Wednesday, February 24, 2010
The reluctant writer of O' CANGACEIRO.
Bernardino Zapponi: Did I write a film called O' CANGACEIRO? Ah yes, it's true. I'd totally forgotten! So many years back! I did a very concise story that had been asked of me: about the cangaceiros, the bandits of Brazil, as a variant on the Spaghetti Western. I did that, but I didn't want to write the screenplay. But they didn't find anybody else, and I ended up doing it. I don't remember if I even saw the film! I did slip in a gag that I liked a lot, not half bad: Milian puts the nitroglycerine into the holy water receptacle, and the priest then goes around sprinkling the holy water on the cannons and everything blows up. Everything I wrote worked fine for the director - who was a young man - Giovanni Fago, with the producer, with Milian; him especially. He did some truly hilarious things! What a nice guy, Tomas Milian, a delightful person, very classy, vastly superior to the material he's in. But alas he's an insecure person, and for the usual neurotic reasons he'll go on to play a "Monezza". But he's an actor of the very highest order, who, alas, has gotten himself stuck in the rut of this unholy series of awful movies, which have a great success, and one just leads to another.