Interview transcripts: final draft
Here is the final draft of the edited transcripts of the cinepanettone interviews which were excerpted in the previous seven posts (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7). This puts all those transcripts together, or the most interesting bits, and is the draft - all 18,500 words of it - I hope to include in the project monograph. I have tried to do something formally satisfying as well as informative with the material Luca Peretti and myself got in our conversations with fans, actors, directors, screenwriters, editors, composers, critics, scholars and sceptics - all of whom I have tried to grant an equal authority in a discursive collage. I have attempted to retain something of the feeling of a verbal exchange, even to the extent of annoying at least two of our interviewees who objected to their informal representation in the online transcripts (I was obliged to modify their contributions). The chapter in the book will have an introduction, and perhaps I’ll rearrange some of the sections below, but if readers agree the following is lively and engrossing I don’t intend to edit it any further. (But see here for information about a change I did make…)
Interview transcripts (4): registi e sceneggiatori (Paolo Costella, Enrico Oldoini, Neri Parenti, Carlo Vanzina, Enrico Vanzina)
'Neanche Shrek fa riferimento alla realtà americana.’ (Neri Parenti)
Costella, Oldoini, Parenti
Continuing from the three previous posts (here, here, and here), more edited transcripts of the interviews myself and Luca Peretti have done about the cinepanettone, in this case of the screenwriters and/or directors, Paolo Costella (who directed the 2010 Boldi film A Natale mi sposo), Enrico Oldoini (who has also done a Boldi film and several Filmauro films in the 1990s), of stalwart cinepanettone writer and helmer Neri Parenti (too many films to mention), and Carlo and Enrico Vanzina, the writing/directing team who did the first cinepanettone (though they would refuse the term) and several since (they scripted 2011’s Vacanze di Natale a Cortina with Neri Parenti).
Carlo and Enrico Vanzina
The interviews with Paolo Costella and Neri Parenti took place in December 2010 (when Natale in Sud Africa was still on release). I spoke to the Vanzinas in February 2011 (Enrico twice) and a cautious Enrico Oldoini in April.
My questions are signaled with an ‘A’, and Luca’s with an ‘L’. The interviews have been transcribed by Luca and Damiano Garofalo - sincere thanks to both of them.
A Week of Interviews
Carlo and Enrico Vanzina
A belated post (I’m back teaching in Leeds) to report a series of interviews in Rome last week. Thanks to the indefatigable Luca, we managed to get to speak to a series of people with an interest in the cinepanettone, from critics to stars. I’ve talked about the rationale behind these interviews in a previous post (which I can’t link to), and some of the problems related to interviewing in another. What I hope to discern in the interviews is the process of discursive construction of the filone: how it is produced by the ‘talk’ around it even before any individual film is seen. The interviews will, I hope, also be useful in gleaning information about the production of the films themselves.
On methodology (5): The usefulness of interviews, or, Boldi Speaks
What Mary said
Mary P. Wood has written of the problems and pitfalls of interviewing film people in a piece for the Italianist (29: 2, 2009). A specialist in Italian cinema as well as an expert on European cinema more broadly, Mary has used interviews as a tool of her research ever since her PhD on Francesco Rosi, a director she has interviewed several times over the years.
Once upon a time interviews were almost the only way to get some sense of the creative and production processes that culminated in the film text, whereas today the student has access to all the paraphernalia included as extras on the DVD release: making-ofs and backstages, commentary tracks, interviews as well of course, and so on. Mary points out that what become extras on the DVD are often broadcast on television in advance of the theatrical release of the film: ‘these are concealed promotional materials stressing the exclusivity of the interviews, and therefore the cultural value of the broadcasting television channel’ (299). Mary’s point though is that interviews themselves, even interviews with the commercially irrelevant academic, will also function as ‘concealed promotional material’.