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La Gazzetta dello Sport - 11th November 2003



Milan and fifties boxing years in the film of the daughter director
By Fausto Narducci


"I'll go beyond the human character in order to represent the altruism of my city"
" I have chosen the figure of the Commendator Borghi in order to represent the Italy that tried to grow"
" I'll use original images: the boxing is not violence, it's an anthropological sport"

Someone says that the life of a boxer is often similar to a film never written.
Someone also says that the better inspiration for a film comes every day from the character of the life.
Perhaps thanks to the crossing between one of the human vicissitudes more tormented of Italian boxing also thanks to the passion of one of the most promising Italian directors the great screen will succeed finally to transmit all the emotions of the cinematographic sport for excellence.
Giancarlo, the boxer, and Gianna Maria, the director, has the same last name, Garbelli, they are father and daughter.
She came from a first engaged and successful work, "Jailbirds", than made its debut straight to Venice she did not have to watch herself round in order to find the subject approved and financed from the Cultural Activities Ministry. He will see his great "incomplete" of ring and the thousands vicissitudes that has accompanied it, transfigured on a beautiful Italy of the fifties that could make him to become the cult personage that deserves of being.
"The Fighter", leaves in fact with ambitious plans, actors and international breath, prestigious journalists advisers of whom they promise to avoid the farces that sometimes unfortunately it happens to see in the cinematographic transpositions of the match.
With theatrical and movie actress roots, Gianna Garbelli has already been split in order to become actress, director, screen player and manufacturer of "Jailbirds" then become "Metropolitan Temptations" in Italy and "Jailbirds" to the foreign country.
After having told us the story of a , suspended between flatteries of the city and the obligation of Saint Vittore, this time she'll try to reborn an entire age.
"My scenario between fantasy and truth, it's a story that will go beyond the human character.
What I would like to carry on the screen is above all the altruism of Milan of the fifties, the generosity of the city in which I grew up and that sometimes it's unjustly denigrated. I will speak about my father, but also about Italy that rise from the ashes of the war. A country in which anyone who had of the initiatives could become a great person and that I see in the figure of Giovanni Borghi, the first able illuminated entrepreneur to bet on the publicity and on my father as first sport testimonial. It will not lack the love history nor the typical interlace of the boxing between the managers, journalists and boxers, but not will be forced nostalgia, I will try to express the point of view of my generation in vibrating way, with the enthusiasm that everybody recognize to me".


But Gianna Garbelli is not only an engaged director, than for the work before it has carried on the screen Annie Girardot, who has already taken to contacts with Giancarlo Giannini (for the part of the manager that Garbelli brings in America) while for the other roles thinks about to John Savage, Sean Penn and Kevin Spacey. Garbelli, 38 years old is also daughter and grandson of boxers (the grandfather Cesare was Italian champion amateurs of the light weight in 1926) and she's, not only for that reason, supporter of the values of the boxing.
In order to steal pieces of truth to carry on the scene she has gone in Las Vegas seeing World-title fight De La Hoya-Mosley, she supported and she was glad for the second one, un favourabled but winning, and she returned in Italy just in time in order to surround herself of advisers of the bore of Marvin Hagler, Rocky Mattioli, Rino Tommasi and Gilberto Evangelisti. As a testimony about her love for the boxing world, she has collected something like 30 signs of illustrious boxers for the bill that would have allowed an annuity check to the former champions who have been at least tricolors and have exceeded the 65 years-old.
"I have lived and studied in America: my film, like the true life of my father, it will arrive there and it will be concluded in South America.
I will use above all original images to place the scenes of boxing, revising the material supplied from the Sports Archive of Milan and the Archive of Luce Institute.
I want to contribute to demonstrate that the boxing is not violence, but an anthropological sport, a discipline in which at the end the winner and the loser embraced themselves. A sport that with the exception of others has never endured the age of time in literary and cinematographic level".

One dialog of the screenplay of "The Fighter" says: "the culture is what you are and not what you know. and who got it can express himself". Other one stolen from Gianna to the beloved mother Maria, it says: "I have great dreams for you, but you have the courage in order to realize them". At the age of 38 years-old Gianna Garbelli will try also to transmit the familiar instructions that she still brings with her "I have always admired my father and my mother. Dad filled up the crowds with his style of a modern warrior, but also with his charisma. After boxing he had many problems, he became a successful spirit healer of and by now he's also the source of inspiration of a film that will surely carry me fortune". The life of Giancarlo Garbelli, altruist boxer like the city of Milan in which he lived, continues on the great screen. The first ciak will come in the next springtime.

IL GIORNO - 18th October 2003



By Silvio Danese


Gianna Garbelli writes and produces "The Fighter"on the life of his father boxer."On my ring I want Sean Penn "

MILAN - Produced written and directed by Gianna Garbelli Maria, but I can bet that there is a role also for her. After "Jailbirds", that some toed make one's debut has ago to the Mostra Cinematografica of Venezia , the enthusiastic Gianna returns, with a plan "of life", legacy to the myth of the Sport like life arena, indeed of the life like material human for the Sport. The filmaker from Milan speaks about a:"I'm ambitious, it will be a great film, shot between Milan and the United States".
Which is the title? "The Fighter". In English "the fighter" is the technical terme used in Sport that means "challenger". I want to tell a great story tied to the world of Italian boxing during the post-war period; it was a period of great champions, in which "The Fighter" is not alone on the ring but also in his private life he still fight on a conflict with himself.
From where the history exits? I'm daughter and grandson of boxing former-champions, my father Giancarlo and my grandfather Cesare. My father has defied for the world title and he's in the history of the boxing. The film will be therefore a picture of Italy of that time.
It will be a film of boxe on the background of an age? I will be a wonderful and popular story. Therefore is the Sport and therefore is the Boxing. Thinking about the great examples: Scorsese, Denzel Whashington, the film on Alì, from Chaplin to Kubrick, to hundred of others, the cinema and the literature, the theatre has always reached something from the boxing. I have lived between Italy and the America for 7 years, I have breathed the emotions, spaces and characters of that world. They have grown in the Sport, therefore I must make this film.

So, is it a biography? No, it's inspired and romanticized, sure the boxer is an archetype of Sport in a new born Italy that rise from the ashes of war. And it is not a nostalgic film, thought why I was not there on that time etc. I tell the story of a world in which anyone who had initiatives and ideas became a great person: if somebody made the photographer or the actor he would became a great photographer or a great actor. There is chasing risen and triumph of the alive athlete... my protagonist lives more lives at the same time. There is a love story and a friendship story with a journalist. The protagonist is an intelligent and instinctive spirit, because the culture ­ as reported on a dialog of the screenplay - is what you are, not what you know! And who got it expresses himself!
Who will be the interpreters? I am making an international casting. I'm thinking about Sean Penn or Kevin Spacey in the role of the journalist. Giancarlo Giannini got the role of the Manager who brings the boxers in America. I would want that the Italian Cinema exited from the provincialism, therefore I try to help to get it out with my movie. Next to charming Milan, of the Œ50 and Œ60 I rebuild the liveliest Lombardy, of great entrepreneurs, like Giovanni Borghi, who first invested in the sport like return of image of his own company: The Ignis. So therefore it has borned the stable of the boxers, a colony in which my father has been the first boxer, therefore the Cyclist and Varese Basket.
Who will produce the movie? At the moment the production is mine, but I am working at great levels, between Italy, Europe and America in order to enrich the plan with other forces. In phase of writing I have had extraordinary advisers, journalists sportswomen, from Evangelisti, De Martino, but greates of all is the walking encyclopaedia, boxing commentator Rino Tommasi. As an adviser I will have my father and other myths of that age, everyone is like a father for me: from Benvenuti to Arcari, Mazzinghi, Visentin, I do not want tho forget the name of anybody. On the set I will have Rocky Mattioli and Marvin Hagler. Recently I have seen a match for the world title in Las Vegas, I think that it does not exist a more coinvolgente show in the Sport: a match between gentleman. I have supported for the one who surely was considered as the loser of the match. In my opinion it had three reasons important in order to win: to recover his credibility, the difference of the reward, only 1/4 regarding the challenger, I bet on the one that one with less chance, it was dictated from the istinct; at the corner of the ring there was an older but identical man to the boxer, he advised him, he spurred him, he dried his sweat: he was his father! I had a surprise invitation for the party, in case of winning. Naturally he won. It was a way in order to tell me: you must make your movie...


By Giulio Signori


For him Giancarlo Fusco had raved, because he loved the heroic boxing, the one fought from boxers who in order to put to sign a blow they were disposed to take'em two. And the reason why a film on the human and sport vicissitude of Giancarlo Garbelli will be shot by his daughter on the lack of fantasy of the ones who are looking for great movie stories. The story of Garbelli is worth that one of Rocky Graziano ("Somebody up there likes me") perhaps with something more: as an example, the disappeared father in the whirl of violence that happened in the 25 of april (1945) and that day represent for him the begginning of a difficult existence To be honest also Giancarlo was loved for his courage without reservoirs also more than how much it was Duilio Loi, than however Vittorio Strumolo, the maximum manger of boxing of those years in Milan, preferred. Genius and intemperance. Giancarlo used to go up on the ring as a brave soldier who was thrown outside from the trench, exact opposite of the natural calculating person who was Loi, and when they met themselves, to the limit of light-weigh the nearly prohibitive one for a "natural Welter", for Garbelli had been a bad match. But much not to discourage him or to change the meaning of boxing, it was all action without mental reservoirs. Even if he was defeated, against Marconi or Visentin, the applauses would go above all for Giancarlo Garbelli, protagonist without spot and without fear in a crazy challenge against Lazlo Papp, the great Hungarian champion who died few days ago, who was not able to fold him. Or those duels style western with tremendous boxers like Tombstone Smith, or Larry Baker. Between a "The Fighter" and the other, Giancarlo Garbelli invented a lot of things to do, even a breeding of minks in the house that he bought near Varese, in Cadegliano, and he did not previewed that he had to nourish them, so he has been biten by one of them. The last expedient, the painting, but it has not been the first and it will not be the last. Of this film a bitterness still remains: unfortunately for causes of acts of God, the subject has not been written by Giancarlo Fusco, who saw in Garbelli the boxer who he had not been and who dreammed of being. Comprised on it genius and intemperance.

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All content displayed or transmitted on this web site is protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. 
The editorial content is owned by Gianna Maria Garbelli. copyright©giannamariagarbelliallrightsreserved