Natalia Aspesi – For the only Mina of the season 2000 spectators – Il Giorno 25.07.1962

By Natalia Aspesi – Il Giorno

IT LOOKS LIKE ONE of those photographs that the great American magazines devote to the monuments of pop music and jazz: the background is completely dark, a line of light draws the outline of a couple of serious, committed musicians, and makes her, the diva’s, profile shine. The arm supporting the microphone, the one swaying wearily toward the audience, the curves of the deep neckline of the black dress, the dramatic face that is suffering Gershwin.
There will be two thousand people clinging to each other as if they were cold listening to this very good, mature Mina, who seems to have forgotten about her famous shrieks: they clap her hands in awe even as she forgets her jazz ambitions to unleash a series of South American songs imported from her last trip to Brazil. They impose a series of encores on her, she jumps from Neapolitan song to twist, from jazz to samba: it takes the intervention of the black orchestra playing only twists for Mina to get off the stage and join her mother, who immediately throws the white mink stole over her newly sweaty shoulders.
They all look at her open-mouthed, this very beautiful, low-cut lady, detachedly touching her white-striped curls raised on top of her head: luckily, it only takes a young boy, perhaps 14 years old, to invite her to dance for Mina to forget her new persona and to rush with the committed enthusiasm of her acerbic partner into a formidable twist, one leg this way and one leg that way, one hip forward and one back, all at a very fast pace that endangers the stability of her cleavage and hairdo.
Everyone breathes a sigh of relief; thank goodness. All in all, Mina has not changed that much; one can continue to find her likable. Tonight’s “show” at the “Bussola” was Mina’s only appearance on the Italian beaches: for some time now she has stopped the exhausting summer to which her colleagues undergo and which consists of jumping every night from one city to another, singing ten songs, signing a hundred autographs and running off at once to reach the next dancing club, the next balera.

Mina told her friends Dario Fo and Lelio Luttazzi in the afternoon, who had immediately come to greet her, why this evening would be unique. She had just arrived, fresh, no makeup, all cheerful and well-fleshed out, with her whole entourage: mom, piano accompanist, manager, a couple of mom’s friends, brother Geronimo “I am having a crazy time singing,” she explained, “I’m all thrilled with the idea of tonight, I accepted precisely because I couldn’t take it anymore, I was dying to have my new songs heard. Then I’m off again right away, I’m going to Spain for a couple of TV shows, then to Germany for a musical film, then back to Italy for another Mattoli film, a giallo rosa to be called “Un cadavere per signora.” Television in Italy for now nothing, the project for a show with Fo fell through, too bad.”
“But why don’t you make some serious films?” they ask her.
“I’m not crazy, I know I’m not an actress: besides, serious things don’t amuse me. Being there getting up early to work, studying who makes me do it? I just turned down a film with a director this big, the kind that goes direct at the Venice Film Festival, but I just don’t feel like committing to it.”
We will therefore see less and less of Mina. Those who saw her this evening can consider themselves privileged; by now she has learned to defend herself, has become shrewd and disenchanted.
“Maturing, I have matured: and it was the carrion, plus the carrion, plus the carrion that they give you every day in this environment that made me become an adult. By now they no longer make me hot or cold, I ignore them, I am armored. The only thing I still can’t get over is the filth they make up about my love life.”

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They say about her

11 November 2023


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.

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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.

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