February 8, 2023

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Farewell to Gianni Cavina, Avati Cinema Cult Actor – Cinema

It is no coincidence that it was Pupi Avati who broke the news of Gianni Cavina’s death tonight in Bologna at the age of 81: in the imagination of Italian cinema, without Pupi Avati, Cavina’s face and face would not have been kind. Out. And in fact, had it not been for the complicity and friendship with the Avati family, Gianni most likely would have remained just a gentle accent figure.
However, if you look better in his biography, you will find yourself in front of a more complex character and history: he was born in Bologna on December 9, 1940, studied at the Franco Parenti theater school, but then took part in the bustle. and the joyful artistic life of the city. With Lucio Dalla, he even participated in the theater in the cabaret to begin his appearance in the cinema thanks to the journalist and director Rafael Andréssi, who shot him in 1968 in the “flashback” group in which he participated. At Cannes, she won a Golden Globe for Best First Work.
The meeting with Pupi Avati, whose passion he connects with jazz and cinema, takes place in the same year with “Balsamus”, a story approaching strangeness that passes in silence as the subsequent “Thomas and the Musical”. . It would take a guarantee from an actor known as Ugo Tognazzi and a fictional script (in which the first person participates) for Gianni Cavina’s name to become familiar to the actors and producers. The film is “La mazurka del barone, della santa e del fico fiorone” which was also dictated by director Avati in 1975.
However, Cinecittà adopts the actor in the scollacciata comedy genre with “Buttiglione” by Mino Guerini or “San Pasquale Baylonne” by Luigi Filippo d’Amico (paired with Lando Buzzanca). On the other hand, the partnership with Pupi Avati continues smoothly and leads to the success of “The House with Smiling Windows” (1976), “All the Dead… Except the Dead” (1977), “Le strelle nel fosso” which makes the Polish director a young master among Horror and fantasy. In 1979, Cavina won his first leading role as Father Leno in “Adsalut Pader” directed by Paolo Cavara and written with Enzo Ungari. It is followed by “Lingorgo” by Luigi Comenseni, “Il Torno” by Tonino Cervi, and “Please Take Care of Amelia” by Flavio Mogherini.
However, in Cavina’s life, Pupi Avati returns more and more as a mentor and hero: in the end they will work together more than 20 times, even the still-unpublished “Dante” in which he plays the notary Pietro Giardino, despite the disease is already in an advanced state. The first popular real hits are the TV series “Jazz Band” and “Cinema!!!” At the end of the seventies while Ugo Bundy was an unforgettable and memorable poker player in “Christmas Present” in 1986, which was presented in competition at the Venice Film Festival. Cavina would return there ten years later with “Festival” (again directed by Pupi) which would win him the Nastro d’Argento as best co-star. Explanations without his friend behind the camera are episodic: “Don’t Call Me Omar” by Steno, “Sun in the Eyes” by Andrea Purburati, “Wedding Director” by Marco Bellocchio, “Hello President” by Riccardo Milani. With one exception that gave Gianni Cavina great fame in the early 1990s: the TV series “Inspector Sarti” by Giulio Theis, Maurizio Rotondi and Marco Serafini from the unforgettable character created by crime writer Lauriano Machiavelli. With his light voice, strong physique, hands as large as shovels, and a mysterious and adorable smile from time to time, Gianni Cavina conquered the television audience, appeared in world productions, and even became a face in advertisements.
The actor had a thousand grades of outstanding actor, from comic excess to comedic precision, and from tragic and agonizing intensity to the realistic nature of any man. But the guy who became unforgettable even after just one meeting. Locked to the point of excess and jealousy of his family’s affections, accompanied by a note of sadness that hides the infectious laughter behind him, Gianni knew how to make himself instantly lovable, offering that spontaneous complicity that only true Emilians know how to cultivate. It’s hard to remember a word from his colleagues and friends, and it’s impossible to see him arguing with Bobby and Antonio Avati. Their story is one of a generous and unchanging friendship during 45 years of joint artistic life: an indestructible marriage.

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