The famous comedian Paolo Villaggio, passed away on 03rd July 2017 in Rome.
Paolo Villaggio became famous primarily with his character “Fantozzi” and its saga (and also thanks to “Fracchia” , which was another version of the same Fantozzi character, but used for movies belonging to different projects).
I am a huge fan of Paolo Villaggio, and my respect goes now to His family.
The best character of this Italian legend was the bottom level employee Ugo Fantozzi, an unlucky man, with an ugly but somehow lovely family.
Fantozzi spent all his life between the office of the Italian corporation he used to work for, and his personal property, a small apartment in one of the Rome’s peripherical neighborhoods.
The biggest accomplishment of Villaggio and his character Fantozzi has been the one to create a perfect picture of the average Italian family and life.
Fantozzi character has been created in the 70s, initially published as book, on 1971, which became a terrific saga from 1975.
Villaggio, as an alchemy master, put together all the worst but typical Italian stereotypes, creating a realism in his drama-comedies that still extremely actual nowadays, after more than 40 years.
That’s why Fantozzi has been that successful. A unique mix between hilarious gags and a cruel criticism against Italy and Italians problems.
If you are not Italian and you want to know more about Italy, even if you don’t speak our language, watch the Fantozzi saga (the core are the first 3 movies, the following ones are not that good).
You will see our national, useless and dangerous mania for soccer and pasta; our inconsistent concept of Community; our limitless lust for eros; our tendency to be submissive with the influent people, but also arrogant with low profiled persons…. and many other bitter sweet but realistic Italians’ features.
Growing up I realized that Fantozzi was also an attempt to wake up Italians average people from their horrible mediocrity, trying to make them aware of their flaws, publicly, and giving them the opportunity to meditate and improve.
Fantozzi himself tried on and on to fight all Italians vice, in his movies, loosing his daily battles as individual, but eventually winning the final war, accepting his karma as part of a bigger world, remaining humble, living with what the Fate picked for him.
Yes because the biggest problem of Italians is that they are not able to plan as a Community, they only master solutions for themselves and their proper “world”, with the calculated collateral damage of hurting others.
This is precisely the gap the disgusting Italian politicians use to dominate the country. They know italians are not able to renounce to their personal, immediate and evanescent advantage facing a situation, for a shared, more fair and long lasting solution.
Fantozzi did his best to show this problem, trying to have a laugh on it and pushing Italians to meditate for better social solutions, but nothing happened. Most of the Italians probably watched Fantozzi movies, but very few of them got the message.
Dear Mr. Villaggio, wherever you are now, please continue your work.