Betacam SP. D.: circa 55’.
The birth of Italian television in 1954, and the debut of television newscasts caught unprepared a decade’s worth of undisturbed government-oriented Incom newsreels. To “reposition” themselves, the filmed news were forced to use tones that, if not actually oppositional, were at least naughtier and more mischievous. The renewed Incom found the offscreen voice in the newsreels by former physician Lucio Fulci to be often abrasive and even surgical. Rizzoli decided there was space for much more aggressive and daring news. Gualtiero Jacopetti, founder and director of “L’Europeo Ciac” at the beginning of the mid fifties, organized actual ambushes: reports where the scissors for the minister who was supposed to cut the ribbon were switched with shears that didn’t cut, for the joy of a warned cameraman. It could have at least been the grandfather to “Striscia la notizia”, had the images ever been shown or if they still existed. What do remain are the taunting and hissing at the speakers and the Rai – RadioTelevisioneItaliana journalists, that would make your hair stand up, put hair on your face, replace sleeping pills. Also remaining are the comments Jacopetti made in a reportage on Le notti di Cabiria, where he speaks of a “Giulietta sprint, wife of the street king [re della “Strada”]…” Indeed, in his next film, Fellini used Jacopetti as a model for much of the cynical, immoral, seductive, and slovenly reporter figure of Marcello, though he added a hint of kindness and melancholy that the original most likely did not possess. Hence, in these no longer governmental newsreels, scissors that really cut, those of the various Ermini, Tupini, and Folchi, start going at it again. They cut exposed cleavages and bikinis, gutters and hovels, surgical operations and police charges, budding actresses, queers and transsexuals (then known as “lady bugs”), neofascist salutes, and cracks on greedy politicians or on “via delle Zoccolette”.