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Gianni Boncompagni, the inventor of cheerfulness on television | Author’s portrait

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Gianni Boncompagni, the inventor of cheerfulness on television |  Author’s portrait
Written by aquitodovale

from Teresa Ciabatti

With “Non è la Rai” he was the first to show innocence. Without doubt the inventor of contemporary television

He illuminated youth»Says Renzo Arbore, on the day of the last farewell, the coffin in Via Asiago 10, headquarters of Radio Rai where it all started for them. “Gianni he invented cheerfulness on television», Always Arbore.

Radio host, lyricist, television author, composer and television director, Gianni Boncompagni died in Rome on April 16, 2017. He 85 years old. Friends parade in via Asiago: Raffaella Carrà, Marisa Laurito, Irene Ghergo, Nino Frassica, Tito Stagno, Renzo Arbore. The friends and the girls, those girls he made him work, who they claim to be his creations: it’s true, Gianni illuminated their youth.

And this is precisely the point, the debated, sometimes misunderstood aspect of what it undoubtedly is the inventor of contemporary television.

What Gianni Boncompagni said Bonco is a genius you understand immediately, from radio programs like Yellow Flag, Other Appreciation, paired with Arbore. We are in the late sixties, early seventies. Then the transition to television, 1977: Discoring, first musical program aimed at a young audience, through language and aesthetics. On closer inspection Boncompagni is already all here: inattention to adolescence, in the ability to tell it. In 1977 he is over forty, yet he still seems to be on the other side, on the side of boys of age and spirit like Arbore. Let us dwell on Arbore: Barbara, Gianni’s daughter, remembers: «as a child Renzo told me he had a twin named Giuseppe. Every time he came home I said: you are Renzo, and he: no, Giuseppe. Throughout my childhood I believed they were two. ‘

Here, there is no better synthesis to describe the spirit, the playful grace that characterized a work group that was also a group of friends.

“I had a wonderful childhood” says Barbara (remember that Boncompagni raised the daughters for which he requested and obtained parental authority alone). In the 1980s, Bonco’s career continued: Hello Raffaella?, Sunday in. Hence the passage a Mediaset. «I honestly do not know – says himself interviewed on Daily fact about It is not Rai – Maybe the idea didn’t come to me. It was a vision. Berlusconi wanted me to do it again Hello Raffaella? I told him impossible, it is a program based on telephone calls and Mediaset does not have direct, but he insisted: what does it matter, we do it with fake phone calls “.

From vague indications and from an absolute freedom granted to the author it is born It is not Rai. Revolutionary programwith an aesthetic never seen before, and an apparent, wonderful, at times poignant, spinning around in circles – isn’t this the essence of youth? Spin without center (ingenious the intuition of eliminating the conductor assigned from the network, breaking the pattern).

Along with the incredible success of plays though, criticism arrives: the sexualization of minors, many of them under the age of fourteen, framed in seductive attitudes. TO F.Christian friend
Boncompagni replies: “I make a program with no content, I don’t want to leave any message.” Sin of modesty, or rather: he has no intention of explaining his work that maybe one day will be studied – which happens, much earlier than he imagines. Studied, imitated and still discussed. Irreverent, reckless Boncompagni risk misunderstanding without fear, faces the common morality, almost the challenge. Knowing full well that the resulting discussion will constitute a cultural and social step forward.

Everyone seemed to have understood by now.

But no. After his death someone returns to the question of girls, takes elements of the director’s private life to demonstrate a certain morbidity towards youth (scandalous – according to them – the love stories, starting with the one with Carrà that lasted ten years, she twenty-six, he thirty-five!). Someone remembers Isabella Ferrarithen seventeen, with whom Boncompagni was engaged, and argues over the fact that there are different treatments by public opinion, if Boncompagni does it well, if Berlusconi does not (the journalist Barbara Carfagna to whom Marco Travaglio replies explaining the difference).

Here come forward Laura Colucciex girlfriend of It is not Raito the most unknown, that a Today it’s at Hyenas he says: «At a certain point, Boncompagni asked to see us at his house. And so we went there. He had a lot of fun and then from that evening he got a taste for it. Tomorrow at Gianni’s house, Saturday at Gianni’s house and then next week at Gianni’s house. At some point, I broke my ***. That is to me I do not give a ** a *** to go to Boncompagni’s house. They told me: “Ah look, at your own risk”. I didn’t go there and I’m done. There was never any sex… it was all a bit implied, got it? After dinner she would take out the jar of Nutella. They passed it with this spoon ». The reaction of the others was immediate, denying any climate of ambiguity, reiterating that Gianni was always protective with them. Lucidly: Gianni Boncompagni is the first on television to reveal innocence. Innocence is not an absolute value, there are no values ​​per se. And nothing is more dangerous than simplification – speaking of ambiguity. Boncompagni was a narrator who looked at purity as a prism. And no – here art – did not stage desire, it generated desire. That this desire has also taken morbid paths does not concern the work, it does not concern him (the girls tell of disturbing letters and gifts received from strangers).

Against the right-thinking, against those who confuse the plans, and finds messages where there are none. Against those who have the presumption, passed off as enlightenment, to identify a precise trajectory from representation to reality, establishing a forced connection of cause and effect. Against those who believe that by purging the work, hiding weapons, drugs, women’s legs, they are educating themselves to good (up to Cancel Culture). The group of brilliant friends (Boncompagni, Arbore, Carrà) lived, invented and worked against this obtuse platoon, against the very idea of ​​educating the public. They fought the dull platoon with something far more powerful: the invention of cheerfulness – citing Arbore.

These friends who had time to grow old together – touching at the funeral of Boncompagni Arbore. Renzo Arbore elderly and deeply wounded who cries, cries and, in a gesture of modesty, tries to hide himself, to show himself serene, but fails – the only failure of Renzo Arbore, magnificent failure: because there in via Asiago is the beginning of everything, the beginning of their youth, and this, exactly this – the death of Bonco – the end.

So Eleonora Cecere, ex It is not Raiwho recalls Gianni: “I don’t forget the last outing: me, him, and Raffaella (ed. Carrà) at Ikea. He spent whole days in there. They walked arm in arm with Raffaella, he was already tired. That day we looked like a normal family: mom, dad and daughter ». And again: «Gianni gave me a cup for breakfast».

July 21, 2022 (change July 21, 2022 | 08:58)

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