Trinity" in the United States, distributed by none other than Joseph Levine under the title "They call me Trinity", made it so and paved the way for all subsequent. Most of these were shot in the United States, mainly in Florida but also in New York and Arizona, and saw the participation of excellent American performers who I remember with great pleasure not only for their talent but also for being extraordinary. workmates. From Farley Granger to Harry Carey Jr., from Gregory Walcott to Robert Middleton, from Vincent Gardenia to Robert Vaughn”.


From a professional life in screenwriting to the landing in literature, with great success and feedback. Even in the land of America. Tell us about it?


“It was a double bet. The protagonist of my book ... and you will call it destiny is George Martini, an Italian American who was born and lives in New York. He is a "scientist of the new paradigm" as those who strive to combine science and spirituality, who investigate the universe of emotions and who do not hesitate to break the paradigms deemed insurmountable by most of the scientific community are defined. Having personally attended numerous seminars of this extraordinary kind of scholars (Bruce Lipton, Joe Dispensa, Gregg Braden, Roy Martina ...) mainly from the States and some with surnames echoing Italian origins, I decided to give this characterization to my protagonist and, through him, investigate the magical relationship between Conscious and Unconscious, extraordinarily significant even in a man used to mastering certain themes and working on himself. In the story, Conscious and Unconscious are represented, anthropoformed, as two different entities of the same protagonist, and face each other by attributing or reproaching the choices and responsibilities assumed during the existence of the same (in a film version George Clooney would be a perfect George Martini, interpreter of both roles). 


The ambition was to make accessible a topic deemed difficult and bring it closer to readers through the story of a life, a metaphor for millions of other lives. Won the bet, and the mistrust, in Italy where first the book and then its transposition for the theater have obtained numerous awards, I decided to follow the advice of a friend originally from New York and to translate it into English to try to make it known, through Amazon, also in the States. Well, beyond all the rosiest predictions … and you call it faithhe was among the finalists of the America Book Festival and received a flattering recognition at the 27th Annual Writer's Digest Book Awards where the jury rewarded him with a beautiful review, magnifying his plot and characters. Not bad for an independent book by an Italian author practically unknown on the US publishing market”.


What do you like to communicate about the reality that exists in our country, playing the role of intellectual as you are, to Italians living abroad? What do they need to know about their distant homeland that the media do not report and tend to overlook?


“Let me answer with an anecdote, or, better said, with a memory. In the mid-nineties of the last century my father and I spent over a month in the States to see places and meet actors for a television series we were preparing. Well, on that occasion, when we asked our contact at the place where we could see the matches of the Italian championship, we were, from time to time, directed to the places where the Italians of America followed those meetings. I can assure you that, both in New York, in Los Angeles and in Phoenix, they were fantastic experiences: yes, there was the desire to follow the games but, first of all and certainly stronger, there was the will to meet again, to exchange opinions on their homeland - often in an Italian crippled by the influence of the dialects spoken at home before moving -, to keep informed about the reality of their country. What they communicated, and I would like to say "taught", was much more intense and meaningful to me than I could, and could, communicate to them. Very agile with that same spirit of belonging, things would be much better in our country too".


An inevitable question: your opinion of Biden as the new president of the United States.


“I have to admit: my opinion of Joe Biden is fatally influenced by my bad opinion of Trump. Even in my absolute respect for the will expressed at the time by a great people like the American one, my conscience did not allow me to accept the behavior and choices of the tycoon. Never, I believe, no President, Democrat or Republican that he was, has conducted his mandate with the arrogance and arrogance displayed by Donald Trump on countless occasions: from the barrage of layoffs of men and women he himself nominated and disowned at the first hint. not supine obedience, to the attempt to cancel forms of assistance to the most disadvantaged sections of the population, to the most blatant denial of climate change. Happening to a character with such characteristics is not enough, of course to make Joe Biden a great President. However, I am confident that it will prove to be. I know about him of a life marked by great personal tragedies and I also know what a great poet like the Lebanese Khalil Gibran said about him: “The strongest souls are those tempered by suffering. The most solid characters are those covered with scars”. Here: I believe that a strong soul and a solid character capable of balance, empathy and humanity is what the United States needs. And the whole world”. The most solid characters are those covered with scars”. Here: I believe that a strong soul and a solid character capable of balance, empathy and humanity is what the United States needs. And the whole world”. The most solid characters are those covered with scars”. Here: I believe that a strong soul and a solid character capable of balance, empathy and humanity is what the United States needs. And the whole world”.


Last time you were in America? And what will your next trip overseas be as soon as it is possible to move more or less freely?


“I have been away from the United States for exactly nine years. Two weeks spent in Washington and New York with my wife and daughter. Nothing professional on the occasion: many museums, many shows, many excursions. With me to lead them to the most suggestive places known on the occasion of my previous trips and with my daughter Ginevra to do the same with respect to what I discovered during the internships at the New York Film Academy.   As for the next trip, we have no doubts: San Francisco. For what it represents and for what it has represented in the history of American cinema”.


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