Marinella Venegoni – Mina’s 80th birthday, a book celebrates her talent – La Stampa 24.03.2020

By Marinella Venegoni – La Stampa
24.03.2020

Mina in an archive image
(ansa)

It has become very difficult to write about Mina. This oh-so-round and fateful birthday of 80, which falls today, has already been consumed by streams of words, hordes of footage, odd images. Everything seems already said. Premature retirement in 1978-an anti-media seclusion-made her forever young. We missed his human evolution, and his artistic evolution remained. None of those who write or speak today on TV and radio and web about popular music have ever seen or known it. After 42 years, Mina is obligatorily handed down as a platonic idea that materializes only with the immense repertoire of 120 albums: the most agée Italy knows it by heart, the record releases constitute its red thread stretched out to the world, and project the spectacle of an unblemished and fearless voice. No one has ever spoken ill of it, no one will. We don’t know if he has flaws like everyone else, no one will tell us. Motionless in his eighties, in the hyperuranium destined for the holy pictures of our imagination.

Now a hefty, interesting and luxurious big book (on sale for Rizzoli as soon as it can be returned to bookstores), titled simply “Mina,” renews the story of the public figure from the distant past, through the admirable curating of Mauro Balletti, a visual artist who has been working on her since 1973. Well-known photos, curiosities and imaginative photomontages evoke a grandeur that does not belong to our times. In an absolute setting, Balletti writes, “Mina Picasso Maria Callas and Fellini have the same look. There is a thread that unites them, the thread of great art.” Equally significant are the writings.

Rosario Fiorello’s ecstatic introduction, in which he confesses that he feels “a jolt, a thrill, a real enjoyment, every time I receive a phone call from him or a message that like a joyful child I listen to and replay”; a story-analysis by the great Ivano Fossati, last artistic companion in the recent valuable album titled with their two names, which refers to the concept of myth: “It is generated by epic deeds, when these are followed by the prolonged absence of the person who performed them.” Yeah. But the exploits here continue, despite the absence. A nice calembour.

Vintage interviews with the immaterial Divine follow. A Bocca ’60 in the “Giorno,” who premised, “I’m no connoisseur but I like this voice. Hot, violent, true”; Luchino Visconti meets her in ’62, the feeling between two beautiful Lombard temperaments is born with difficulty in interminable diatribes in which the 22-year-old Diva tenaciously holds her ground. The most peppery is as always a Fallaci ’63 in L’Europeo: “We have already met Miss Mazzini … at Sanremo when you sang a little song entitled I love you love and even seemed to ignore the meaning of that verb that filled her mouth with every shriek.” Could it have been there that Mina began to think about retiring?

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They say about her

11 November 2023

READ ALSO.

Giorgio Bocca – The jukebox is too tight for Mina – ll Giorno 11.12.1960

Tonight Mina has crazy hair and a dress on which sequins shine. Pale. Slender, her eyes dilated with neurotic rage, the girl wrings her hands to overcome the disgust of strangers breathing down on her.
We are in a dance hall on the outskirts of Turin. With two thousand five hundred liras each (almost two days’ work) the young men of the neighborhood paid themselves, for one hour, for the physical presence of Italy’s most famous “screamer”; the lucky ones, now, surround her little table, under the orchestra.

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Oriana Fallaci – The siren of twenty years – The European 05.02.1961

But who, then, is this girl who in not even two years has become a kind of myth of Italians young and old, poor and rich, suckers and smart, communists and Catholics, and in one minute earns as much as a magistrate earns in a month (one hundred and fifty thousand traffic circles), in one week collects six covers of authoritative weeklies, and if you say you have never seen her sing they treat you as an ignoramus, a traitor to the fatherland, or a cretin?

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Tony di Corcia from “Mina Viva lei” – Clichy Editions 2023

It has become very difficult to write about Mina.
This oh-so-round and fateful birthday of 80, which falls today, has already been consumed by streams of words, hordes of footage, odd images.
Everything seems already said. Premature retirement in 1978-an anti-media seclusion-made her forever young.

read more

Natalia Aspesi – Here is Mina fatter more beautiful and better – La Repubblica 04.07.1978

Fifty years? It could be 30 or 90, it would be the same. Tomorrow Mina turns half a century old, and the occasion only serves to make it clear how the singer has become, in Italian custom, a symbol rather than a living person. A symbol of an Italy as good as she was, glorious and optimistic, that of the boom years with which her rise coincided; but also, for most of those over 30, a sentimental symbol in the fullest sense of the word.

read more