Archive for September 1st, 2011

1994, September 1 – PREMIERE OF “IL POSTINO”

Lead actor Massimo Troisi was oddly attached to the idea of a mid production change in the script in which his character “Mario Ruopolo” dies in the film “Il Postino”…when he died of heart failure immediately after the film was finished at the age of 42, it seemed to make sense of that attachment; perhaps somehow he had known that the end was near…Massimo Troisi had that rare gift of never having lost the genuineness of the small town just outside of Naples where he grew up; a colleague said of him, “fame and money did not change him…he remained like a teenager who lived everything like a gift; like an unexpected dream”…in fact,”Mario Ruopolo” in Il Postino was Massimo Troisi; simple, funny, humble, unassuming…a child bout with rheumatic fever damaged his heart a condition which was exacerbated when his mother died when he was young compelling him to begin difficult physical work…he had postponed heart surgery to do the film and during shooting a double was inserted whenever possible to preserve his strength


In one of “Il Postino’s” most beautiful scenes, on his birthday Pablo Neruda receives an emotional audio tape of congratulations from his beloved friends in Chile; in the background Carlos Gardel is singing “Madreselva”….“Madreselva”, composed by Francisco Canaro with lyrics by Luis Cesar Amadori, appears several times in the film…in a romantic  scene, when Mario is visiting, Pablo Neruda and his beloved wife dance a tango to “Madreselva”…the dance continues outside with shots of the magnificent view of the island Salina where Il Postino was filmed….later Mario’s wedding feast, Pablo Neruda dances with Beatrice to “Madreselva” which is played by an accordion player…still later when Mario returns to Neruda’s now empty house, he plays the record “Madreselva” and imagines again Neruda dancing with his wife…”Il Postino” directed by Michael Radford  had great success internationally…for many years it was the largest grossing non-English language film ever made…it was nominated for five academy awards including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor…Massimo Troisi was posthumously  nominated for an Academy Award for “Best Actor”