Tinto Brass, his wife Caterina Varzi: "I made him more modest, the actresses of his films have almost all disappeared"

Tinto Brass, his wife Caterina Varzi: “I made him more modest, the actresses of his films have almost all disappeared”

from Andrea Pasqualetto

The director’s wife, married in 2017: “I told him that sex didn’t matter to me, I made him accept non-sexualized love”

«I built walls, I tried to escape and defenses, I told him that sex didn’t matter to me and it was the truth. But the more I told him, the closer he came and looked for me, he explored me. True Tinto? ».

More silent and minute than usual, Tinto Brass in blue pajamas is sitting at the back of his sofa. He observes Catherine and declares: “I liked the perversion of chastity.” He will no longer have the cigar in his mouth and the glam tie but it’s him. And in some ways it surprises her love affair with Caterina Varzi, wife, accomplice and muse of mature age. The psychoanalyst lawyer with a past as a university researcher and the priest of erotic cinema. Two apparently very distant worlds that first repel each other and then attract each other, like magnets. In them there is a different fire, there is play and tenderness

Why did he build walls, Catherine?

«It is the story of my life, of my relationship with the male. Ever since I was a girl I felt a prisoner of a body that was too exuberant, men sent me back an image of sensuality that I didn’t find on me. Condition that put me on the run from reality … first relationship at 27, after an unconsummated marriage “

One would think that Tinto Brass was not exactly the ideal person for her.

“I thought so too, having an idea of ​​him based on the chatter of others. Besides, I had never seen even one of his films ».

When did you change your mind?

“I happened to know him and the depth took over.” He smiles, as if to say, for granted.

Where did you meet?

“It was 2007, I was a lawyer on behalf of a film production company interested in making a documentary about his life. I met him at the Parco dei Principi hotel in Parioli to discuss the contract. It did not go through, but in the meantime I had read his defense memoirs of a lawsuit for obscene acts concerning a film of him, Caligula. I was struck by the strength of analysis, utopia, power, madness, he put everything together in a brilliant and heretical way and this had seduced me ».

And what was Brass seduced by?

«From the imprisonment of the body, from the powdery perfume, from the falls of melancholy, from its challenge to conventions …». You have carbureted. «I wanted to make a film of it, a sort of Bell’Antonio for women. I wanted to free her and show her eros … In ancient Greece Helen of Troy was not celebrated for her intellect but because she was considered the icon of beauty ». She politely protests: “But I too have undermined her certainties.”

Meaning what?

“I made him accept non-sexualized love.”

It was hard?

«Not at all, Tinto knows how to accept the other as he is and manifests the desire with sweetness and extreme delicacy. I must also say that his illness arrived very soon: a stroke that made him suddenly lose his memory and created big problems for him. I helped him recover the past through his archive. He says I brought him back to life when he was thinking of death. ‘ And lay a look on him which is a caress.
Tinto sighs: «Life has put me in front of unexpected choices». Caterina: «With me you have become more composed and modest». He nods, resigned: “The freedom of a man is also evident from the relationship with love, illness and death.”

Tell the truth, he chose a sexy stick for old age.

«Caterina is the life that dances around me. She has brought me joy and happiness and I don’t want to be a pathetic old man for her. ‘

When did the spark strike?

«One day, after proposing to me to do Ziva in the Hotel Courbet, he had to come to my house in Parioli. He had forgotten his bag and only remembered the street, Sergio Tacchini. I had played a CD of Mouloudji that he had given me at high volume. Tinto was in a taxi going back and forth until he heard the music and stopped. I saw him enter the courtyard with his green cape. He had followed the music. Here, there I had the perception that he would have entered my life in a different way ».

She acted naked for him, she lives in this house where there is no lack of erotic references, blow-ups of buttocks, dicks. From nothing to everything. Don’t you feel a little uncomfortable?

“Those buttocks, however, are mine … Tinto has succeeded in making my relationship with the corporeal sphere serene through a high dimension of eros, where he sees the meaning and mystery of life”.

Tinto, you plagiarized her …

“I freed her from the legacies of her native culture.”

In what sense, Catherine?

“My problem had deep, educational, bourgeois roots. I was born in a town in Calabria where the woman had to be only a good mother and a good wife and also female power, like an academic career, was not frowned upon. But my father had an artistic streak and this made things easier. Tinto, who is 28 years older than me, is from his generation, they met and liked each other ».

How are the relations with Brass’s children, Beatrice and Bonifacio (from his first wife Carla Cipriani, “Tinta”), who had sued for the management of the estate?

“Civil even if not particularly warm, the case was resolved with my appointment as support administrator of Tinto which allows me to act with the utmost transparency.”

What does Caterina say to those who suspect marriage of interest?

“And what would the interest be? The heritage? Does not exist. The glory? Ephemeral “.

Do the various actresses of your films make themselves heard?

«They have all disappeared a little but he lives it with irony. He understands the choice of disavowal, the emancipation from those roles ».
“I understand but I don’t condone,” he bursts in with pride.

Who did he stay in contact with?

Her: «Stefania Sandrelli recently came to visit us. A moving encounter, they were happy to see each other again after so many years. They recalled the Key. Even Anna Ammirati, the Monella, has been to us several times. With Serena Grandi they speak on the phone. The others, Koll, Galiena, Dellera … nothing. But he smiles sweetly, adorable. ‘


“A documentary film about his life, will start in September, title A Free Passion, will be a Tinto Brass at Hitchcok presenting his unreleased … Excuse us but now he is tired and I have to go to the hairdresser”.
Tinto has a start: “Cut them a little.”
Caterina: «She cares, even for the red enamel».

September 7, 2022 (change September 7, 2022 | 07:29)

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