Fragments of a couple’s life
The family films of a couple of intellectuals and artists: the journalist and poet, later director and video artist, Gianni Toti (Rome, 1924-2007) and the painter Marinka Dallos, his first wife. Most of the family films, shot by both spouses, were made between Marinka’s native Hungary and their city of residence, Rome. In particular, the filming in Hungary relates to trips organised by the couple to visit Marinka Dallos’ family in Lorinci, as well as trips organised to other locations in Hungary. Many of these films feature Gianni Toti with Marinka’s grandson, Csaba. There is also a group of films of trips made by the couple on holiday to various places: Tunisia, Bulla Regia, Tunis, Kairouan, Gerba, Houmt Souk, Spain, Pamplona for the San Firmino festivities, Barcelona, Seville and Granada, Paris, Belfast during the Parade of the Orangemen, Padua, Venice, and Rome and the surrounding area, Ostia Lido, Fregene, Nemi, the Porta Portese market and Fiumicino airport. Another core of films relates to Gianni Toti’s 1972 on-the-spot visits to Syria for the film E di Shaul e dei sicari sulle vie da Damasco (And of Shaul and the assassins on the road to Damascus) and the auditions for actors on a Roman terrace by the photographer Rolla. Other films were shot by Gianni Toti as a special correspondent for the magazine “Vie Nuove”: shot on 1 May 1964 in Revolution Square in Havana (Cuba). Six years of Cuban independence celebrated with a big parade with footage of the crowd during Fidel Castro’s speech. Compare Che Guevara.
The user can explore the film collection through a wide selection of sequences shot by Gianni Toti and Marinka Dallos. Digitised film material can be viewed in chronological order or via the menu. Short texts, included in titles, captions or superimposed on images, introduce, contextualise and give precise indications about people, places and situations. The information was collected through careful research, documentation and cataloguing. The editing and video edition was done with Klynt software.
(texts edited by Karianne Fiorini)
Fragments of a couple's life
Gianni Toti was born in Rome June 24th 1924. BA in Law, he was a partisan for the GAP army during the Resistance, and after the Liberation he will move to Milan to work in the newspaper «L’Unità». In 1949, during the World’s Communist Youth Meeting in Budapest, Toti met Marinka Dallos, born in Lorinci in 1929. They got married the following year and moved to Milan. In 1960 they move again to Rome and together they translate many hungarian poets, such as Attila Jòzsef and Miklòs Radnoti. In the early 60s, in order to curve Gianni’s hiperactivity (he was a poet, a director of the CGIL magazine «Lavoro», a journalist and a correspondent for «Vie Nuove», «Paese Sera» and a militant cinema and literature critic) Marinka buys some brushes and colors and takes him on a tour through several italian villages to paint.
She took this opportunity as an incentive: Marinka will be a painter since then.
Marinka publishes in 1974 a collection of essays about the naïfs and creates, together with other roman painters (Amelia Pardo, Graziolina Rotunno, Alfredo Ruggeri and Maria Vicentini) the “Gruppo dei Romanaïfs”; she exhibits her paintins in Italy and then in Paris, Budapest, Nice… Some of her work is in the collections of several museums (such as Les Halles St. Pierre in Paris, the Anatole Jakovsky Museum of Nice, the Mayar Naïf Muveszek of Kecskernet, the Museo de Arte Naïf of Spain and the Naïf Museum of Luzzara) and private collections. Marinka Dallos died in 1992. Toti, meanwhile, has developed an interest in electronic arts since the early 80s.
Creator of numerous VideoPoemOpere, writer of dozens of poetical collections, several tales collections and two novels, founder of magazines and editorial collections, unstoppable literary and audiovisual critic and theorist, Gianni Toti died January 8th 2007 in Rome.
The Gianni Toti Collection was donated by Pia Abelli to the National Home Movies Archive on August 3rd 2012. The films were kept until then in Toti’s home and were filmed in 16 and 8mm. After purchasing the material, the films were restored and digitalized. The films were organized with the help of Pia Abelli Toti, second wife of Gianni Toti, trough the information given by her during several meetings between 2012 and 2013, and Silvia Moretti, a researcher who studies the work of Gianni Toti.
The collection consists in 35 rolls in 16 and 8 mm filmed during the 60s and 70s, and its total length is approximately 3 hours.
Most of them are home movies, in which we can see many of the Gianni Toti’s and Marinka Dallos’ friends and family. Those movies were filmed by themselves between Hungary, country of origin of Marinka, and Rome, the city in which they lived. The scenes from Hungary were taken during a trip to visit Marinka Dallos’ family in Lorinci and other hungarian cities (such as Keszthely, Gyenesdiàs, Szigliget, el Lago Balaton o Bekes). Many of these films are focused in Gianni Toti and Marinka’s nephew, Csaba. Another group of movies describe the trips the couple made to Tunisia (Bulla Regia, Kairuán, Gerba, Houmt Souk), Spain (Pamplona during the San Fermin party, Barcelona, Seville and Granada), Paris, Belfast (during the Orange walk), Padua, Venice, Rome and its surrounding area (Ostia Lido, Fregene, Nemi, the market of Porta Portese and the Fiumicino airport). Another block is dedicated to the trip around Syria that Gianni Toti made in order to prepare his film “E di Shaul e dei sicari sulle vie da Damasco” and the castings for this film in a roman terrace made by the photographer Rollatra, in which the actors Tonio Damia and Alessandro Haber participated. Other films were made by Gianni Toti as special correspondent for the magazine «Vie Nuove»: filmed on May 1st 1964 in the Plaza de la Revolución of Havana (Cuba). Six years of cuban independence celebrated with a great parade, in which we can see the masses attending Fidel Castro’s speech. Che Guevara is there too.
Among the many films of the collection there is a short experimental film directed by Gianni Toti, starred by Marinka Dallos in a beach, and a documentary directed by Michele Gandin about the naïf painter Marinka Dallos.